If you’ve ever booked a seat on a plane or a train, then you’ll probably have run into a situation in which you find someone sitting in the seat you booked. And while they’ll usually be happy to move into their own seat once you ask them to, occasionally they’ll ask if you can swap seats with them and take the seat they had originally booked instead. That’s what happened to one man who had booked a window seat for his flight from New York City to London but found that a mum had sat one of her two children in the seat instead. The mum asked the man if he would be willing to sit in the aisle seat on the next row instead so that she could sit with both of her children, but he refused – because he wanted to sleep and could only do so while sitting in a window seat.
In a Reddit post, the man said: “I was flying on a redeye flight from New York City to London. I had intentionally booked a window seat so that I could sleep on the flight, as I can only sleep on a plane with a window seat.
“When I arrive at my seat, there is a woman and her two young children (between four and five years old) sitting in the three seats in the row.
“When I inform her that one of her kids is sitting in my seat, she says that she had booked the other two seats in the row, as well as the aisle seat in the row on the opposite side of the plane, and asked me if I would mind switching with her so that she could sit in the same row with her two children.
“I told her that I booked the window seat specifically so that I could sleep on the plane, and that I wanted to keep my seat.”
The man said the mum then “caused a scene” and got a flight attendant involved, who asked her to move as the man had booked the seat.
He added: “She started to cause a bit of a scene yelling about how I wouldn’t switch with her, even calling the flight attendant over to protest who informed her that they had to honour the ticket and asked her child to move. She then glared at me pretty heavily as she told her child that he had to sit on the other side of the plane for the flight.”
Commenters on the Reddit post were also mostly on the man’s side, as while they sympathised with the mum, they also said the man was entitled to sit in the seat he had paid for.
One person said: “She wasn’t the a**hole for asking but her reaction makes her the a**hole. It’s fine to ask to switch but you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. She should have planned ahead for seating.”
While another added: “If she wanted to ensure that she and her kids had three seats next to one another, then she could have paid for seat selections instead of gambling on another passenger being willing to trade.”
And a third wrote: “If the child was on a completely different area of the plane then maybe it’d be different, but that’s not the case and even then you did book the seat you wanted. She sucks for making a big deal out of it and automatically assuming you’d be okay with it.”