On planes, the best seat is in the eye of the beholder.
Some folks like the window seat. It offers a nice view on takeoff and landing; there’s a wall to rest your head against; there’s an intangible feeling that you’re in your own corner of a plane full of strangers.
Others are all about the aisle. It has extra leg room, decent people watching, and a quick getaway for bathroom breaks and debarking.
We won’t even discuss the middle seat.
Recently, one Redditor’s preferred seat choice was called into question by another passenger. She explained the incident in a post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as ImpossibleRoom7498 on the site,
“AITA for not switching my seats with a disabled child?”
OP began by naming a couple priorities.
“I had a long flight today. About 7 hours. I booked a window seat because I love just staring out of it.”
“I zone out into my own thoughts and I could just look at the clouds for hours on end.”
“I paid extra for my seat. Not a lot, maybe about $30-$40.”
Then an unexpected variable came along.
“This woman and her child who looked about 9 or so were on the other side of the aisle. The woman had a window seat but it was uneven to the chair.”
“She asked me if they could switch with me (the seat next to me was empty) so her child can look out the window.”
But for OP, it wasn’t so simple.
“I told her no as I paid extra for this seat and I’m comfortable in it and she started nagging at me for like 20 min about how her child has a sensory disability (I’m not too familiar with that).”
“I then told her I will switch but I needed her to pay me $35 for it because that was around how much I paid extra for it…”
“…and she called me a rude bi*** and money hungry and would not stop staring at me.”
“Made me feel uncomfortable the whole plane ride. But I still refused to give up my seat. AITA?”
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
Redditors, by and large, were on OP’s side.
For many, it was all about who planned ahead and who did not.
“Having a disability isn’t a magic pass to take things from other people. 🙄🙄🙄”
“You paid extra for the seat, she didn’t. NTA.”
“I feel for the kid but the mom needs to plan for a window seat next time. This is incredibly entitled.” — opinionatedjars
“I HATE when people do this on flights. if you want a particular seat, book it in advance. My goodness it’s not that hard. NTA” — windyafternoon
“NTA. If the child had a documented disability that require special seating, the mother could have arranged that with the airline.” — photosbeerandteach
“NTA. She should have paid for it. She opted out of paying for it to come ask you for the seat you paid and then stared in entitlement the entire flight.” — Gogowhine
“NTA. I have a child with a disability and if she preferred sitting in a window seat, I’d pay for here to have a window seat.” — gwacemom
Some made a subtle determination about where the woman went wrong.
“NTA. As a parent, I feel it would be great to be able to force people to just give my children things without me having to pay for them.”
“But I would never demand that because that’s just not how the world works. She wasn’t an AH for asking, but her behaviour after turned her into one.” — Fleegle2212
“NTA. I dont see anything wrong with her initially asking (though I wouldn’t), but accept the no and move on. She was the rude b*.”
“What does the sensory issue have to do with looking out the window, and why couldn’t she just trade with her child?” — IllPromotion3251
“I did ask a young woman to move seats once. I was booked with myself and my 3 kids. The airlines somehow put my 8 year like 10 rows up but it was a window seat.”
“I asked, told her it was a window spot (she was in the middle) but also said she absolutely did not have to or that I expected it.”
“Thankfully it worked out, I don’t think it hurts to ask but accept the answer given. It’s not the strangers responsibility to fix anything for you. Also, NTA.” — Worldly-Abroad2858
And a few advised OP get some backup if it ever happens again.
“NTA – in the future involve the flight attendants. Any switch should only be done with the approval of the flight attendants anyway and her constantly harassing you could have been grounds for her removal.” — Hefty_Candidate_4902
“NTA. If someone calls me a bi***, I like to have earned it.”
“I would tell the flight attendant you paid for the seat and are being harassed for not switching. They kick people off flights for less.” — Intelligent_Stop5564
“Fu** these entitled people. Talk to the flight attendant about your issues it’s not other passengers fault you got fucked on your seats.” — Adorable-Strength218
Finally, some identified the whole thing as a prime example of the very worst kind of attitude.
“I’m guessing that this mother has had a lot of success with her sob story in the past, so she’s gotten used to using it as a way to get free discounts and perks.”
“The funny thing about privilege is that no matter how un-earned it is, if you get it consistently enough you will start to expect it, and you’ll feel genuinely victimized when you don’t.”
“She probably tells this story as the story of a total bi*** that she met on a flight.” — Bizarre_Protuberance
“NTA You paid extra money for a seat that you wanted. She should have done the same if it meant that much to her.”
“The level of entitlement is outrageous and I applaud you for standing your ground.” — TactlessWraith
Here’s hoping OP doesn’t encounter surprises again on her flights any time soon.