Internet Backs Flier Refusing to Give Up Window Seat to Kid: 'Guilt Trip'

Internet commenters were outraged after one traveler explained why they were forced to defend their first-class seat on a flight across the United States.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Sillymau5 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said they were preparing for a smooth trip from San Francisco to New York City when a mother of two decided to make the ride a little more bumpy.

Titled, "[Am I the a**hole] for refusing to give up my window seat to someone's kid?" the post has received nearly 5,000 upvotes and 600 comments in the last day.

"I [accumulated] enough points over the years to purchase a first class seat for free," OP began. "I had the option to pick my seat and I always choose the window."

Continuing to explain that they pay extra to sit by the window whenever they fly, the original poster described themselves as a "geography nerd" and said they relish the view from 30,000 feet.

On the day of their flight from California to New York, however, that unimpeded view was put in jeopardy.

"A woman and her two kids [were] assigned next to me in the first class cabin," OP wrote. "The lady asked me if I could switch seats so her kid could have the window.

"I don't get to fly first class very often and was looking forward to this flight. So, I simply said 'no sorry,'" OP continued. "The kid threw a fit [and] the mother gave me a glare and pretty much [tried] to guilt trip me into switching but I just ignored her.

"I might be an a**hole for refusing to give my first class window seat to a kid but...every passenger has the option to choose their seats in advance," OP added. "If she wanted the window seat for her kid, she should have reserved it in advance."

For the duration of 2022, rising inflation rates have driven up consumer costs across all industries in the United States.

And while price spikes at gas pumps and grocery stories continue to dominate much of the conversation surrounding the country's historically-high CPI, astronomical airline tickets are close behind.

In June, Bankrate reported a 25 percent increase in flight costs from the year before and in April alone, airfare spiked by nearly 19 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hopper, a leading online travel agency, also reported that the average cost of a "good deal" domestic roundtrip currently sits at $390, marking a more-than-$100 increase from last year.

So with first-class flights frequently residing in the four-figure price range, it is unsurprising that passengers sitting in the front of the plane are hesitant to give up their assigned seats—despite the sideways glares and emotional manipulation that comes as a result.

Man looks out airplane window
Airline passenger looks out of plane window. Members of Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum called out one mother who demanded another traveler give up their window seat for their child. Chalabala/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors commended the original poster for standing their ground against the window-seat-seeking mother and echoed the sentiment that if the family wanted specific seats, they should have taken care of that in advance.

"[Not the a**hole]," Redditor u/PJfanRI wrote in the post's top comment, which has received more than 7,000 upvotes. "You paid for your ticket and selected your seat based on your preferences.

"I have no problem with the mother asking for you to make the switch, but once you said no it should have been the end of it," they continued. "The fact her child threw a tantrum...tells me you can teach her a thing or two about saying no."

Redditor u/Andante79, whose comment has received more than 1,100 upvotes, offered a similar response.

"You paid for and selected your seat," they wrote. "She didn't plan ahead.

"I'd have the same problem whether it's a kid, teen, adult, senior, dog, platypus, whatever," they added. "Not your problem."

"People like [that] really irritate me," Redditor u/murphy2345678 chimed in. "She didn't book the seat and just expected someone to cave to her kid's temper tantrum."

Newsweek reached out to u/Sillymau5 for comment.