‘I refused to swap seats with a mum on a flight – it turned nasty’ | Travel News | Travel

Securing a prime seat on an aeroplane can often feel like hitting the jackpot.

Air travel is seldom the epitome of comfort, so nabbing your preferred seat – whether that’s by the window, in the aisle, or for some peculiar individuals, smack bang in the middle – can make the journey slightly more tolerable.

However, if you do manage to reserve a good seat, be prepared for fellow passengers to request a swap. This was precisely the scenario one woman found herself in when she secured an aisle seat on a 10-hour flight, only to be promptly approached by a mother and her young child asking if she would trade for a middle seat a few rows back.

In a Reddit post, the woman detailed her preference for the aisle seat, as it allows her to go to the toilet without disturbing other passengers. So, when asked to switch seats, she declined and chose to ignore the increasingly irate mother.

She recounted: “We’re about to take off when a mother of a nine-year-old child comes up to me and asks if we can switch seats (she had a middle seat). I told her no, as I picked [mine] for a reason!

“She got very mad and started yelling and her kid was crying, I just put my headphones on. When the plane landed, I got nasty comments and was called a horrible person and an a**hole! “.

The woman later clarified that from “what she could see”, the mother’s child was seated “close to or next to” her, indicating that the request to swap seats wasn’t to be nearer to her child.

The real motive, as stated by the mum, was a desire “to be closer to the front so she can get off easier,” despite having booked a back middle seat.

Social media users rallied behind the woman, with a consensus forming that once you’ve booked a plane seat, there’s no obligation to give it up to another passenger.

While asking for a seat exchange is allowed, the refusal should have been respected by the mother.

One commenter remarked: “She’s not asking if ‘no’ is not an acceptable answer. That’s a demand disguised as a question.”

Another chimed in with frustration: “I’m sick of these people that keep coming up and expecting others to change seats with them. If you want a specific seat, pay for it yourself!”

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