Alice, Seat Saving: Okay or No Way?

Alice, Seat Saving: Okay or No Way?

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Ask Alice
Jun 23, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)

Dear Alice,

I am of the opinion that it is incredibly rude to save seats or to ask others already seated to move for a group. It's one thing to hold a seat for a friend who's running to the bathroom or grabbing a drink, but to show up early for an event with limited seating and save ten seats or more? To save a row of seats on an airplane or several deck chairs at the pool by placing items on them? I was recently at a high school graduation event and a woman was saving an entire table of about a dozen seats. As the event was starting, three people had shown up to join her and she still didn't want to share the table, even though a lot of other people had nowhere to sit! Is there some way to put a stop to this craziness? Or am I the rude one? I have never asked someone to move or tried to save seats when meeting a group! I get us all there early, or split up and sit separately.

Thanks for the advice,

Sage Sitter

Dear SS,

Okay, wish granted. Let's put a stop to this craziness right now. You're right that saving large blocks of seats for people who haven't arrived yet is not cool.

So let's establish the number one rule for proper seat saving: every butt must be in the building. In other words, it's fine to guard someone's seat while they step out for a sec, but stealing seats away from people who want to sit to give to someone who isn't in the building (or park, plane or what have you) is a faux pas.

So what should you do if you want to sit but you're being blocked by a large-scale seat saver? That's really up to you. You could always get all agro and just go ahead and sit down anyway (no guarantees that will go over so well). You could involve management or you could simply nicely ask the seat saver — who is probably already pretty stressed-out by fending off the onslaught — to do the right thing and give up the fight. He might just come around after all.

Love,

Alice

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