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“As If I Had No Choice But To Move”: Woman Refused To Switch Plane Seats
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“As If I Had No Choice But To Move”: Woman Refused To Switch Plane Seats

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Modern airlines do often attempt to get away with too much, since what, are you going to drive across the ocean? They overbook, charge for average-sized bags, and attempt the weirdest seating arrangements.

A worried woman asked the internet if not giving up her first-class upgrade was the right move. On a long flight that she had booked well in advance, the airline offered her a free upgrade to first class due to the travel points she had accrued. But just moments into the flight, a flight attendant came by to ask her if she wouldn’t mind downgrading her seat.

Even first class-flying can come with it’s own set of difficulties

Image credits: Travelarz (not the actual photo)

A woman wondered if she was the bad guy for not giving up her seat so a family could sit together

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Image credits: Steven Coffey (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: C_Readerholic_001

Flying does cause an inordinate amount of stress

Setting aside moral dilemmas for a moment, air travel, while magical, can be highly stressful at the same time. If we were to ask, for example, a Medieval peasant, what might be the worst, most tension-inducing part of air travel, they would probably suggest the safety issues, perhaps storms and wind, air bandits, dragons, and other sky-monsters. They might be as shocked about air travel as they would be learning that the main issue is lines and other people. But that’s what studies say. Being confined in an elongated can for extended periods of time ends up creating a decent amount of tension and even rage.

Air travel isn’t the only case where we are “trapped” with other people for some time, but there are a number of other factors that make airplanes the perfect storm of brewing rage. Air travel, for the most part, is pretty expensive and involves dealing with an airport. As many a novice traveler has learned the hard way, airports are far away from city centers and generally require the person to be there well in advance of the flight. Why? Check-in and security, of course! Even if one is taking zero luggage (congratulations,) going through an airport means dealing with lines of irritable people, security, and other hassles. And pretty often, flights are at inconvenient times, so you and all the people impatiently waiting in line with you are often tired, perhaps even jetlagged, and probably in a rush.

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Image credits: Anna Shvets (not the actual photo)

OP was not wrong to stay in her seat

But, finally, you have made it through and after waiting a bit and hopefully not having a delayed flight, you are off. But, research says, the tension doesn’t end there. In nearly all commercial flights, first-class passengers, like OP, board first, near the front of the plane. Then everyone else piles past them, getting a full view of the legroom they won’t have and the larger seats they won’t be sitting in. This creates a feeling of envy and can manifest itself as “air rage.” On top of that, planes are frequently loud, cold, and stuffy, creating a host of tiny irritants for most passengers, and that’s not even getting around to the tiny irritants that are screaming kids.

This phenomenon, unfortunately, appears to be growing more common, and one can find frequent examples in the news, of diverted flights over passenger arguments to literal terminal-side brawls. The causes are many and, obviously, an airline can’t be held responsible for immature, aggressive people acting like lunatics. However, there are numerous things the airline can do to perhaps lessen the stress passengers go through. Overbooking has become all too frequent and planes are already packed to the gills, leading many an amateur-humorist to speculate that standing room in planes will be next.

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Image credits: Domenico Bandiera (not the actual photo)

Fortunately for OP, the worst that happened to her was the nosy, somewhat judgemental older woman who felt entitled to give her a piece of her mind. Indeed, the free upgrade is one of those little things that airlines do which other companies could learn from. Imagine if Ford would give you free leather seats for buying your third vehicle from them. As many commenters have noted, she was absolutely not in the wrong for refusing to give up her seat. Firstly, the parents simply could have stayed in economy and taken the upgrade later, if it was that important to them. However, there is a pretty strong argument to be made that the child didn’t exactly need to be with them for the whole time. There are flight attendants and both parents and the child can move around the cabin. And it’s not like a kid can really “enjoy” first class anyway, the free champagne and legroom might be lost on them.

Image credits: Nahima Aparicio (not the actual photo)

Readers supported OP thought the old woman was too judgemental

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Justin Sandberg

Justin Sandberg

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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I am a writer at Bored Panda. Despite being born in the US, I ended up spending most of my life in Europe, from Latvia, Austria, and Georgia to finally settling in Lithuania. At Bored Panda, you’ll find me covering topics ranging from the cat meme of the day to red flags in the workplace and really anything else. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, beating other people at board games, cooking, good books, and bad films.

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Justin Sandberg

Justin Sandberg

Writer, BoredPanda staff

I am a writer at Bored Panda. Despite being born in the US, I ended up spending most of my life in Europe, from Latvia, Austria, and Georgia to finally settling in Lithuania. At Bored Panda, you’ll find me covering topics ranging from the cat meme of the day to red flags in the workplace and really anything else. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, beating other people at board games, cooking, good books, and bad films.

Gabija Saveiskyte

Gabija Saveiskyte

Author, BoredPanda staff

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Hi there! I am a Visual Editor at Bored Panda. My job is to ensure that all the articles are aesthetically pleasing. I get to work with a variety of topics ranging from all the relationship drama to lots and lots of memes and, my personal favorites, funny cute cats. When I am not perfecting the images, you can find me reading with a cup of matcha latte and a cat in my lap, taking photos (of my cat), getting lost in the forest, or simply cuddling with my cat... Did I mention that I love cats?

Read less »

Gabija Saveiskyte

Gabija Saveiskyte

Author, BoredPanda staff

Hi there! I am a Visual Editor at Bored Panda. My job is to ensure that all the articles are aesthetically pleasing. I get to work with a variety of topics ranging from all the relationship drama to lots and lots of memes and, my personal favorites, funny cute cats. When I am not perfecting the images, you can find me reading with a cup of matcha latte and a cat in my lap, taking photos (of my cat), getting lost in the forest, or simply cuddling with my cat... Did I mention that I love cats?

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maiseymyles avatar
Maisey Myles
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

OP didn't make the boy sit alone in economy for 13 hours, the parents did

dracoaffectus avatar
Rahul Pawa
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They had options! First of all, the kid and one parent could have sat in first class while the other parent sat in the back. Second one or both parents could have traded seats with someone in economy so they could sit in the back with their kid and let someone else enjoy the free upgrade. This wasn't on OP and kinda s****y on the airline to even suggest it.

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rachelainsworth avatar
Rachel Ainsworth
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm with the people who said one of the parents should go to sit with the child in economy instead of expecting a stranger to give up their seat. Also airlines need to stop sitting families apart. Here's a clue, anyone travelling on a childs ticket needs to sit with the other ticket holders.

queenofthecastle82 avatar
Child of the Stars
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Seriously. Yeah, at least one (but preferably both) should've gone back to economy. I'm a parent parent and NO WAY would I let my child sit alone at that age; seriously, wtf? But why do airlines even do this in the first place?

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zak_1 avatar
zak
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

NTA, not even the littlest bit. One of the parents could have switched with the son.

pincriske avatar
Almost sunny
Community Member
10 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Exactly! What dreadful parents to not have even one of them switch with their son! Poor kid needs more loving parents.

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maiseymyles avatar
Maisey Myles
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

OP didn't make the boy sit alone in economy for 13 hours, the parents did

dracoaffectus avatar
Rahul Pawa
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They had options! First of all, the kid and one parent could have sat in first class while the other parent sat in the back. Second one or both parents could have traded seats with someone in economy so they could sit in the back with their kid and let someone else enjoy the free upgrade. This wasn't on OP and kinda s****y on the airline to even suggest it.

Load More Replies...
rachelainsworth avatar
Rachel Ainsworth
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm with the people who said one of the parents should go to sit with the child in economy instead of expecting a stranger to give up their seat. Also airlines need to stop sitting families apart. Here's a clue, anyone travelling on a childs ticket needs to sit with the other ticket holders.

queenofthecastle82 avatar
Child of the Stars
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Seriously. Yeah, at least one (but preferably both) should've gone back to economy. I'm a parent parent and NO WAY would I let my child sit alone at that age; seriously, wtf? But why do airlines even do this in the first place?

Load More Replies...
zak_1 avatar
zak
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

NTA, not even the littlest bit. One of the parents could have switched with the son.

pincriske avatar
Almost sunny
Community Member
10 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Exactly! What dreadful parents to not have even one of them switch with their son! Poor kid needs more loving parents.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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