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Mom Traveling With Baby Refuses To Be Shamed By Seatmate On Flight After Taking Open Seats

Mother holding a baby at the airport

Traveling on a plane with a child comes with many challenges and can be very stressful for the parent and fellow passengers.

Fortunately, a woman traveling with her infant child was presented with an opportunity to make herself feel more comfortable.

However, when the option led to drama, she sought judgment on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Aggravating-Worth643 asked:

“AITA for refusing to go back to my originaly assigned seat on the plane?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I (31 F[female]) was traveling today with my 19 months old son on a plane on a 3 hour flight. My son, being under two, has to sit on my lap.”

“I also had a big backpack with all the necessities that I keep on the floor and easily accessible. It can get crowded fast, but it’s just how it is when you travel alone with a young child.”

“I got assigned a random seat (12C) at check in, and ended up being in a row with no other empty seat. Although I appreciate it when there is an empty seat next to me as it greatly improves our flight experience, It’s not an expectation I have and I never ask for it at check up.”

“Once the boarding was completed but before takeoff, a flight attendant came to me and offered to move us three rows up (9C) because there were two seats available and that they usually try to accommodate people with young infants.”

“I was delighted and accepted right away. The flight attendant helped me move my things and explained the situation to the other passenger on row 9.”

What happened next indicated the flight wasn’t necessarily going to be a smooth one.

“The passenger did not appreciated it at all, she started complaining to the flight attendant that she was planning to sleep on the flight, and that it would be impossible now. She specifically chose this seat while checking online because the row was empty, and it’s gonna be a nightmare now.”

“The flight attendant simply explained that both my seats (old and new) are Standard, that the women only paid for her own seat and that their policy is trying to accommodate young parents if possible.”

The OP continued:

“The woman then told me that I should be ashamed to impose all this noise on people who are just trying to enjoy their flight. Especially since it wasn’t even my seat, and I didn’t even pay for it.”

“Honestly, I’m really not good with confrontation; I usually end up either crying or apologizing, so I just ignored her all the way, as if she didn’t speak at all. That got her even more angry, but she finally stopped complaining after a while.”

“My son ended up crying only once, I got some stinky eye and some other rude comments but all in all, the flight was way more comfortable for us this way, so I don’t really regret switching seats.”

“But I do wonder if I’m the AH; it’s true that I didn’t pay for that seat and that it wasn’t my originally assigned seat.”

“AITA here?”

The OP shared updates “to address some recurring themes.”

“The bag can fit under the seat; it was there during take-off and landing. It was on the floor the rest of the time for easy access. I was allowed to do that the same way other passengers are allowed put our their laptops.”

“My son was on my lap the whole flight (as per the Flight Attendant’s demand); the extra seat was just extra space to feel less crowded and not bump elbows.”

“I’m overweight yes, but not extremely so.”

“I’m from Europe. My son HAS to be in my lap. The flight attendant insisted on it when she offered me to switch seats. We aren’t allowed to bring car seats with us; they go with luggage.”

“I can’t afford to buy an extra seat just to have more space, as my son isn’t allowed to sit there yet.”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole (NTA) here.

“NTA, you paid for a seat, the airline accommodated you and explained to the other passenger. The other passenger paid for her seat only, not the entire row.”

“Sounds like other passenger was an unpleasant person, which isn’t your fault. If another mother with a young child did pay for the seats near her, I’d almost guarantee she would have complained still.” – Unfair_Rain

“Also, if the other passenger really didn’t want to be near a baby, she could’ve asked to go to OP’s original seat. Parents travel too, and no one can expect a child free ride on public transport.” – thecarpetbug

“The part that got me was the other passenger saying how people are just trying to enjoy their flight. Who in the world gets on a commercial airline to enjoy the flight….”

“We do it because we have to get somewhere. If you wanna ‘enjoy’ your flight, then buy a 1st class ticket or a private jet. Insane.” – SlipperCactuses

“I agree with you. If the person wanted to enjoy the flight she should have booked a first class ticket, insted of b*tching about having a baby on her side (when it turns out that the baby only cried once).” – Same_Average_1156

“Absolutely. If she had paid for all three seats it would be different, but she had no right to those seats. I can understand her choosing that particular seat because at the time of booking that row was empty, but there was no guarantee those seats would remain free.”

“What a sourpuss.” – BaitedBreaths

“I think my favorite part is how she continually shames OP for taking the seat for free when A) she planned on taking BOTH seats for free and B) she intended to use them all for herself and not a toddler that would have otherwise been on a lap where C) had the toddler BEEN on Mom’s lap they most likely would have cried MORE OFTEN, and no way would row 9 not be hearing a baby in row 12.”

“Soooo honestly this woman was unlikely to sleep at all either way 🙄” – ScrevyRevington

‘That she specifically chose this seat while checking online because the row was empty’

“Unless she paid for the entire row (is that even allowed?), she had no reason to believe that it would remain empty after she bought her ticket.”

“I also choose seats in otherwise empty rows when buying train tickets, and although it usually works out in my favour and i get the whole row to myself (because i purposely go for the unpopular train that rarely gets booked at more than like 50% of its capacity).”

“If one day I ended up having to share that row with a stranger, I definitely wouldn’t complain out loud because, well, it was never a guarantee that I wouldn’t have to sit next to someone. That’s why it’s called public transportation.”

“NTA.” – Visible-Steak-7492

“NTA – the other woman was never guaranteed those 2 seats would stay empty; they were just empty at the time of her booking.” – aspare112

“Ex-flight attendant here – NTA.”

“You were asked if you would like to move by THE CREW so it’s perfectly fine.”

“The other woman was b*tching because she thought she was going to get three seats and could lie down on all of them. Ironically, she was complaining about not getting two seats she didn’t pay for. She’s the AH.” – SteelBandicoot

“NTA – I would have had the exact same inner monologue as that woman tbh, but you don’t get to say it out loud. I get her disappointment but that’s just the joy of economy air travel.” – LavenderLightning24

“NTA. You didn’t ask for the seat. It was offered to you. And as the flight attendant said, the other passenger only paid for one seat.” – Dismal-Perception-56

“NTA and I hope this person has a whole run of absolutely horrible flights in the future. If you want three seats, you should pay for three seats. There are no guarantees of comfort on a flight unless you are wealthy and it is the flights call to move around seats or make things as pleasant for everyone as possible.” – 66picklz666

“NTA. You did nothing wrong, the stewardess offered you the seat, it is not like you demanded it or acted like you were entitled to it. The other woman, on the other hand, acted like an entitled lout.”

“If she wanted to take up the whole row of seats, then she should have purchased three tickets for herself. So I am glad she was all bitter and angry the whole flight. She can kiss MY a$$ 🤣” – ExtremeJujoo

Overall, Redditors found that the OP did nothing wrong by accepting the unsolicited advantage that would make her life easier during the flight.

They also argued that the fellow passenger was unreasonably upset, especially since she booked her flight without the expectation that she would have a row to herself anyway.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo