A man had boarded a lengthy cross-country flight and had carefully selected an aisle seat in a row of two, hoping for a comfortable journey. However, his seating arrangement took an unexpected turn when a plus-size passenger boarded the plane.
A Hopeful Gesture
The man assumed that the plus-size passenger might have purchased two seats, but to his dismay, the passenger pointed to the window seat next to him. He decided to be polite and gave the man a chance by getting up to let him in.
A Tight Squeeze
Once the passenger settled into his seat, it became apparent that he was encroaching into the man’s space, taking up a substantial portion of his seat. This situation left the man feeling uncomfortable and cramped.
A Polite Request
After a moment, the man decided to address the issue directly. “Sir, I’m sorry but this situation is not working for me, you’re taking up quite a bit of my seat”, the man said.
An Unresolved Situation
The plus-size passenger, while not rude, appeared helpless and heartbreakingly attempted to narrow himself further within his seat. Despite his efforts, he continued to overflow into the man’s space, even hanging over the armrest.
Frustrated with the discomfort, the man sought assistance from a flight attendant. He asked what could be done about the situation, and the flight attendant informed the plus-size passenger that he might need to purchase an additional seat.
Alas, the flight attendant checked for available seats but found none, leaving an awkward silence hanging in the air, and visible embarrassment for the plus-size man. “I felt bad for him but I was also thinking about my own comfort on the long flight — the comfort I paid for”, the man explained.
A Generous Offer
The flight attendant then delivered an ultimatum. Considering the airplane had not yet taken off, the plus-size passenger would have to book another flight unless someone agreed to share his seat. The man saw an opportunity to resolve the issue and made an offer.
The man proposed a deal to his neighbor, suggesting, “I’ll tolerate this if you give me $150, half the cost of this flight, as compensation for the circumstances.” The plus-sized passenger readily agreed, paying the man in cash and expressing his gratitude.
The man was satisfied that he had come to an agreement with the passenger and felt better about enduring the discomfort considering the cash compensation he had received. However, some other passengers sitting behind him began making comments under their breath, labeling him as inconsiderate.
Reflection and Questioning
Hearing these accusations, the man began to question his decision. On one hand, he felt that it was only fair to be compensated for his discomfort considering that he specifically paid for the aisle seat. On the other hand, he recognized that he had humiliated the plus-sized passenger, and had potentially added insult to injury by charging the man for his tolerance.
The man headed online to post his story, opening up the comment section for anyone to chime in with their perspective. “The problem here was that this large dude stuck you with being uncomfortable on your flight, right?”, one reader questioned. “Well, the $150 didn’t make you any less squished in your seat, so it really feels like you just blackmailed this guy for being fat.”
Despite this initial comment, many readers actually took the man’s side. “The guy knew he was fat, and could have bought two seats but didn’t”, pointed out another reader. “This man let the guy stay on the flight, gave him enough room without him paying for two seats, and without the embarrassment and inconvenience of disembarking and waiting for the next flight.”
Was it Worth it?
However, there was no denying that the majority of readers felt bad for the plus-size passenger. “I understand you were unlucky in having to deal with an uncomfortable seating arrangement, and he was technically breaking a rule, but was it really worth the $150 to do that to a person?”, someone asked. “Demanding the money just makes you look like an opportunist.”
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