She and her best friend spent a month backpacking around Europe. She says even making it to their return flight was exhausting because they had to take a shuttle to the airport, which arrived at 4 AM, and could barely keep their eyes open. She complained that they had horrible seats on the plane while traveling to Europe. She says they were right up against a wall or cubby at the end of the aircraft. The seats didn’t recline but pushed forward a little while the people in front fully reclined into them. They were miserable the entire flight because they couldn’t sleep. They were hoping they would get better seats when returning home.
They were excited to see that after boarding the plane for their return trip, the aisle seat remained empty beside them. They believed they could stretch out and share the spare seat after they took the aisle seat and left room between them. They hoped they could both take a nap more comfortably with the extra space.
However, a woman from a few rows down noticed the empty seat. She asked if she could move the passenger beside her to sit beside her and her friend so that she could place her baby on the empty seat. They were very disappointed, and she was especially agitated because she felt nauseous and desperately wanted to sleep. They asked the flight attendant if they could switch seats after a couple of hours because they had been traveling for a long time and were exhausted, and she agreed.
But shortly after they were served their snack, the woman couldn’t manage her baby and asked the flight attendant to hold it so she could eat. A few minutes later, the attendant came to her and told her that the man sitting beside the woman and baby was coming to fill the empty seat. It had only been around 45 minutes, not half of the flight. She and her friend moved back to their assigned seats, and she gave the mom a rude look and didn’t say anything.
After getting off the airplane, she complained to her friend about having to give up the seat. But her friend said she was being rude for being irritated by the mom who was struggling with her baby. Her friend said she should have been kinder but didn’t say anything because she knew she was exhausted and irritated. She wonders if she was justified in feeling upset about giving up the extra seat for the baby or if she was wrong.
Many readers in the online community supported her. They felt she was justified in feeling annoyed by giving up extra space for someone sitting in another row.
“That lady with a baby didn’t pay for it either, yet she felt not only entitled to someone’s seat (the one next to her) but to rearrange assigned seating.”
“I have a kid. I pay for a seat for my kid. On most flights, you can even choose the seats to make sure you’re not separate from your family. I do not understand why people still find themselves in this type of situation. I never expected preferential treatment because I popped a baby out, and I hate it when people do it.”
“Sorry, but if she wants a whole seat for her baby, then she should pay for it. You can’t just decide you are taking a second seat that isn’t even near you. If the baby was over 2 years old, it should have had its own seat anyway. Worse, she then had another passenger move to accommodate her demands.”
Some people felt it was the flight attendant’s right to decide who should be assigned the empty seat.
“The seat belongs to the flight attendant. She is the one who gets to decide who uses it.”
Finally, some people felt that she, the original poster (OP), was no more entitled to the seat than the mother.
“But OP expects preferential treatment. She wasn’t more entitled to the seat than the mother.”
“OP is acting just as entitled as the mother. There was an empty seat that nobody had paid for. So no, OP doesn’t get to claim it and not be called entitled.”
What do you think? Should she have refused to give up the extra seat beside her and allowed the mother from rows behind to take it? Or was the mother entitled to have extra space for her baby she didn’t pay for?
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