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在飞机上换座应该选择什么时机?

When is it OK to switch plane seats?
在飞机上换座应该选择什么时机?

Tipsy passengers and overflowing bins might be some of the most grating annoyances flight attendants deal with. But what can be even worse are the four S's: stealing, sneaking, swiping and switching seats.

醉醺醺的乘客和满满的垃圾或许是最令空乘人员烦恼的事情。但其实还有更加棘手的问题,那就是盗窃和换座等。

While it's not always a problem, it can definitely cause headaches for cabin crew.

虽然未必总会产生问题,但这肯定会令机组人员颇为头痛。

“Most flight attendants don't mind if passengers change seats,” says Michael, a flight attendant for a major USA airline. Change seats in their own class, that is. Even then, there are some seats that are still off-limits.

"多数空乘都不介意乘客换座。"在美国一家大型航空公司担任空乘的迈克尔(Michael)说。但这是指在同等舱位里换座。即便如此,仍有一些座位属于"禁区"。

This, of course, all depends on the airline — companies like Southwest Airlines and easyJet allow passengers to pick their seat once they start boarding. But in all other situations, passengers looking to sit somewhere else than they've been assigned can quickly cause chaos.

当然,这完全取决于航空公司——美国西南航空和easyJet这样的公司允许乘客一开始登机就挑选座位。但在其他情况下,如果乘客不坐在指定座位上,很快就会引发混乱。

“It becomes a problem when a passenger wants to move to the exit row on the plane,” Michael says, describing those seats that have extra legroom. “Most airlines make people pay upwards of 50 extra bucks to sit in those seats and charge them when they book the ticket. It’s not fair for flight attendants to move or let people move to these seats when one or more paid extra to sit there. I personally don't let people sit there unless no one is sitting in the exit row.”

"当乘客想换到飞机出口位置的座位时,就会有问题。"迈克尔说,那些座位的腿部空间更大。"多数航空公司都要求人们额外支付50多美元才能坐在那里,而且会在订票的时候收费。当有1人或多人额外付费坐在那里时,空乘人员让其他人换到这些座位就会有失公平。我个人不想让乘客换到那里,除非没有人坐在出口那一排。"

Extra legroom aside: Desiring to sit next to friends, family or coworkers is understandable. But swapping seats isn’t always that easy.

除了更大的腿部空间外,想要跟朋友、家人或同事坐在一起是完全可以理解的。但换座并不总是那么容易。

“Sometimes people will take it upon themselves to just have a seat where they want," Michael says. "It’s easier for us flight attendants to have them sit in their assigned seats until the person that was supposed to be in the seat they want shows up. When they come and see someone in their seat, it causes a more hectic boarding process, and the passengers are now trying to work things out and it causes a mess.”

"人们有时会自作主张随意换座。"迈克尔说,"当他们想坐的那个座位的主人出现时,空乘人员才更容易让旅客回到自己的座位上。当人们看到别人坐在自己的座位上,还会导致登机过程更加忙乱,这些乘客有时会试图解决自己的问题,引发混乱。"

But it's not always about wanting to sit next to your loved one. What about wanting to upgrade from coach to something more luxurious? If there is an empty seat and the upgrade list is empty, does that mean passengers from another section can relocate? Not so fast.

但换座的人未必总是为了靠近自己的亲友。如果他是想借此升舱该怎么办?如果的确有空位,而升舱名单是空的,是否意味着其他舱位的乘客可以换座呢?没那么简单。

Sandwiched between economy class and either business class or first class is another price range tier often called premium economy class. Sometimes when flying aboard large aircraft on major airlines, there are noticeably different perks of wide, plush seats that transform into comfortable lie-flat beds. Beyond comfort, other bonuses may include early check-in, wider seats, upgraded meals or snacks, and sometimes even gratis cocktails or comfort amenities like a sleep mask or toothbrush. In smaller aircraft that aren’t flying long distances, the most common benefit — and for some travellers, the most obvious — is the added two to five inches of legroom. As always, the magic number depends upon the airline.

夹在经济舱和商务舱或头等舱之间的是另一个价位的座位,通常称作"高级经济舱"。有的时候,当乘坐大型航空公司的大飞机时,会发现这里明显可以获得不同的待遇,这里有宽大、豪华的座椅,放平后可以变成舒适的床。除了更加舒服外,这里还可以提前登机,座位更宽,餐饮或零食同样会升级,有的时候甚至还提供免费的鸡尾酒或睡眠眼罩或牙刷等舒适的设施。在短途小飞机上,最明显的待遇就是腿部空间扩大了2至5英寸。与往常一样,具体情况取决于航空公司。

As for the dream of getting an upgrade? Most flight attendants will attest that first-class is usually full.

能否顺利升舱呢?多数空乘人员都证实,头等舱通常都是满座状态。

If there are any open seats, gate agents usually upgrade frequent flyers before boarding. Who gets the sought-after upgrades? Frequent flyers are the obvious first choice, followed by passengers who may have traded their seat for a voucher and upgrade on a later flight.

如果有任何空座,登机口的检票员通常会在登机前给经常乘坐飞机的旅客升舱。谁能获得这种令人垂涎的升舱待遇?经常乘飞机的人显然是首选,其次是愿意用自己的座位交换代金券,并在稍晚的航班上获得升舱待遇的乘客。

In addition to upgrades, there’s a science behind the weight distribution. This important factor is called weight and balance, and depending upon the plane size (especially smaller regional carriers) passengers may be asked to relocate, at least for takeoff. We asked a pilot to explain:

除了升舱外,重量分布也很有学问。重量与平衡是一项非常重要的因素,这取决于乘客要求换座时乘坐的飞机尺寸(尤其是小型支线航班),至少在起飞过程中的确如此。一位飞行员向我们解释了这个问题:

“All aeroplanes operate in an envelope of stability. To continuously stay in this envelope, from takeoff to touchdown, all weight and its location have to be accounted for,” says Darren Patterson, a pilot for a major US carrier. “If you were to attach a string to the top of the plane and dangle it, the center-of-gravity (CG) is the point where it is equally balanced. Just like two kids balancing on a see-saw,” he explains.

"所有飞机都在一个稳定的包线内运行。为了从起飞到降落的过程中一直留在这个包线内,所有的重量和位置都必须考虑在内。"在美国一家大型航空公司担任飞行员的达伦•帕特森(Darren Patterson)说,"如果你要把一根绳子系在飞机顶上,使之来回摆动,可以在重心位置上实现平衡,就像两个孩子在跷跷板上实现平衡一样。"他解释道。

Passengers who think their own weight doesn’t make an impact on the flight may be surprised to learn otherwise.

那些认为自己的重量不会对飞机造成影响的乘客,可能会惊奇地发现事实并非如此。

“This CG continuously, yet slowly, moves throughout a flight as weight is shifted," says Patterson. "Even the movement of a single person walking in the aisle can be felt in the flight controls and very minor adjustments are made to keep the aircraft balanced. The largest loss of weight during any flight will be the fuel that is burned. So there are both a balanced starting point for takeoff and an ending point for landing. If both of these points are within that envelope you will always have a stable aeroplane.”

"随着重量改变,重心也会持续而缓慢地在飞机内移动。"帕特森说,"就算是一个人在走廊上走动,也可以被飞机的控制系统感知,并通过细微的调节来保持机身平衡。飞行过程中最大的重量损失就是被消耗掉的燃油。所以,既有一个起飞的平衡始点,也有一个降落的终点。如果两个点都在包线内,便可始终保持飞机平稳。"

Have you ever noticed the flight attendants counting passengers before departure? Other times, some aircraft have software that intuitively reads distributed weight and compute the numbers electronically for takeoff, while other flight crews have to do it manually.

你是否注意到空乘人员会在起飞前清点乘客人数?有的飞机还有专门的软件直观地读出分布的重量,并用电子方式计算起飞时的人数,而其他飞机的空乘人员必须手动清点人数。

If you’ve ever been on a puddle jumper and had the pilots relocate passengers to another seat, that means weight needs to be distributed for safety’s sake. “The smaller the aeroplane, the more dramatic effect any shift in weight can have,” Patterson explains. “On a large, wide body aeroplane, a single person can move 10 rows of seats and the effect on the balance is negligible. Have that same person move just a few rows on a regional plane or turboprop and the effects are far more dramatic; possibly even exceeding the limits of the envelope."

如果你坐过小飞艇,并被飞行员安排到其他座位,那就意味着需要出于安全考虑分布重量。"飞机越小,重量变化产生的影响越大。"帕特森解释道,"在宽大的飞机上,一个人移动10排座位对平衡状态的影响可以忽略不计。但如果同一个人乘坐支线飞机或螺旋桨飞机,就算只移动几排座位,也会产生更大的影响,甚至可能超出包线范围。"

Thanks to the convenience of technology, some airlines allow passengers to upgrade on the spot with a swipe of a credit card once onboard. Yes, the same little handheld device flight attendants use to charge you for your double gin and tonic has the ability to upgrade passengers right there.

感谢技术带来的便利,有的航空公司允许乘客在登机后通过刷信用卡的方式升舱。也就是说,空乘人员可以使用你买双份杜松子酒付费时使用的小型手持设备,就可以给你升舱。

The very best time to switch seats is online before getting to the airport, followed by meeting the ticketing or gate agents prior to boarding. When there are empty seats, it’s tempting to move, but there may be passengers still on their way to the aircraft. Once on the plane, the flight attendant is your final advocate — and we recommend you stick to the old adage, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. In other words, request nicely, and you might just score the seat of your dreams. At least in coach.

最好是在到达机场前通过互联网完成换座,其次是在登机前见到出票员或检票员时换座。有空座时,你可能很想换座,但其他乘客可能正在赶过来的路上。一旦上了飞机,空乘人员就负责为你提供最终建议——我们建议你不要忘记一句老话:甜言蜜语好过尖酸刻薄。换句话说,礼貌地提出请求,或许真能得到自己理想的座位。至少在机舱里理应如此。
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