Traveling can induce all sorts of stress.
Some people are deathly scared of flying, and have to get themselves in a good headspace before take off.
While parents traveling with small children have the added worry of how they’ll behave on the flight.
Other’s have accessibility issues, often making the relatively simple act of taking their seat a somewhat humiliating experience.
While traveling on a business trip, Redditor BlackMarketPencil found one of his flights delayed owing to a fellow passengers mobility issues, resulting in him making a snide remark under his breath.
Unbeknownst to the original poster (OP), however, the passenger and her husband heard what he said, and later confronted him on the plane.
Wondering if his behavior was indeed. out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for referring to an obese woman’s efforts to get on a plane as theatrics?”
The OP shared how his business trip faced an immediate complication owing to tight connections.
“I (27 M[ale]) and my coworker(29 F[emale]) are on a business trip to a conference in San Diego.”
“We got terrible flights and have 3 layovers until we can get to our destination.”
“For our flight to San Diego, we only had about 30 minutes after the scheduled arrival time of our previous flight to get to the next flight or we’d miss it and be stuck in another state overnight.”
“Luckily, we got there on time and had very little time to spare.”
However, the OP’s flight faced yet another hurdle, this time, at least according to the OP, owing to a single passenger.
“We’re waiting to board, and I give up my business class seat to my coworker.”
“They start calling people up.”
“When they call up physically impaired, I see a woman who had to have been 500+ pounds and on a scooter.”
“She goes on and then we wait for about 30 minutes.”
“Everyone is confused and then the steward announces that a passenger is having some trouble getting on and they’ll continue boarding shortly.”
“I get upset.”
“We’re likely going to miss our flight and we’ll be stuck in f*cking Texas.”
“A few minutes later I see the woman on the scooter and her husband coming back down and she is sobbing.”
“I immediately realize what happened, and turned to my coworker and said, ‘Oh my f*cking god we’re going to be the late cause of her’.”
“I didn’t know this but she heard me.”
“We continued boarding, my coworker goes on, then in the middle of the following group, she scoots back up.”
“She says something and in the middle of the next class, they pause and let her go on again.”
“It takes another 20 minutes.”
“Now we’re an hour delayed for one woman.”
When the OP finally made it on the plane, he once again found himself in another bit of bad luck upon discovering his seating assignment.
“When I finally get on the plane, guess what?”
“I sit behind the woman and her husband.”
“When I get settled, he immediately starts an argument.”
“He says he heard me and that I’m an a**hole and a piece of sh*t and all that.”
“And I apologize, however, I do clarify that her theatrics did delay the flight and all I did was make a comment about it to our coworker.”
“She starts crying again and he loses his sh*t and starts going off on me.”
“The flight attendant comes over and tells him to stop and he requests I’m moved.”
‘So I do, to a worse seat.”
“When my coworker handled the crisis and found a hotel, I explained to her the incident and she tells me that I was being a douche and that my apology was insincere.”
“I feel I did nothing wrong.”
“All I did was speak to my travel partner about our situation and they overheard.”
“I didn’t even say anything mean about her and her husband decided to be an a**hole to me.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The OP found little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, with the majority of people finding him to be the a**hole for his behavior.
Many felt that the OP was being incredibly insensitive to his fellow passenger, and shouldn’t have made his remarks, whether or not he thought she could hear him.
“oh my G-d you are such an ah.”
“Firstly, nothing you described sounds like theatrics.”
“Sounds like a woman who has mobility issues needed help with boarding and the crew were handling it.”
“Second, you made a gross comment loud enough for her husband, and probably a lot of other people including her to hear clearly.”
“It is difficult enough for people who are at that level of obesity and diminished mobility to go around without adding on obnoxious pricks like yourself thinking that just because your fart of a brain wanted to make an offensive noise that your mouth should open wide and spread its noxious gas to the rest of the world.”
And omg, I forgot the cherry on top. “
“You f*cking doubled down on insulting this woman TO. HER. FACE.”
“Until she was in tears.”
“What the hell is wrong with you.”- snarkisms
“‘Theatrical’ implies acted, fake, overblown, not a real problem.”
“Basically you were angry that this woman has a disability, and implied that it was being acted or exaggerated and there was no cause for any delay.”-thirdtryisthecharm
“YTA for all the reasons others have already mentioned, but to highlight one I haven’t seen, you’re TA for scheduling flights with only a 30 minute layover.”
“I mean, come the f*ck on, with the American air travel system?’
“The chances you were ever going to make that were like 1%.”
‘You were TA for going looking for people to blame when you should have been accepting responsibility for your own poor planning.”
‘Or, alternatively, cursing the airlines for their generally terrible service would also have been acceptable.”
“Plenty of real villains here, and none of them were the woman you twice reduced to tears.”-Jaded_Lab_1539.
Some, however, understood the OP’s frustrations, even if they didn’t feel he behaved appropriately.
“I’m gonna go with ESH.”
“You shouldn’t have made those comments, but at the same time she was delaying the flight for everyone and likely knew that there would be challenges for her, especially considering she’s in a scooter.”
“When you’re that weight you have to accept that you simply cannot do some things the same as others without doing something to change it.”
“Nobody gets to be a size where they cannot walk from genetics so the delay is entirely her fault.”
“HOWEVER you should have just kept your mouth shut and not made those comments to her.”-Appropriate_Type6153
While others thought the OP did nothing wrong, as he was only erring his frustrations, and felt it was the passenger’s husband who really caused the conflict.
“She’s too overweight to fly and everyone else is paying for it.”
“Even if she booked an entire row of seats for herself or one of those huge sleep pods in 1st class, she still can’t fit through the narrow aisles or use the bathroom or move around at all.”
“I’ve had to fly with wheelchair assistance before because of back injury and I’ve never delayed People boarding by more than a minute or two if that.”
“I just board in the ‘extra time’ needed boarding with moms and babies and elderly people and also I’ve never seen any of these ppl delay boarding by more than a minute.”
“That lady is really too overweight to fly if she delays a flight by a full hour to board.”
“If she wants to spy on private conversations not meant for her ears and have her feelings hurt she brought it on herself.”
“She can’t expect to delay an entire plane full of people, causing many to miss connections or be late for events they have scheduled and have people not think poorly of her.”
“If someone like this caused me to be stranded overnight in a city I didn’t want to be in, I would have been a lot ruder about it than you were.”
“You were perfectly polite despite being inconvenienced and it’s her husband that decided to pick a fight.”-Major-Drag-4457
“Her bullsh*t did take up time.”
“My sister is “heavier than normal” to be polite.”
“We WARN PEOPLE before our arrival as it will take more time.”
“We don’t just show up and delay others with our BS.”
“She knew where she would fit or didn’t care about checking.”
“I’ve had multiple family members not fit in a seat.”
“We called them out for not checking.”
“CHECK YOUR SEATS AND MAKE SURE YOU FIT IM OVERLY THIN AND I NEED TO CHECK TOO.”- Bens_den_of_thoughts
Air travel is almost always guaranteed to bring on at least a small amount of frustrations.
So it’s somewhat understandable that the OP gradually lost control of his emotions.
But even if it wasn’t meant to be heard, the OP could have been more sensitive to his fellow passenger, who has to endure this humiliation on a fairly regular basis.
Here’s hoping he might be a little more sensitive on his next trip.