It’s pretty safe to say that flying isn’t most people’s favorite pastime.
And two of the reasons for that are the seating arrangements and close quarters with people we probably don’t know.
That was certainly the case recently on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor scrapped85 was pressured in yet another case of fellow passengers wanting to switch seats.
When he was ridiculed for his response, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was wrong.
He asked the sub:
“AITA (for) refusing to change seats with newlyweds who wanted to be seated together?”
The OP was recently seated next to a newly married couple.
“I booked a window seat, and beside me was a lady who is the wife of the guy on the seat in the middle row.”
“Apparently they are newlyweds and they want to be seated together.”
“They asked me if they can change seats with me, to which I politely refused and gave them my reasons.”
“One of the reasons was my size and aisle traffic. I always get bumped by someone when I am on the aisle seat.”
“One time, my elbow was badly hurt because the trolley hit me. I avoided the aisle seat ever since.”
“Also, being the second and the longest of the 3 flights I was taking that day, I wanted to sleep and relax.”
The OP received pressure from multiple people on the flight.
“The other guy, who was seated with the husband, tried to persuade me to change seats too, making a scene as if I was the scrooge in the couple’s honeymoon.”
“I didn’t budge and all the people around me, including the crew, looked like they hate me.”
But the OP was not convinced he was wrong.
“Am I wrong to refuse to change my seat?”
“Imo (in my opinion), if it is your honeymoon, I would assume that you made your reservations in advance. Why the h**l didn’t you book seats where you will be seated together in advance instead of bothering other passengers? Should other passengers adjust because it is your honeymoon?”
“When I had my honeymoon, I prebooked my seats and never bothered anyone.”
“So what do you think? AITA?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP absolutely was not obligated to move.
“NTA. Every time this story comes up the person is not the asshole for refusing to move. You booked your seat specifically. Sucks to be them but not your problem.”
“Also seriously, aisle seat guy? Now why couldn’t he move?” – Jumpyropes
“This, if you want specific seats on a flight then book the seats in advance or tough luck, you don’t get to bully people out of the seats that you want but didn’t book. NTA.” – danigirl3694
“This s**t happened to me on a domestic flight in the US (it has never happened to me on any other flight in any other country).”
“The guy who took my seat, was already in my seat when I was boarding. I also paid extra for that specific seat. I was too tired to argue so I let him have it. Thinking back, I should’ve made him pay for it.”
“The fact that they think that ‘newlywed’ is a valid excuse just shows how entitled people can be.”
“If they cared so much about being seated together, they should’ve taken the effort to book it.”
“You’re not responsible for their s**tty planning.” – Ok-bad-14
“On some of those airlines you pay EXTRA to book the exact seat, so why should OP be outta money?? Every time I flew into Vegas to see family, I paid extra for priority boarding and assigned seating so I didn’t have to fight for whatever seat is available where ever.” – Homicidal__Goldfish
“No one is an asshole for refusing to move when there are assigned seating. Even when it’s like a cattle run where you pick your seat when you get there, if you’re not early enough, you get what you get.” – legal_bagel
“They’re never TA for asking, but they hit TA status when they can’t accept a no and don’t offer any actual reason besides their desire mattering more.” – HiHoJufro
“You typically have to pay additional to book your seat in advance these days too—so anyone asking you to essentially pay extra for their seat (which is what they are doing) is the jerk.”
“You only ask to make that trade if the seat you’re giving up is better for the person willing to make the trade and they have the option the way no.” – Imgray21
“I’m not convinced that a secure relationship could be jeopardized by not getting to sit next to each other on a single flight.”
“I’m also not convinced that the two who managed to organize a whole wedding couldn’t manage the relatively tiny task of selecting their own seats in advance.”
“What absolute nonsense.” – Here_for_tea_
Others shared stories of times when they didn’t move, either.
“NTA. I always get aisle seats because of flying anxiety and had a mom/daughter ask me to trade seats so they could sit together which would have put me in a center seat.”
“They were so p**sed when I politely explained why I wouldn’t move. I don’t get why people can’t reserve the seats they want – is it they are cheaping out and relying on other people to switch with them?” – Jacksmissingspleen
“WTF? I like the aisle seat because I 1) need to pee a lot sometimes 2) am a bit claustrophic, and 3) have a shoulder injury and if I’m stuck next to a big person (I am short and narrow), they push into my space, and at least in the aisle, I can lean out to take pressure off my shoulder.”
“I’ve been asked by a mum/baby and couples to move before and I just say, ‘Sorry, no, I need an aisle seat for medical reasons’. I still get looks but they can’t get too uppity about that.”
“Maybe try that next time, not that you should need to.”
“NTA” – InsatiableQuilt
“I’ve seen flight attendants step in on the behalf of people trying to switch and just ask the plane if anyone is interested in switching. I’ve seen some people volunteer to do so when that’s happened.”
“Baseline: Someone else’s lack of planning does not create a problem for OP to solve. NTA.” – Peri_Colosa1
It’s always nice to help out, especially when there’s a special occasion, but when you’ve planned ahead and paid extra, the subReddit agreed that no one would feel too inclined to give up their specific airline seat. Whether or not the couple planned ahead is one thing, but reacting negatively to the OP was another.