Redditor Called Out For Refusing To Give Up Exit Row Seat To Taller Passenger On International Flight

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Flying can feel like a nightmare. Between confusing gates, security checkpoints, and checked bag limits, is there anything that goes right?

On top of that, once you’re on the plane itself, it can be difficult to get comfortable. Redditor Sazcrack thought of that and decided to plan ahead and get a seat with a little more space for their legs.

However, someone taller than him wanted to switch seats, especially since they felt they need the leg room more. The original poster (OP) refused since they paid extra to get their seat.

Does that make OP a jerk? Should they have switched seats?

To find out they decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about the situation.

And OP is insistent that they did nothing wrong.

“AITA for not giving up my exit row seat to a taller person”

But there’s always that doubt.

“This happened on my recent flight back from Greece and I may honestly be the AH in this situation so decided to post here.”

“I’m not a particularly tall person, I stand at around 5’9 but still find it uncomfortable sitting on planes due to the quite often extremely restricted leg room. For this reason I always decide to pay extra to ensure I get the exit row seat and the extra legroom.”

“Once I got comfortable and had shut my eyes with my earphones in I am tapped on the shoulder by a man I would say to be around 6’2. He asked if I would switch seats with him as I dont need the extra legroom as much as him.”

“I explained that I paid extra for this seat and therefore am not willing to move. He scoffs at me and goes to get a flight attendant.”

“Now this is where I could potentially be an AH, the flight attendant asks again if I’m willing to move, when I say no again she explains that she will be able to put a request in to refund the additional amount I paid.”

“I denied once more and explained that if he wanted the extra room so badly he should have paid in the first place, plus he is at max only 4 inches taller than me.”

“He kicks off and calls me an entitled AH, which I thought was rather ironic, but anyway…was I the AH in this situation?”

OP has on their side that they paid extra for the seat and the other passenger is being a jerk by insisting they switch. But the other passenger doesn’t think OP needs all the extra leg room, and they do.

The flight attendant is getting in the way, asking OP to switch, and even offering some kind of refund or reimbursement. But OP still said they refused to switch.

Is it OP’s fault to refuse to switch?

On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for refusing to switch seats with someone taller than them by including one of the following in their response:

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

OP had planned ahead and paid extra for their seat. Despite the offer to have that extra amount reimbursed, OP paying ahead shows they also feel they need the extra space.

By contrast, the other passenger just hoped that someone else would switch with them. Even if they’re someone who couldn’t afford the extra seat, the size difference isn’t much, so why do they deserve it over the other passenger.

OP could have been nice and switched, and the other passenger could have stopped asking after the first refusal. The situation would have passed with no one considering it beyond a weird story.

As it is, OP was NTA for refusing to switch.

“NTA, people need to remember that while it’s okay to ask, you need to be prepared for others to say no.”

“Also, the flight attendant should not be pressuring you. Complain to the airline.” – Ok_Two_8173

“I agree NTA, but I don’t think the attendant did anything wrong. She offered a refund and was trying to mediate a dispute, which is kinda her job” – Divine_ruler

“I wouldn’t trust a refund from an airline unless it was in cash. We paid Delta extra so we could have our seats together, which they did NOT honor.”

“The desk told us to pound sand, and their ‘refund’ was an Amazon gift card for less than the amount it cost for us to try to reserve two seats together!”

“I wouldn’t trust an attendant telling me I would get a refund later. That is way too distant.” – byneothername

“NTA. You’re spot-on, you paid extra for this very reason. He wasn’t an asshole to ask, you weren’t an asshole to say no.”

“He became an asshole he tried to bully and intimidate you with a flight attendant, and then started insulting you.” – TriZARAtops

“NTA- You paid extra. Screw the refund, if you had been willing to take that trade to begin with, you wouldn’t have made the extra purchase.”

“That is not an offer.”

“Also, what is there exactly one exit row seat? Why not hit up someone more ‘agreeable’ if OP is the AH.”

“Frankly, I’d complain to the airline that sold you the upgrade- why do you sell this if all you’re going to do is authorize your flight attendants to harrass me if I don’t give it back?” – chuckinhoutex

“In my opinion the flight attendant shouldn’t have asked either. One of the points of there being assigned seats is so that if there’s a crash they’d have some way of identifying bodies in seats from the flight manifest.”

“NTA, the dude knew his own height before booking the flight – he was just being cheap to not book ahead for his own comfort.” – JBB2002902

Discomfort while flying is a very common experience. Modern planes don’t seem to have the same comfort as some other kinds of transportation.

This led to a lot of stories of people’s own experience with flying.

“NTA – I’m also 6’2” and the extra room is nice, but not necessary. If this was a transatlantic flight there was definitely no need for him to complain because the planes are larger and have more room.”

“I’ve flown countless transatlantic flights and never found room to be an issue in any of the seats but did have a preference.”

“During one flight from Chicago to Dublin I could hear an Irish woman in the seat ahead of me bitching about the room incessantly to her friends throughout flight.”

“When it was time to deplane I stood up for the first time and she was just saying to her friends, ‘I’m not making this flight again unless it is first class and I have room to move’. She stood up (all 5’2” of her) looks to me and the said to her friends, ‘This guy know what I’m talking about!’”

“I replied, ‘I’m 6’2” and had plenty of room to straighten my legs out under the seat, I have no idea what you are complaining about’ Her friends were howling and laughing at her the rest of the way off of the plane.”

“Apparently I wasn’t the only one tired of hearing her moaning.” – RGeronimoH

“You’ve never flown Virgin Atlantic, have you?”

“We flew regular economy from Atlanta to Manchester in the UK, and my poor husband (who is right at 6’0) was literally jammed up against the seat in front of him.”

“It did not help at all that the person in front promptly put their seat back, putting him in pain for hours. And my husband, being my husband, didn’t say anything.”

“After that, we always paid for the extra legroom seats on our Virgin flights so he has enough legroom. Meanwhile, I feel comedically short with the extra legroom since I’m 5’4.” – savvyliterate

“6’6″ and have flown Virgin Atlantic within the last 5 years, can’t recall exactly when. I paid for extra legroom on a 12 hour flight and thoroughly regretted it.”

“They make those seats more narrow which is just dumb. I’m proportionally wider, not fat, very average weight and it was much more painful than having my knees crushed like usual.”

“I was moved to a normal seat and it was way better, felt like such a waste of money.” – muddytodd

“I’m 5’3 and wouldn’t give up the seat I had paid extra for. You’re definitely NTA. Surely you weren’t the only person in the exit row, so why was this guy so mad at you?”

“My partner is 6’3 and booking extra leg room is the first thing he does on any flight he books. If you’re tall you should be planning ahead, not blaming other people for your failure to pay for leg room” – SmallnSassy01

OP can rest easy knowing that they weren’t a jerk for refusing to switch. The flight attendant shouldn’t have even asked, to be honest.

That said, the other passenger tried asking and should have stopped at that point. Pushing more, just makes other people uncomfortable.

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.