'I refused to swap plane seats with a cheeky mum - she stared daggers at me the whole flight'

The couple were asked to move seats by a mum so her partner could help with her baby (STOCK IMAGE)
The couple were asked to move seats by a mum so her partner could help with her baby (STOCK IMAGE) -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

Air travel can be a tense experience for many people. Some passengers are uncomfortable in the confined spaces of their seats - and the plane generally - and this can lead to tempers fraying in the aircraft.

One common issue people have with their fellow flyers is around the seating allocation, with many airlines only allowing customers to book specific spots if they pay extra. This can lead to some families sitting apart during the journey, which can be an issue for some.

Often, people will ask politely if someone is able to swap to allow them to sit with their loved one. And while many people are happy to oblige, there is no requirement to do so - and many people refuse to move, especially if they have spent money on their chosen seat.

This was the situation one man found himself in while on a long-haul flight from Europe to Asia. He and his wife had booked seats in the first row, hoping that would give them some extra legroom on the 10-hour journey, The Mirror reports.

When they boarded, they found that a woman was sitting in the middle seat in their row, holding a baby. Before the couple had even sat down, the "cheeky" new mother asked if one of them would switch with her husband in the row behind.

She was hoping for extra help from her spouse with the newborn, but the man politely declined, as he wanted to sit with his wife and make use of the extra legroom they had paid for.

The disgruntled mum stared 'daggers' at the man for refusing to swap (STOCK IMAGE)
The disgruntled mum stared 'daggers' at the man for refusing to swap (STOCK IMAGE) -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

Detailing the story on Reddit, he wrote: "My wife and I were travelling on a 10-hour flight from Europe to Asia last week. We booked our tickets well in advance and also managed to book the specific seats we wanted - two seats in the first row.

"We paid for these seats as it was going to be a long journey and wanted the extra leg space. When we boarded, there was a woman holding a baby sitting in the middle seat.

This woman, before I even had a chance to put my bag in the overhead compartment, asked me 'Can I be really cheeky and ask you to switch seats with my husband?' She then pointed toward her husband sitting in the second row (only the first row has extra leg space and requires additional payment to book the seat).

She then told me that her husband needs to be next to her to help with the baby. My wife stayed quiet while I politely but firmly told her that unfortunately as his seat is in a second row, I wouldn't be moving there as I had specifically paid for the seat with extra legroom."

Annoyed that her request had been denied, the mother called over a flight attendant in a bid to get her way - but the man and his wife still refused to swap. The cabin crew member then went away and was, thankfully, able to remedy the situation.

The man continued: "A steward came and requested me to switch with the husband, and I had to tell him the same thing, making things quite awkward. Thankfully the steward came back and told me that there were two vacant seats in one of the other first rows and offered to move us."

The couple were happy to move, since they would still have the extra legroom, but, even after getting her way, the mum was unimpressed at the initial refusal.

The Redditor said she stared "daggers" at him throughout the flight and he could also hear her "animatedly making comments about [them] to her husband" for some time.

The man went on to reveal that his in-laws said he should have just moved, since the woman had a baby. But he and his wife were resolute on the fact that "[the mother's] poor planning is not [their] problem."

Reddit users were also firmly on the man's side. Many showed sympathy to the mother but acknowledged that the couple were entitled to the seats they purchased.

One person replied: "Having a baby doesn't automatically entitle you to whatever you want, especially because booking is in advance and they had ample time to do the same amount of planning as you."

Another commented: "You paid for extra leg room, and paid for that seat. You were under no obligation to switch. If she wanted to sit with her husband, she should have booked side by side seats."

A third said: "People need to stop asking people to trade seats. If you need special accommodations, talk to the airline. It's their business. It's not your fellow traveller's responsibility to sort out your seating."

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