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Redditor Balks After They’re Called Out For Eating Airplane Meal Before Other Passengers Were Served

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Commercial plane flights are places where all sorts of etiquette we normally don’t consider can come into play, and also where all sorts of every day ways of doing things necessarily get thrown out the window.

A person on Reddit recently experienced this weird dichotomy on an overseas flight when she angered another passenger for eating her special kosher meal before everyone else on the plane was served.

She wasn’t sure about whether or not she’d done anything wrong, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by the username throwaway373039 on the account, asked:

“AITA for eating before everyone else was served?”

They explained:

“This happed a few days ago, but I’ve been thinking about it on and off since it happened. I could use some clarity about the situation, because I’m worried I really strapped in it.”

“About a week ago I traveled overseas for my sister’s yahrzeit. Normally I get the vegetarian but I noticed this for this flight the kosher option was free. I ordered it and thought nothing of it.”

“However, when it came time to eat during the flight, my meal came out well before everybody else. It was a hot dish so I opened it and started eating. The women next to me said, basically, ‘Where are your manners? No one else has been served.'”

“Honestly I was so surprised, I didn’t say anything. I just ate my meal in silence. I ate the whole thing and not one other person in my section had food.”

“It was quite awkward because I felt like she was watching me eat until the rest of the meals were distributed. It did take a while for all the other food to come out. I guess my food was cooked earlier or something.”

“So, people, how badly did I mess up?”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

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

As you might guess, OP’s fellow Redditors did not see what the problem was, and sided with OP on this one.

“I’m vego so my plane meals always come out first as do all specialty/dietary meals. It’s a nice perk at times. I’ve never waited to eat my meal, either travelling with friends/family or alone. It’s not a formal dining scenario and I’ve never ever had anyone comment. Plane food isn’t great at the best of times- are you also supposed to eat it cold while they get around to everyone? Do we then also wait for everyone to get a drink too? NTA.” –emmyxo212

” It’s…a flight? And you literally don’t know that woman. Every flight I’ve been on where they serve snacks or proper meals, people eat soon as they get it, regardless of who you’re sitting with. NTA. What’d she expect you to do? Clink glasses with her and cheers to your travel? ‘Lmao who the f*ck are you, lady?'” –L1vv1W1vv1

“I am so petty that I would have stared at her after every bite I took, slowly enjoying my food. I’ve been on the reverse end when I was the last one to get food in my section. Nobody waited for me because that would be dumb to expect.” –MoonLove318

“Did the Entire Section wait to start eating until everyone was served? All 70 (or so)? No? That’s because that’s not how airplanes work. She was a busy-body who was upset that her own food wasn’t there (yet). And that is a Her Problem. NTA” –MannyMoSTL

“At a dinner party/restaurant, the mannerly thing to do would be to wait the short time for everyone to get their food.”

“But, this rando was a stranger. The pre-chosen meals can come out up to 20-30 minutes before the others. And, this rando was the rude one for commenting on how and when a stranger ate their meal… Would you expect the people at the other table’s in a restaurant to wait on you to eat their meals? No.”

“I travel freequently. In these situations, I pay AHs dust. You wont see them again. Their opinion doesnt matter. And, they are clearly just sad people who want to make other people as sad as they are…. Im also 100% certain that this rude rando wouldnt wait for everyone else to get their food before she stuffed her rude face.” –Electrical-Date-3951

“Nta. Special meals are usually served before regular meals; a vegetarian meal would also be served early. Kosher meals would I imagine have been cooked off site in a kosher kitchen and then sealed so all airplane staff have to do is reheat it. It is an airplane, not a fine dining restaurant. Restaurant etiquette doesn’t really apply. I am sorry for your loss.” –firerosearien

“Haha, I came here expecting to declare you TA for eating before everyone at the table had gotten their food. Was NOT expecting you to be on a plane 😂 Lady next to you is rude and interfering. NTA” –TechnicalDot9189

“NTA. You’re travelling alone on a plane, not sitting down at a banquet. You and each other party on the plane are independent of each other. You even have your own little table! The rules for a group dining together don’t apply.”

ETA May your sister’s memory be for a blessing.” –Amiedeslivres

“NTA”

“If you’re sitting down to a meal with friends or family, or even at a table at a work function, courtesy dictates you wait until everyone is served. Despite the fact that you’re seated next to someone else proximity wise on an airplane, you’re not with that person at a meal function so you are welcome to eat your food as soon as it arrives.” –nekkidpoolparty

“NTA. You were a party of 1. You did wait until everyone in your party was served. Jokes aside, as others have said…it’s a plane not a dinner table! Maybe that lady hadn’t flown much before. It can take forever for a flight to get their meals, even the people next to you. Waiting until they got theirs would mean yours would likely be inedible by that time. Don’t worry, you did nothing wrong, etiquette wise or any other way I can think of.” –Education_Fan3346

“NTA”

“You weren’t eating with these people, you were eating alone. You can start eating alone whenever you want, because you are eating with you. Would this woman have preferred that you eat cold food next to her than hot food next to her?”

“Even had you been in a restaurant where you were dining together, etiquette dictates that you eat your food while it’s hot.”

“If a significant time elapses between the arrival of the respective diners’ hot dishes, the host (or if there is none, the other diners) should urge the first who have been served to go ahead and eat. If everyone is having cold dishes, follow the rule of waiting until everyone is served.” –eggbert_217

“Even in a restaurant, from my experience, most people will just tell the first person to get served that they should go ahead and start eating. It’s not that person’s fault, it’s the restaurant’s for letting such a gap exist between people getting served. Usually, there’s also bread or something to keep people’s stomachs from being completely empty until their food comes.” –PandoraClove

“NTA What are you supposed to do wait for your food to get cold? Also I don’t think all of the other passengers would care if you started eating first or not. None of the other passengers would wait to start digging in.”

“I bet if the woman got her meal first instead of you she wouldn’t wait for everyone else to be served she’d probably dig right in. Also that woman next to you should mind her own business.”

“Once again NTA.” –SpeedBlitzX

“This is exactly like if somebody at the next table over at a restaurant claimed you should wait for their table to be served…. The tables on a plane are really close together, but you aren’t sharing a meal. NTA” –AModel3Owner

“I’m A flight attendant for a big international airline, special meals (all 22 of them) are served ahead of others simply because we won’t go by the cart to distribute (normal meals). Kosher meals usually take much longer to heat up and probably was cooked first due to the time it needs to heat up. Also there are only limited ovens to heat all foods so special meals are heated ahead of normal ones, sometimes certain meals need different heating times too.” –Abject_Baby305

“NTA-“

“I don’t understand why the woman next to you wanted to make you feel awkward. But, yeah, she was wrong. I hope she’s told someone else about the situation and was informed that she, was indeed, the AH here. Because nobody wants to eat next to someone who is basically watching their every bite. That’s ridiculous. If you would have waited, your meal would have been cold.”

“It’s weird. Why would she expect that? Now, I’m gonna be thinking about this situation for a couple of days. I feel your confusion.” –PsychologicalScale57

Hopefully OP’s next flight can be drama-free.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.