'Nasty Looks': Woman Backed for Kicking Man Out of Second Plane Seat

Members of a popular internet forum flocked to the defense of one woman who was treated poorly by a couple who attempted to strong arm their way into her reserved airplane seat.

In a viral Reddit post published in r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Tessy23 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said she purchased a seat next to her own in order to ensure a comfortable flight but was disappointed when one man plopped down beside her anyways.

Titled, "[Am I the a**hole] for not giving up my second 'free' seat next to me [on] the plane?" the post has received nearly 19,000 votes and 2,400 comments in the last six hours.

Beginning with the explanation that she is obese, the original poster said she "really [doesn't] like to bother people" with her weight and often purchases two plane tickets prior to flying as a result. However, during a recent flight, the original poster said her accommodations were blatantly ignored by a couple who mistook the seat as vacant.

"I sat down in the plane and put the armrest up so I would be really comfortable," OP wrote. "Some couple came and they sat next to me because they got separate seats and they noticed the seat next to me was empty."

"Exactly what I was afraid of happened," OP added.

Explaining that she immediately became uncomfortable, the original poster said the man who sat next to her pushed her whenever he moved. After requesting that the man move to his reserved seat, the original poster said she was ignored, and eventually prompted to involve a flight attendant.

"I was feeling extremely uncomfortable and asked him if he could go to his seat because I bought this one for my comfort. He told me no, since the seat is empty and he wants to be with his girlfriend," OP wrote. "I told him I understand but I feel uncomfortable and I paid for the second seat so exactly this doesn't happen. He refused again and started to chat with his [girlfriend]."

"I called the flight attendant and quietly told her what [was] happening," OP continued. "She asked the guy to leave my second seat and he and his [girlfriend] gave me a nasty look."

"The [girlfriend] mumbled something like 'F**king fat b**ch' under her breath but nothing directly to me," OP added.

Woman uncomfortable on airplane
Members of Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum were quick to defend one woman whose airplane accommodations were blatantly ignored. AaronAmat/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Over the past few years, the discourse surrounding plus-sized plane passengers has increased, leading to greater awareness of the mental and physical issues flying poses for some people.

Awareness, however, does not equate to accommodation.

Due to small airline seats and inadequate space for bodies of varying sizes, many plane passengers are faced with the choice between being uncomfortable and spending the extra time and money required to secure a seat directly next to their own.

However, in 2022, rising fuel prices have led to rapidly-rising flight costs, making a second seat a potentially unattainable luxury.

Last month, online booking platform Hopper revealed, via ABC News, that domestic airfare has increased 40 percent from the start of the year, and is expected to climb another 10 percent in the near future.

With the current average cost of a domestic round trip hovering around $330, a 7 percent increase from the same time in 2019 (pre-COVID), and the average cost of an international round trip at $810, the decision to purchase a second plane seat is not as obvious as it once was.

For some, however, the comfort provided by a second seat is worth every penny.

Throughout the comment section of u/Tessy23's viral Reddit post, Redditors were adamant that the second seat belonged to the original poster and the original poster alone, and that the couple (specifically the man) who attempted to take it away from her was way out of line.

"It's your seat. You paid for it," Redditor u/MolassesFragrant342 wrote in the post's top comment, which has received more than 22,000 votes. "If that (classless) couple wanted to sit together that badly, they should have paid for seats together."

Redditor u/AlternativeFox4627, whose comment has received nearly 6,000 votes, offered a similar, but more descriptive response.

"It doesn't matter why you purchased that seat," they wrote. "You could have bought it for the spirits of your ancestors so they could guide you safely to your destination and it would have been no one's business but yours."

"You bought that seat," Redditor u/flaky-burnt added. "The couple sitting apart has nothing to do with you. [I don't give a f**k] if you were thin and bought a 2nd seat for your emotional support ghost! That's your seat."

In a separate comment, which has received more than 6,400 votes, Redditor u/NoxWild offered the original poster advice for how to deal with a similar situation in the future should one arise.

"If it happens again, don't let them sit down," they wrote. "Block the extra seat and state immediately, 'I paid for two seats. This one is not available.'"

Newsweek reached out to u/Tessy23 for comment.