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Obese Woman Refuses To Give Up Extra Seat She Purchased On Plane So Couple Can Sit Together

Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Redditor Tessy23 is an obese woman who purchases two airplane seats for herself when she travels alone.

She does this for her own comfort as well as to avoid imposing on other passengers.

On a recent flight, she experienced exactly the kind of scenario she had hoped to avoid as a lone passenger.

The negative reaction she received after bringing up the inconvenient issue to a flight attendant led her to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, where she asked:

“AITA for not giving up my second “free” seat next to me in the plane?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I am obese. Like I am comfortable having two seats in the plane type of obese. I am well aware of that and I really don’t like to bother people with my weight.”

“A week ago I was going to a conference by plane and because I was going alone (usually when I fly with my boyfriend I don’t buy two since he sits next to me) I bought two seats.”

“I fit in one but my side is usually touching the person next to me and I feel uncomfortable for them. It happened to me that they gave me nasty looks and I felt extremely uncomfortable the whole flight.”

“So I sat down in the plane and put the armrest up so I would be really comfortable. Some couple came and they both sat next to me because they got separate seats and they noticed the seat next to me was empty. Exactly what I was afraid of happened.”

“My side kept touching the guy next to me and he even pushed me a bit when he moved in the seat. I was feeling extremely uncomfortable and asked him if he could go to his seat because I bought this one for my comfort.”

“He told me no, since the seat is empty and he wants to be with his girlfriend. Well, I told him I understand but I feel uncomfortable and I paid for the second seat so exactly this doesn’t happen.”

“He refused again and started to chat with his GF. I called the flight attendant and quietly told her what is happening.”

“She asked the guy to leave my second seat and he and his GF gave me a nasty look. The GF mumbled something like ‘F’king fat bitch’ under her breath but nothing directly to me.”

“So Am I the a**hole for insisting on him to leave?”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

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

Many Redditors thought the OP was entitled to the seat she purchased for herself, and therefore, was not the a**hole here.

“NTA- Former flight attendant. It’s your seat. You paid for it.”

“If that (classless) couple wanted to sit together that badly, they should have paid for seats together.” – MolassesFragrant342

“I’m confused on why the gf didn’t just move. Id imagine whoever was next to bf would have been interested in a seat with no one next to them.” – future_nurse19

“NTA. It doesn’t matter why you purchased that seat. You could have bought it for the spirits of your ancestors so they could guide you safely to your destination and it would have been no one’s business but yours. Sorry this happened.” – AlternativeFox4627

“NTA. They tried to take something you paid for and then were rude to you. It’s a bit shocking, really, considering the number of people who comment on social media that larger people should have to buy two seats.”

“Please don’t feel bad about yourself because they chose to be horrid and entitled.” – 31anon5

“NTA: you paid for that seat, it’s your seat and frankly airplane seats are too small. I was on a flight last week, I bought it last minute and ended up with a center seat in the ‘basic’ cabin, the cheap seats on United flights ( at least on this plane ) don’t have movable arm rests, my hips hit both armrests( read walls), it was very uncomfortable.”

“I wear a women’s 10/12, after that experience I will always buy 2 seats if I’m in the back or at least never settle for less than business class.” – DishsUp

“Do you see how many of us are rallying to say you should not feel shame? Of course it’s not that easy for you to believe it, any more than it’s easy for you to think yourself thin. But it’s still true.”

“I track my calories very carefully, and I eat around 1800 calories a day. I don’t drink soda or any sweetened beverages, and I only drink alcohol at holiday parties.”

“I am extremely active – I ride a bike for 15-20 miles or I hike for 5-10 every weekend, and I move as much as I can with a desk job, making sure I get my 10K steps every day.”

“I’m awesome, right? Nothing to be ashamed of? I’m still borderline obese, and if I’m in a middle seat, some part of me is touching someone else.”

“Maybe you and I are just people, and maybe this is just what we’re shaped like. As long as we can do the things we want to do, maybe we’re okay.” – OneCraftyBird

“NTA . You did exactly what people scream at fat people to do and still got abuse hurled at you. The fact they didn’t even ask is odd.” – hexgirlthorn

“NTA. You PAID for two seats. They were being entitled AHs for not even asking permission.”

“For you for the future, there is NOTHING wrong with informing people who try to sit in your PAID FOR 2nd seat that it IS your seat even if it’s currently empty and they need to sit in their assigned seats or ask someone else to switch.”

“Or they could PAY for assigned seats next to each other in the future. If you don’t pay for seat assignment, you don’t get to complain about not sitting next to each other or bully someone else for their seat.” – jaelythe4781

“NTA. I had to fly in December and at the time I had a painful ankle injury that required the use of crutches/assistance.”

“My husband and I got a message on our Delta app saying that our seats had changed last minute, which ended up separating us.”

“It stressed me out because of my extreme motion sickness and because I knew I would possibly make the new person next to me uncomfortable with my ankle injury pains.”

“When we went to ask about moving our seats the flight attendant immediately said that they changed it back once they saw that we were separated.”

“Long story short, if they wanted to sit together they could have figured that out before the flight.” – Korynna

“NTA. You PAID for the seat, that means it’s your seat. What you do with that seat is your choice.”

“If some a**hole wants to invade your space, space that YOU PAID FOR, because he was too cheap to pay for that space himself? F’k him.”

“That’s rude and disrespectful and an a**hole move on his part.” – thetwitchy1

“NTA. This is one of those times when I hope the people are on Reddit, or that this gets picked up by some article.”

“How rude can they have been? And do they NEED to be with each other every second?”

“Planes are so loud it’s tough to really have much of a conversation anyway.”

“Any time I’ve flown with someone else, we always wind up putting in separate headphones and using hand signals to communicate…if someone has asked us to split up for some reason, we would have easily survived for a couple of hours <huge eye roll>.”

“What an entitled couple! I’m sorry this happened to you OP 💜.” – yarnhooker99

“NTA. You PAID for the seat. You’re a lot nicer than I am.”

“I DO NOT switch seats on the plane. I specifically select flights with ample aisle seats so I choose one.”

“I would only switch for a child or someone elderly who needs to be seated with someone. NEVER for a stupid couple who can’t sit apart for a couple of hours.”

“Why did you let him sit there in the first place? I would have said immediately that I paid for 2 seats and if they argued I would have called the flight attendant even before he sat his dumba** down.” – Pugs_and_Drugs4Eva

“Hold on. Some one TOOK a seat you paid for and then got sh*tty with you about it?”

“No you are most definitely NTA.”

“In fact, well done for insisting they leave.” – Big_Accountant6759

“The self entitlement of some people is alarming. You’re definitely NTA.”

“You paid for something and have every right to use it how you see fit.” – everyonesmellmymeat

The OP did mention a positive interaction with a member of the flight staff.

“I must point out the flight attendant was absolute sweetheart! Very kind and understanding 🙂 She was also giving me the belt extension and when I apologized to her, she told me not to worry about it and it was overall very pleasant situation to talk to her.”

People were pleased the OP’s experience with the airline was satisfactory.

“I’m glad to hear it your interaction with the flight attendant was good.”

“I’m a plus size flight attendant. I understand this situation from both sides of the aisle. I just want you to know you were completely in the right.”

“I also appreciate you purchasing a second seat for your comfort. For all intents and purposes they were stealing from you.”

“Usually we have people in middle seats trying to get out of it and not vice versa. It’s truly horrible to have to try and rearrange folks once they’re onboard or to ask for a note in a reservation.” – JulieSnaps

“You were polite and nice through the interaction according to what you’ve written. Any service industry employee would much rather deal with you and the seats you paid for than with 90% of the other people they have to see every day.”

“NTA. You paid money for that seat, it’s your seat, that couple can get bent.” – Darphon

“I commend you for one, buying this extra seat, but also for standing up for yourself about it. Even if you weren’t obese and bought the extra seat because you didn’t want someone nearby, you’re well within your rights to have that extra seat.”

“If he wanted to be with her that bad, they should have planned accordingly.” – Accomplished_Locker

“NTA. If it happens again, don’t let them sit down. Block the extra seat and state immediately, ‘I paid for two seats. This one is not available’.” – NoxWild

“NTA. You paid for that seat fair and square. It doesn’t matter why – you have your reasons, but it’s none of his business. You are entitled to what you paid for.”

“You respectfully told him that you purchased two seats and he chose to be a total asshole. I’m so sorry this happened to you – it’s totally unfair that people feel they can treat others like this.” – Candid-Square-8889

“NTA Your second seat was not ‘free’ you paid for it, it’s condition (ie empty) doesn’t change that.”

“If I go to a car lot and buy a car, no one else gets to drive it off the lot (even if I can’t for some reason) unless I say ok. You were in the same situation, you bought a seat, no one else gets to sit in it w/o your permission.”

“These were just some AH that tried to get something they couldn’t otherwise (assuming getting adjoining seats was more expensive or unavailable due to last minute booking, or just pure laziness) & when they got called on their BS they lashed out.”

“You did nothing wrong, don’t let the AH make you question yourself & keep being the wonderful person you are Queen.” – Far-Profit-3430

“NTA. I have been in your situation before with the extra seat. My flight had been over sold and they tried to put someone in my extra seat.”

“No way. They tried, they failed. Next time break out your camera and video tape the ignorance. Send it viral when you land.”

“It’s not ok to treat someone like this only because they are big. You paid for the seat, you own the seat. Done!”

“And the girlfriend can kiss my fat a** too.”

“People, no matter their size, color, creed etc… all have these things called feelings as well as the right to be treated right and not have to deal with such ignorant people.” – lynnharris3321

Overall, Redditors assured the OP she was not in the wrong by standing her ground, especially since she was the one who paid for the extra seat.

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