I Refused to Give My Extra Seat on the Airplane to a Kid — And I Don’t Regret It

6 months ago

One woman had to choose between societal expectations and asserting her boundaries. The social pressure to be generous clashed with a resolve to prioritize her comfort on an airplane flight, sparking a moral debate. This is the story of why she refused to give up her extra seat to a child, unapologetically embracing the consequences and standing firm in her decision.

She shared her story.

I am overweight.

I’m going over to see my brother and his husband for Christmas across the country, and because I’m fat, I booked an extra seat, so everyone can be more comfortable. I know it sucks having to pay for an extra seat, but it is what it is.

Everything goes smoothly from checking in to security and boarding, at least at first. This woman comes to my row with a boy who appeared to be about a year old. She told me to squeeze into one seat, so her son could sit in the other. She told me, not asked. I told her no and that I paid for this seat for the extra space.

She makes a big fuss over it, which gets the flight attendant’s attention. She told the flight attendant I was stealing the seat from her son, and then I showed my boarding passes, proving that I, in fact, paid for the extra seat. The flight attendant asked me if I could try to squeeze in, but I said no, that I wanted the extra seat I paid for.

The boy, who the mom said was 18 months old, was supposed to sit in her lap so he could do just that. The flight attendant eventually told the mom to put her son in her lap. I got dirty looks and passive-aggressive remarks from her for the entire flight.

And people came in her support.

  • “She’s wrong for not buying a seat for her son and assuming someone else would give up a seat they paid for. Odds are she was hoping there’d be extra seats on the flight so she didn’t have to pay and used the lap thing as a loophole.” the-lurky-turkey / Reddit
  • “You paid for that seat. It’s yours. You asked the flight attendant for help, and she told you to ’squeeze into one seat’ for the unticketed child. You might even get some miles or goodies for it.” welkikitty / Reddit
  • “You should always do what you can to be as healthy as you can, but being fat isn’t a character flaw or a moral failing. We all have our own challenges in life, and you deserve not to be ashamed of your body and yourself, even if you aren’t currently meeting your goals. If the mom wants an extra seat for her kids, she should have purchased one. She’s not entitled to a seat you purchased, and you don’t need to feel bad for her bad behavior.” LadyCass79 / Reddit
  • “Airlines literally demand larger customers purchase two seats, and if you were in one seat and that entitled mom was next to you, the same dirty looks and comments would be the result.” katchoo1 / Reddit
  • “Fat, not fat, doesn’t matter- if I bought an extra seat to put my purse on (for some reason lol)- it’s my seat. I know someone who has such a fear of small spaces- he’s actively in therapy for it, but even getting on a plane sets him off, so he buys two seats so the one next to him can be empty so he doesn’t have to feel so claustrophobic and have a panic attack. It’s his seat. He can do what he wants.” vancitymala / Reddit
  • “I’ve taken 9-hour flights with an infant in my arms and shorter flights with a toddler in my lap, who was capable of sitting in his own seat and very much did not want me to hold him. Did it suck? Yes. But it was my problem alone, and as long as my child was under 24 months and I didn’t have to pay for his seat, I chose to hold him. I swear, not all of us parents are this entitled!” paprikastew / Reddit
  • “I’d go so far as making a complaint to the airline about their employee supporting another passenger harassing you.” Radiant-Ability-3216 / Reddit
  • “This is why I hate traveling during the holidays. I fly all the time, but during the holidays, people just go nuts. That woman was both rude and wrong. You did exactly what you should have done, and I’m surprised the flight attendant didn’t just tell her to pound sand.” trailer_trash_dreams / Reddit

Regardless of judgment or raised eyebrows, the woman of today’s story walked away with an unshakeable sense of self-assurance. In a world often quick to judge, sometimes the bravest act is to stay true to oneself, even if it means refusing to give up that extra seat on an airplane.

Preview photo credit Electrical_Trash_373 / Reddit


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