For any of us who have traveled in the past, we understand that preparing for the trip takes a lot of work, thought, and often time.
Unfortunately, sometimes we find ourselves being pressured to pick up the slack for those who don’t think so far in advance, too, collectively sighed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor NoSpread7431 had just boarded a plane with his girlfriend, when a family approached them, hoping to take one of their designated seats.
When he realized that the family had not planned ahead when purchasing their plane tickets, the Original Poster (OP) decided he absolutely would not move for them.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not giving up my airplane seat to an 8-year-old girl?”
The OP was surprised when he arrived at his seat on a plane.
“My girlfriend [25F] and I [26 Male] were boarding a plane and going to our seats (Center and Window seat) where we paid extra so that we can sit next to each other on the flight.”
“After getting to our 3-seat aisle, there was a mother and an 8-year-old girl, and one of them was in our seats.”
“We asked about the seating assignments, and the mother stated that the airline crew told her that she and her daughter must sit next to each other and that the center seat belonged to her daughter.”
The group asked a crew member for assistance.
“We called a crew member over to help sort things out.”
“The mother emphasized that her daughter was only 8 years old and that it was a long flight (4 hours), so they needed to sit next to each other.”
“(Note that she changes the story a bit here while shushing her daughter when the daughter is trying to explain the situation herself.)”
“The crew member told the mother that she should have asked AO (Airplane Operator) about this prior to boarding.”
“They also added that since the flight was at full capacity and the seats were assigned, they should stay at their assigned seat.”
“They said the mother needed to ask me and my girlfriend if we’re okay with switching.”
The mother did not like this answer.
“The mother argued that she asked us but we said no.”
“In reality, the mother never asked us, only proclaimed the seat is theirs before the crew member came by.”
“While I am perfectly fine with switching seats so a mother and young daughter can sit with each other on a flight, I don’t appreciate being lied to, potentially manipulated, and guilt-tripped so they can get their way.”
“Still, at this point, the mother never asked us to switch and probably assumed we would say no.”
Then the father of the 8-year-old got involved.
“While the daughter started to move back to her seat, the father in the next aisle tried to guilt trip me by stating, ‘She’s an 8-year-old girl. C’mon, man.'”
“I told him that if the mother was more professional about the situation instead of lying to us, there wouldn’t be an issue.”
“He then yelled, ‘F**k you,’ and said that I am the reason the world is f**ked up and to wait till I have a daughter to understand.”
“At the end, we found out that the mother’s and daughter’s seats were one row apart.”
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 thought the mother and father were overwhelmingly entitled.
“I really dislike this ‘I have a child, therefore I’m entitled’ mindset some parents have.”
“If you have a child, you plan better or make a request, not demand or try to manipulate.” – Stormschance
“Unless the mom is completely clueless, she must have thought about this beforehand.”
“I’m willing to bet she did and figured, ‘I’m a mom! With a cute little 8 year old! I’ll just get someone to switch!’ instead of paying the extra 50$ or whatever for reserved seats.”
“She didn’t ask because she wouldn’t accept a ‘no’ anyway.” – maple_stars
“Entitled parents like to buy one seat up front then try to get everyone else who bought good seats to move to the back middles the rest of the family have so they can move forward.”
“It’s frequently intentionally planned entitlement from a**holes. If you want something from a stranger, try to sit together in the poorer set of seats and they’ll likely let you.” – Radhruin-123
“What happened is that airlines started selling discounted ‘basic economy’ seats designed for travelers who don’t care where they sit.”
“Then entitled parents started buying those tickets and whining they weren’t seated with their families.”
“No one is paying extra by booking regular economy. Basic is discounted.” – _ilmatar_
“NTA. Anyone who ‘asks’ and doesn’t offer up front to pay you for extra charges that you saw fit in advance to pay is not legit and isn’t worth considering. You planned, you paid, and you reap the benefits.”
“You, as a nice, moral person might be willing to consider making that benefit available, but they ought to 1) ask nice, and 2) pay you the costs for BOTH seats since you paid for 2 to get the benefit that you are now making available.”
“Entitled AH’s need not apply.” – chuckinhoutex
“I was on a flight once (southwest, no assigned seats) and this lady had two young kids. I don’t know why she didn’t board when they ask families to go up early on so who knows. Maybe she was running late to the gate. She found a row with two seats taken, one open.”
“She whipped out two Starbucks gift cards (no idea for how much) and asked the two people if they wouldn’t mind moving so she could sit with her kids. Something about a last-minute trip to see a sick relative.”
“The passengers gladly moved, the man tried to refuse the gift card, but the mom insisted. The flight crew gave the people who moved extra snacks. Everyone flew happy.”
“THAT is how you handle that situation as a parent. Bribery and being friendly. You don’t gaslight someone for the seat they paid for.”
“She (the mother in OP’s post) handled that so poorly and was entitled to boot. Did not teach her daughter a good skill that day.” – Thedarkfic
Others thought the airline was probably more at fault than the parents.
“To be fair, sometimes paying extra for side-by-side seats is not an option. Especially lately when flights are fully booked and many people are getting last-minute flight delays/bumps.”
“Happened to my family last month. We talked to our daughter about it ahead of time, and told her that we will try to move things around but if it didn’t work out; we would be close by anyway.”
“We politely asked the other passengers on the 2 flights where it was an issue and they both agreed, no issues. We were prepared to accept no for an answer though.”
“I can’t imagine being so entitled as this parent.” – NewbieDoobieDoo
“My youngest is 16 and perfectly capable of flying by herself at this point. But whenever this comes up, random Redditors are like, ‘You could have paid extra to reserve seats together!!! Don’t inconvenience me.'”
“My response, ‘I did!!! The airline decided to randomize my seats and put my child in the middle seat with strangers!'”
“You usually eventually get your prearrangement back but still have to deal with the judgy strangers about how this is all your fault.”
“And the mom didn’t deal with it best in this example, but blame the airline, not the passenger.” – msmooomooo
“In general, it is widely accepted that airlines are fairly terrible, disorganized, and unreliable, not to mention predatory wrt pricing. People are very happy to make airlines the bad guy!”
“And yet when it comes to mothers and their small children, it must be that we’re entitled, too stupid and/or cheap to arrange appropriate seating. Couldn’t possibly be the airline’s fault. It’s almost like…there’s some bias there?” – anarmchairexpert
“I absolutely hate comments claiming parents need to plan ahead better.”
“Parents buy tickets for themselves and their kids AT THE SAME TIME!! And we should be upset with the airlines. NOT THE PARENTS WHO ARE TRYING TO ENSURE A SAFE AND COMFORTABLE FLIGHT FOR THEIR CHILD.”
“And all you people who say, ‘Just pay the extra amount to pick your seat’ that could amount to an extra $100 per seat and you can’t do it on just one, you have to do it on them all, so it’s an extra $300 for three people.”
“So put down your copy of Ayn Rand. Not everything has to be determined by the free market. It’s the reason the government stepped in.”
“It’s airlines that are the AH. Not some parent watching out for their kid.” – Raz1979
“The real bad guys here are the airlines because rather than agreeing with the logic that groups that book together should sit together, they decided to squeeze every last penny from people and make them pay extra for seats together.” – AliceInWeirdoLand
The subReddit completely understood why the OP was reluctant to move based on how this altercation played out. As the OP stated, if the mother had asked nicely, the situation may have played out differently.
But since she was rude and made assumptions about how their conversation would go, why would she even be surprised that she didn’t get the happy ending she wanted?