Passenger Applauded for Refusing to Swap Seats So Family Could Sit Together

The internet has backed a Redditor who refused to give up their plane seat so a family could sit together.

It has been a turbulent few years for the aviation industry, with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt to worldwide travel. But in the last year as restrictions have eased, travelers have begun booking vacations and business trips again and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that U.S. airlines carried over 71.2 million scheduled service passengers in May 2022.

As more people travel for work and leisure, discussions about airplane etiquette and passenger comfort have gained traction online once again.

The Reddit user u/Unlikely-Strategy596 shared a story Saturday, asking: "AITA (Am I the a**hole) for not giving up my plane seat so a family could be all together?"

Passengers on an airplane
Stock photo of passengers on a crowded airplane. The internet has backed a Redditor who refused to give up their plane seat so a family could sit together. Skitterphoto/Pexels

With more than 9,000 upvotes and thousands of comments, the passenger explained: "I traveled home today from Greece. The flight was roughly ten hours and around this time of year, it's extremely hectic. I booked my ticket specifically to be closer to the front of the plane so I can be closer to the gate when it's time to get out. I personally hate travelings so I spent a bit more money to be closer."

But when they boarded the plane, a family of four approached the Redditor and asked if they could switch spots.

"Normally I'd be ok with that but switching spots would mean moving back 20 rows down which leaves me at an inconvenience and I would not get my money's worth," they wrote: "I rejected and said that I would like to keep my seat."

Not the first person to refuse to swap seats on a flight, a couple earlier this year was praised for refusing to swap seats with a frightened girl, and another woman was cheered after she didn't give up her seat for a "rude" mom and child.

But when this passenger refused to move, the family was not pleased: "The woman said that I was being an a**hole and should just give up my seat so she could sit with her husband and kids. I said, 'respectfully ma'am, your travel issues are not my problem. I am keeping the seat I paid for.'"

The passenger said the woman continued to "make a scene" and call him out in front of other passengers. But after some firm words, she gave in and sat down, with the husband apologizing.

"[He] said that 'she hates traveling, but giving her the seat would've made things easier in the end,'" explained the poster.

After asking Reddit users if they were in the wrong for refusing to move, commenters started leaving their thoughts overwhelmingly siding with the poster.

"NTA (not the a**hole). If it was really about sitting together, why didn't they ask the people 20 rows back if they'd like the better seats upfront? They'd still all be together," said one commenter.

While another reply said: "People need to learn to take the first no graciously. They asked. You refused. That should be the end of it."

Newsweek has reached out to u/Unlikely-Strategy596 for comment. We were unable to verify the details of this case.

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