A Reddit user, a 34-year-old woman actively working on her weight loss journey, recently took to the “Am I the A**hole?“ forum seeking opinions on a situation she encountered during a flight. Despite her ongoing efforts to lose weight, she acknowledged her current overweight status. In anticipation of increased comfort, she had proactively booked an extra seat for a cross-country Christmas visit to her brother and his husband.

While boarding the flight, things took a sour turn

While the initial stages of airport check-in and security proceeded smoothly, the situation took an unexpected turn onboard the flight. A mother approached her row with a toddler, around 18 months old, and demanded that the woman squeeze into one seat to accommodate her son in the extra seat she had paid for.

The woman refused, emphasizing that she had paid for the additional seat for her own comfort. The mother, unsatisfied with the response, created a scene, drawing the attention of a flight attendant. The woman had to show her boarding passes to prove that she had indeed paid for the extra seat. Despite this, the flight attendant suggested she try to squeeze into one seat, to which she firmly declined, reiterating her right to the paid-for space.

After much back and forth, the flight attendant dealt with the issue differently

Photography of Airplane during Sunrise
Image Credit: Anugrah Lohiya Pexels

Eventually, the flight attendant directed the mother to have her son sit in her lap. Throughout the flight, the woman faced disapproving looks and passive-aggressive remarks from the mother. In reflection, she expressed a slight sense of guilt, questioning if she was in the wrong given the challenging behavior of the toddler.

Upon sharing her experience on Reddit, responses were divided

Many supported the woman, asserting that she was not at fault as she had paid for the extra seat, while criticizing the mother for not securing a seat for her child. Others suggested filing a complaint against the airline for the handling of the situation.

Conversely, some sided with the mother, arguing that the woman should have accommodated the child to avoid causing discomfort for both parties. A few questioned the justification of having two seats for personal comfort, especially considering potential flight overbooking.

One person said: “She’s TA for not buying a seat for her son and assuming someone else would give up a seat they paid for. Odds are she was hoping there’d be extra seats on the flight so she didn’t have to pay and used the lap thing as a loophole. A classic case of you snooze you lose.”

Absolutely 100 per cent NTA. You paid for your seat. This woman was trying to steal a free seat for her kid. If it’s too hard to have him on her lap, buy a seat for him. It’s shite that they even asked you to share or give up your seat,” another person wrote.

She had no right and the plane staff should have shut her down.” A third added: “NTA. You did exactly what you were supposed to do to accommodate your size” “NTA, but the mom and the flight attendant absolutely are. I’d go so far as making a complaint to the airline about their employee supporting another passenger harassing you,” a fourth person commented. “WHY these flight attendants want to encourage this a**hole behaviour I will never understand.”

The majority favored the woman

In summary, the majority of Reddit responses favored the woman, emphasizing her right to the paid-for seat and critiquing the mother for attempting to secure a free seat for her child. The incident sparked a debate on the appropriate etiquette and consideration in such situations during air travel.

How much room does a kid take up, seriously? Yeah the mum should’ve bought a seat but that doesn’t mean you have to be selfish and cause two people discomfort,” one person replied. Another added: “If you are so fat that you have to have more than one seat on an airplane then you are selfish. Flights overbook all the time, especially during the holidays – how can you justify having two seats to yourself?”

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