A woman was preparing to board a 12-hour flight which she had booked well in advance. She had high hopes that her flight would be a comfortable experience, but unbeknownst to her, this would not come without challenges.
Paying for Comfort
The woman had paid an extra $55 for a front-row seat with extra legroom, hence her high hopes for a comfortable journey.
The woman checked in and boarded her flight without delay, and was relieved to see that her extra leg-room seat was exactly what she had hoped for. She settled down in her seat and began to unwind, looking forward to a relaxing journey.
The Unexpected Request
However, as soon as the seatbelt sign turned off after take-off, a tall man approached the woman with a request. “He asked politely saying that he is 6’4 and flying is painful for him – can we please change seats?”
The woman initially considered accommodating his request considering his politeness, but when she realized his seat was far at the back of the plane, she declined, citing her extra payment for the front-row seat. The man was visibly disappointed.
A Displeased Fellow Passenger
The man’s disappointment soon turned into frustration, and he continued to press the issue. “He kind of got increasingly mad and wouldn’t leave, saying that there’s no reason someone of my height needs extra legroom (but I told him I paid to be upfront)”.
The woman suggested to the man that he ask other passengers in the front row if they’d be willing to swap, but he refused, citing his reluctance to bother other passengers or split up couples.
With the man persisting and the situation escalating, the woman decided to call over a flight attendant to intervene. The flight attendant advised the man to return to his assigned seat in accordance with the seating arrangements.
A Tense Flight
The woman faced no further verbal disruptions from the man, leaving her to relax comfortably for most of the remainder of the flight. However, the drama created a sour and tense mood, which the woman was disappointed with as she felt she had done nothing to deserve this.
In addition to the tense atmosphere, the woman also claimed that the man kept on “accidentally” slamming into the woman when walking past her aisle seat. She believed he was doing this intentionally as an act of passive aggression.
Reflection on the Dilemma
After her journey had been completed, the woman’s mind was plagued with the incident. She believed that she was totally within her right to decline the seat swap considering the extra $55 she paid. However, she did wonder whether accepting the man’s request would have made the journey easier for everyone, although his persistent “slamming” was clearly out of order.
The woman decided to share her internal conflict with her favorite online community, asking for responses. “Next time he can plan better and do what you did and buy an upgraded seat instead of harassing the only small woman he thought he could bully into giving in”, one commenter wrote. “Unacceptable to have to deal with harassment on a plane.”
The “Slamming” Was Assault
The woman only mentioned the man’s “slamming” in passing, but many readers felt that she had underplayed this behavior. “You should have filed a police report since he repeatedly assaulted you after not getting his way”, one person suggested.
The Airline Should Blacklist Him
This sentiment was agreed upon by everyone, with some readers suggesting that the man should have been banned from flying. “Every time he slammed into you, you should have called the flight attendant again to report the assault”, another commenter stated. “Someone who repeatedly assaults another passenger should be blacklisted permanently by the airline.”
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