• Sun. Mar 19th, 2023

Woman’s six-second TikTok video reignites big plane seat debate

One of the best feelings in the world is when you’re sitting in economy and realise the seat next to you is empty (or even better, the whole row is empty).

But it can come with its own dangers, as other not-so-lucky passengers begin eyeing off one of those free seats.

A traveller who found herself in this situation on a long-haul flight recently has reignited the plane etiquette debate with a six-second, now-viral TikTok video.

The young woman’s video showed her laying across three seats with a blanket, eye mask and smile.

The caption read: “No one is in my row and someone asked to take my window seat and I politely declined because I don’t owe anyone anything and I deserve to be comfortable for my 15-hour flight as well.”

The video has been viewed more than six million times in five days, attracting one million likes and more than 2000 comments.

The overwhelming majority were in support of the woman, but some labelled the move as selfish.

One comment that read, “Ya, no – they can buy a window seat. You get what you pay for,” gained 57,000 likes alone.

Almost 30,000 TikTok users liked another comment that said, “I think it is so weird that people ask for someone else’s seat.”

But one person pointed out that while passengers could refuse to give up their allocated seat, they didn’t have the right to decline empty seats next to them.

“You don’t owe them your seat especially if [you] paid for it, but the other two seats are free for the taking as long as the crew is OK with it,” she wrote.

Another woman said she believed asking for someone else’s seat on a plane was a “seemingly new phenomenon” she did not understand.

“I pay good money for a seat. It’s quite rude to expect me to give it up,” she said.

Another person said they didn’t understand the harm in asking for a seat but you had to “be prepared for a no and take it as an adult”.

A second person agreed: “Y’all act like it’s a crime to simply ASK for an occupied window seat.”

Many took the opportunity to share their own experiences.

“One time a flight attendant asked me to give another passenger my window seat just because they wanted it, to move me to a middle seat. I said no,” wrote person one.

“This happened to me one time and some guy asked me to switch with him so he could sleep … and I was like, ‘No, I want to sleep too?” wrote another.

“Some woman asked if her child could have my window seat and I said no and she got so mad,” said a third.

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