It’s true that when we purchase something, like a watch, we have every right not to share it with someone else, even if they’re only asking what time it is.
But having the right not to share doesn’t necessarily make the person kind, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor SnooOpinions15 decided not to share their WiFi access during a recent flight, though a fellow passenger had only asked a basic question.
When the passenger insisted it wouldn’t take long to answer, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were being selfish.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for not checking the scores of a certain NBA game on a 3-hour flight for a passenger on an in-flight WiFi I paid for?”
The OP purchased the in-flight WiFi during a recent flight.
“I was on a 3-hour flight on an airplane traveling back home. I didn’t have any form of entertainment on me besides my phone, and I had to purchase Wi-Fi to use the internet during the flight.”
“It was $8.99 for the whole trip so I decided to purchase it since I didn’t want to be bored the entire trip.”
A fellow passenger hoped to use the WiFi, as well.
“There was a passenger sitting next to me. He asked me if I can check the score for a certain NBA game that was happening.”
“Since I paid for the Wi-Fi, I should be able to use it however I want, so I said no.”
“He wouldn’t accept no for an answer and said it was only going to take less than 5 seconds to check the score.”
“I said I don’t care, you can buy Wi-Fi yourself if you want to know so badly.”
“Am I the a**hole in this situation?”
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 understood the OP’s reservations in looking up the score for a stranger.
“Honestly, I’ve been in this exact situation and I also hate sports fan culture so I would’ve said no also, lol (laughing out loud).”
“It would make zero difference to him to wait until the end of the flight and NOT bother people trying to binge their Netflix and zone out for the flight.”
“Like… Need me to check if a natural disaster hit near your elderly mother’s house? Sure. But leave me alone about your game.” – throwaday2020
“Reports of unruly passengers have jumped higher since last year in the US alone. 2021 is the year with the highest count apparently.”
“Personally, NTA. If the man wanted to know the score, which means constantly checking every few minutes as the game is happening, then he should also pay for the Wi-Fi.” – Merely_Dreaming
“I had something similar happen on a 6-hour flight. A lady asked me to check the weather or something and I agreed and thought it was all done.”
“Then she kept asking me to look up things and would say, ‘You looked it up for me before,’ or ‘It’s just one thing,’ and she wouldn’t leave me alone for the next 5 hours.”
“Maybe the guy wouldn’t have done that but who knows? NTA, because of personal reasons.” – HelicopterThink9958
“Maybe? Or the OP could’ve checked the score once, and if the person asked for an update, then say no. It’s not like checking it once would make them obligated to keep checking it.”
“Even if you ‘give a mouse a cookie,’ you can still say no to a glass of milk.” – Thistime232
“If the game had happened and you didn’t check the score, I’d have said TA.”
“Was happening, you’re opening yourself up to check it throughout the rest of the game for the rest of the flight. Or any other game.”
“It’s one of those ‘if you give a mouse a cookie’ moments and if they’re entitled enough to argue with a stranger about something they didn’t pay for, they won’t just ask the once and leave it be.”
“NTA.” – Ashtacular42
“Asking is okay. Refusing to indulge the stranger is also okay. Refusing to take no for an answer is not okay.” – PaladinWolf777
“Unfortunately, my experience is that when a dude I don’t know asks for something, I can’t just cheerfully answer that one thing and move on with my life. That one thing will be the beginning of some negotiation or conversation or series of further demands. Which in turn trains you to say no to any initial interaction. NTA.” – very_busy_newt
“The game was ongoing. I doubt the stranger would be content just to hear the score once, and then leave OP alone for the rest of the flight. The score keeps changing, and if the stranger cares enough to ask, they care enough to want to keep up with the score.”
“This means that this won’t be a one-time request on the flight, it will be every five minutes until either the flight is over or the game ends.”
“If the stranger only wanted to know the score once, they could wait and check it once they landed. If they wanted to follow an ongoing game, they needed to get their own WiFi, and put on headphones so no one else has to hear the game if they don’t want to.” – Jazzlike_Humor3340
But others didn’t think it would cost the OP anything to be kind to a stranger.
“NTA. You paid for the service, so it is yours to use how you choose. He’s NTA for asking, but he is TA for not taking no for an answer.”
“However, unless I was in the middle of a movie or something, I probably would have checked for him. It’s an incredibly small kindness that would be easy to extend.” – NotACraicKiller
“Yes, YTA. You don’t want to spend 5 seconds of your time, and nothing more, sharing something you have because you think he should pull himself up by his bootstraps and get it himself?”
“No, he isn’t entitled to you looking it up, and him fighting you after you said no wasn’t cool, but he was right; it’s such a small act of kindness, and you suck for saying no.” – 603shake
“People saying, ‘Maybe he would have asked more, so you were right to deny him the tiny little favor,’ your logic isn’t too airtight there, friend.” – observantexistence
“How was he ‘THAT PUSHY’? He asked and probably said, ‘Hey, it’ll take you like 5 seconds.’ I don’t think that’s being pushy.” – sinceyouasked1
“I’m still leaning on YTA. Personally, I would have done him the courtesy of looking up the score once, maybe a couple of times.”
“If he was super cool and friendly, I probably would have kept a tab open for him to refresh for the score because, honestly, ain’t no skin off my back.”
“But if he kept asking me to look up other things up for him, I would have just said, ‘Bro, I’m trying to do my own thing here. At this point, it’s best that you pay for the service yourself.’ Simple and straight communication. It’s really not that hard to be tactfully direct and friendly.”
“I don’t think that everybody who asks for a favor does so because they feel entitled to ask for a favor. You can ask for a favor, but that doesn’t mean that whoever you request the favor from has to do it for you. That’s why it’s called a favor. If someone felt entitled to a favor, it wouldn’t be a favor.”
“Someone else in this thread likened it to someone walking down the street and asking for the time. This was far more common back in the day, before smartphones. Would you look at your wristwatch and tell the person the time real quick and move with your life, or would you tell the person to stop feeling entitled in asking you for the time and to get a watch of their own?”
“At the end of the day, OP’s situation is such a first-world problem, I guess we’re all a**holes for debating such a low-stakes encounter.”
“I believe that their experience, while terrible, is an outlier. Because imagine if everyone you ran into on the daily basis was as entitled, unhinged, and belligerent as the person that they encountered. I really honestly don’t believe that’s the norm.”
“The person is free to do what they want to do. If they don’t want to do small favors for someone on a plane, that’s fine. If I saw that exchange happening in front of me, I’d probably shrug, think that they’re a bit of an a**hole, but a low-stakes one who isn’t out to ruin anybody’s life.” – illmindedjunkie
“It would have taken you seconds to do this small kindness for someone and would have cost you nothing.”
“YTA, and also mean.” – The_Blonde1
“I’m going with YTA. I think it’s actually reasonable to be upset over someone denying you a simple quick costless favor.”
“OP didn’t explain what ‘not taking no for an answer’ means in this context, so I assume it was just a basic, ‘Really, dude? It won’t take long,’ sort of exchange.”
“If the passenger was getting red in the face and being aggressive about it, I think OP would have mentioned that.”
“As others have said, this is hardly different from asking someone what time it is. It’s incredibly rude to not answer. OP has hours on his flight to d**k around with the WiFi and couldn’t spare 10 seconds.” – NewbGingrich1
“He is not entitled to your wi-fi or for favors from you. And not taking no for an answer is not okay.”
“But you’re an AH. You could have done a literally 5-second favor for someone. You just wanted to be spiteful that you paid $9 for 3 hours and he didn’t. $0.05/min. It would have been about $0.01 to you to look it up.”
“It’s not like you didn’t want to see other scores or something accidentally, you just didn’t want to be nice for something so absolutely minimal to you, but meaningful to him.” – Usrname52
While the subReddit could understand the annoyance of being interrupted by a fellow passenger on a flight, they were divided on how they personally would handle the situation.
Some thought it was a simple enough request and a kindness they could show to another passenger, while others thought it was too much of an invitation into further conversation, leading them to want to decline.