That's too bad because that certainly is abuse of the system. I know that now, in practice and in policy, anyone who pre-boards is not allowed to sit in an exit row. The flight attendants have been very dillegent about that. Perhaps in years past they may not have been as "on it" about that rule but recently they most certainly have. Hopefully that alleviates the issue for you and you can get your leg room. At 5'2" all seats have plenty of leg room for me 🙂 Happy Travels!
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I fully agree that an A-List/ A-List Preferred member with companion pass should have their companion board with them. Yes - I will always save the middle seat for my companion, but out of all my flights, he only comes on about 10% of them. Unlike in your experience, this has become a problem for me and I believe it is because I am a small woman who looks and dresses in a fairly youthful manner. It's a bit rude to save any more than that 1 undesirable middle seat, but some people do it, and hey it's open seating, do what you want. I've been questioned on more than one occasion by the person seated in the window seat as I asked if they minded if I saved the middle seat for my spouse while I sit in the aisle. Of course if no one is in the window seat yet and I have two seats open, I've gotten an earful for "saving seats," so I've given my saved seat up many times, too. But the worst of all occasions was just this week - On my birthday on a flight to Costa Rica I had the middle seat saved, but no one took the window yet because on international flights so many families are flying together, therefore so many seats are being saved. Well... One couple asked to sit in the seats, I said no, my spouse is sitting with me and he is right behind you. Instead of finding other seats they literally physically plowed over me and took those 2 seats. As it turns out they had a worse boarding position than my partner, but he was getting me a coffee and boarded later than he should have always save him a seat. I couldn't sit with them after that embarassment, so I found another seat, as did my partner, but I was in the back of the plane so I couldn't go against traffic, and as it turns out there was a family saving rows of seats for all their children. SO: On my birthday I sat alone with no one to buy me drinks (I can afford it, but you get the point) feeling about an inch tall and humiliated. I cried the whole time.
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