A man and his girlfriend boarded a plane. They had paid extra for specific seats (a center and a window seat) to ensure they could sit next to each other during the flight, but when they arrived, they found a mother and child in their seats.
Upon reaching their seats, they encountered a mother and her eight-year-old daughter occupying one of their assigned seats. The man and his girlfriend inquired about the seating arrangements, seeking clarification.
“The mother stated that the airline crew told her that she and her daughter must sit next to each other and that the center seat belongs to her daughter”, the man wrote.
Shushing the Child
However, the man and his wife had suspicions that this was not quite true. The reason for this was that the lady appeared to change her story and tried to shush her daughter when the girl attempted to explain the situation herself.
Seeking Crew Assistance
Not wanting to escalate the situation, the man and his girlfriend called a crew member to help resolve the matter. The mother reiterated her concern about sitting next to her young daughter during the four-hour flight, albeit with some inconsistency in her story.
Crew Member’s Response
The crew member advised the mother that she should have discussed this matter with the airline before boarding. Given that the flight was fully booked and the seating assignments were already in place, the crew member suggested they stay in their assigned seats and ask the man and his girlfriend if they were willing to switch.
The mother argued that she had asked the man and his girlfriend but received a refusal. In reality, she had never asked them and had only claimed the seats as hers before the crew member’s intervention. Meanwhile, the daughter began to return to her seat.
The daughter’s return to her assigned seat escalated the situation: “The father in the next aisle tried to guilt trip me stating “she’s an eight y.o girl, c’mon man”’, the man wrote. The father also shouted expletives at the man, and claimed that he was “the reason the world is messed up and to wait ’til I have a daughter to understand.”
Reflecting on Their Decision
The man and his girlfriend pondered whether they were acting unreasonably considering what the father had said, especially considering that it involved a young girl and her mother. On the other hand, they felt that this situation would have gone completely different if the mother had simply asked to switch politely, instead of lying.
Blown Out of Proportion
Despite all of this, it was soon discovered that the mother and daughter’s assigned seats were only one row apart, which made the couple feel the whole situation had been blown out of proportion.
After the flight, the couple began to feel guilty and wondered whether they had made the right decision. They posted online for advice and received plenty of defense from strangers. One person wrote: “I really dislike this ‘I have a child, therefore I’m entitled’ mindset some parents have. If you have a child you plan better, or make a request not demand or try to manipulate.”
Don’t Act Surprised
Another reader drew from their personal experiences to justify the couple’s actions. “I book a specific seat for my anxiety – I pay for 20 bucks or whatever it costs me”, they explained. “That’s where I’m sitting. Everyone is aware of their seating options ahead of time, don’t act like it’s a surprise when you get onboard.”
The Daughter Was More Mature
One writer received plenty of kudos from fellow readers with the following statement: “These people didn’t do anything they should have and a lot of things they shouldn’t. The eight y.o. was more mature than either of her parents.”
Going Against the Grain
Despite almost every reader siding with the couple, there was one person who felt like their criticism was justified. Despite being split between two minds, they appeared to take the father’s side, writing: “Kinda split on this. ‘Cuz yeah, she wasn’t completely honest. But still, eight y.o. girl…”.
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