Flying comes with all sorts of challenges, particularly in the midst of the pandemic.
Among the more annoying obstacles could be the passenger sitting next to you.
Indeed, no matter the length of the flight, should you find yourself next to a loud, rude, or inconsiderate next-seat passenger, the flight is guaranteed to feel even longer than it already is.
Redditor llf*ckineatyoutoo was already less than pleased to discover that they would be sharing their row with a child, but became even more agitated when the child’s parents attempted to mandate what they could and couldn’t do during the flight.
Their overbearing nature quickly led the original poster (OP) to lose their temper.
But worried they overreacted, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling a family to fly private?”
The OP first explained that their already lengthy flight from New York to Los Angeles did not get off to the best start owing both to a pre-existing medical condition, as well as the fellow travelers with which they’d be sharing a row.
“I was recently flying from NYC to LAX for a work trip and I had the displeasure of sitting next to a family and a little boy (9).”
“I got on the plane in the midst of issues with my diabetes and I needed to eat within two hours so I began snacking.”
“I immediately began receiving dirty looks from the parents and the mother said ‘can you not do that? Our son’.”
“So I put my food away and figured I’d wait until the flight attendant came around so I could buy food from her and eat at an acceptable time just to show some respect for their wishes.”
However, the OP soon learned that his row neighbors weren’t going to tolerate his eating for the duration of the flight, something the OP was less than inclined to appease them.
“So the flight attendant comes by with her beverages and snacks, I start to ask for a Coke and a snack box, but before I can finish the sentence the father says ‘nothing for this row, we’re all set here’ and she continues on.”
“I go up to press the call light so I can get my food and my drink because I actually need it and the father says ‘our son has prader-willi, we’d prefer it if you didn’t eat because it causes tantrums when he doesn’t know he can’t eat and he’s always hungry’. “
“I’m close to a tantrum myself at this point and so I look him in the eye and say ‘I do not care, fly private if you want to control your surroundings’.”
“The flight attendant comes back and I get my food and my drink, I snarf it down and chug my soda, and I sit back.”
“As soon as I’m calmed and I’m able to open my laptop and get back to work the mother leans in and says ‘I feel a calling to educate you about my son’s disease’ and I felt my entire body clench up.”
“She keeps talking to me and explaining how I’d made her son feel and I said ‘listen lady, I don’t f*cking care, I’m going to handle my T1D the way I see fit and you’re going to handle your son the way you see fit’.”
“I’m not endangering myself because you don’t want to deal with a tantrum, if you want to control other people then you book all the seats in a row or you f*cking fly private’.”
“I recounted the story to a friend of mine once I’d gotten off the plane and she immediately told me that I was a huge AH and I should’ve given them a little bit of grace due to their son’s condition.”
“I kind of feel bad but at the same time, I think that it’s unavoidable if you’re going into public and you’re around others.”
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 Reddit community sympathized with the OP, and agreed they were not the a**hole for losing their temper with their fellow passengers.
Just about everyone agreed with the OP that the family was out of line trying to control what fellow passengers could and couldn’t do, and that they were insensitive or oblivious to the fact that the OP had a medical condition of his own.
“You are 100% correct, if they wanted to control their surrounds, they should have booked the whole row and or flown privately.”
“To expect you to not eat, regardless of your health, was ridiculous.”
“It was rude for the dad to speak on your behalf.”- The_Fires_Of_Orc.
“Do they expect people to stop eating as they walk past a restaurant?”
“Picnics to stop in the park?”
“They can’t continually control his surroundings.”
“Plus the problem isn’t people eating near him, it’s him not understanding what’s going on.”
“The parents need to explain to him what’s going on, not explain medical things to strangers.”
“If they want to completely control their surroundings then yeah they can fly private or maybe a nighttime flight so they can sleep instead.”- SunsetSunnyD.
“Are you supposed to slip into a coma to accommodate their medical issue?”- dwells2301.
“Even if you didn’t have diabetes.”
“People don’t get to come into public space and dictate anyone else’s acceptable behavior.”-Substantial-Many-865.
“If you know your kid is going to have issues you plan for them.”
“Most Prader-Willi kids are on a strict diet but the parents could have scheduled the snack for the airplane ride, their poor planning was not your responsibility.”- Affectionate_Ice_658.
“I feel for the family because I’m sure it’s a very difficult condition to manage and causes a great deal of stress.”
“But their solution to try and manage it is not a great one.”
‘You cannot control when other people, especially strangers, decide to eat.”
“One reason being that many people, yourself included, have their own medical conditions to manage and will have needs that are incompatible with theirs.”-CrimsonPorpoise.
“How f*cking entitled.”
“YOU ALSO HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION, and yours could have been immediately life-threatening.”
“You should have continued eating the first time, and just said ‘I have T1D and this food is a medical necessity for me’.”
“Your family’s health issues are not my problem, my immediate concern is making sure I don’t end up in diabetic shock’.”
“Those parents were lucky, they could’ve gotten me.”- No-Razzmatazz537.
“They cannot take a public flight, and expect those around them to not eat or drink so that their son doesn’t have a tantrum.”- Talathia.
“They didn’t even bother asking if you are okay with it, they just assumed you have to be.”
“Not to mention you were in danger due to your diabetes too.”- ZerafineNigou.
“NTA at all and I’m glad you stuck up for yourself.”-SimplySam4210.
“The only reasonable accommodation you can ask for from a fellow passenger is if you have a severe allergy then please don’t eat that food next to me.”
“Can you imagine if he was lactose intolerant and they told everyone in his life not to consume diary products around him because he feels bad?”-ConcentrateRegular79.
“If I were them, I would have had some sort of privacy screen or something to put up so the kid couldn’t see people eating.”
“Asking you to wait for them to put it up, acceptable.”
“Telling you to endanger yourself and not eat, AH behavior.”- Rastavaray.
“I’m finding this one hard to believe.”
“Families with kids with PWS live and breathe control over food access.”
“Meals and snacks happen at set times and places.”
“There are locks on cabinets and refrigerators.”
“They are not worried about ‘tantrums’.”
“They are worried that either their child will eat himself to death or that he will suffer extreme emotional stress from observing food he can’t have while everything in his body is signaling to him that he’s starving.”
“For a family like this to stroll onto a plane with no plan beyond bullying their seat-mate out of eating is pretty preposterous.”
“Of course, ridiculous people exist.”
“But even if the parents were such people, nobody thought of the obvious solution of switching seats?”
“Out of a plane full of people, I’m sure there were at least a few who would be willing to go hungry or switch seats when eating, or whatever it takes to make a food-free bubble around the kid.”
“Instead of putting the onus on others to avoid triggering a tantrum they need to focus on strategies to help their son manage his emotions when he is feeling frustrated about being unable to eat.”-tpel1tuvok.
Considering that both the OP and the young boy had medical issues, it’s pretty surprising that the family was as unsympathetic as they were.
Which isn’t to say that said family didn’t already have a lot to deal with on their journey.
Even so, one hopes they plan a little more carefully on future trips.