TikTokers Are Arguing Over Seat-Swapping Etiquette On Flights So What’s An Acceptable Approach?

tiktok seat-swapping flight eitquette

Every person and their dog has been popping off about whether it’s okay to ask people to swap seats with you on a flight or not. Earlier this week an Aussie bloke on TikTok kicked off the argument after another business class passenger refused to exchange spots with him so he could sit beside his girlfriend. Since then, others have shared their stories of asking — or being asked — to do the ol’ switcheroo. So what’s the go and what’s an acceptable request?

I’m not shy about doing the ol’ musical chairs when it comes to flying, but I ask to shift to a seat in an emptier row where possible.

One time a workmate and I asked the check-in staff if they could sit us together and as luck would have it they popped us in the exit row at no extra cost. It just goes to show that there’s absolutely no harm in asking, right?

But asking to move seats with someone who’s sitting in the one you want? Well, that presents a few more issues to navigate. Why do you want to move? What does their seat have that you want? What does your seat have that makes it a worthwhile trade? Are you just being selfish?

TikToker @lilbrowngirl.kay shared her seat-swapping secrets from her years of being a frequent flyer and it’s all about being nice, offering up a better seat, not asking to move more than a few rows and talking to the flight crew about what can be done.


If I was stuck in a middle seat between two people who wanted to sit together then sure, I’d be happy to move. Or if I was in the midst of a family that all wanted to sit together I’d oblige. But you’re going to have to put on a hard sell if the seat I’m moving to is shittier than the one I had booked and selected myself.

Others have not been so on board with the seat-swapping situation, like this US mum who specifically planned to fly first class. Sometimes mums just need a little TLC so I can’t blame her for not wanting to give that up.


I’m sorry moms and families but as a fellow mom I’m not a villain for not giving up my seat

♬ original sound – Maresa Friedman | Strategy

Or influencer Audrey Peters who refused to change with a family on a flight to Paris so they could all sit together.


No I’m not switching for a middle seat book your flights earlier babes #travel #traveltiktok #planetiktok #planes #parisfashionweek #paris #europe #plane

♬ original sound – Sunshynelove21

Look, maybe not seat-swapping keeping the kids separated and will stop fights, arguing and the backs of seats being kicked for hours on end so maybe saying no is the most utilitarian approach here. Nevertheless, it’s absolutely being comfortable in your villain era so I simply must respect it.