A woman has sparked debate over whether she was in the wrong after “embarrassing a plus sized passenger on a flight” by asking to switch seats.
Writing on the well-known Reddit forum AITA (which stands for “Am I the a**hole?”), the 19-year-old asked if she had overstepped the mark by requesting to move as “neither of my neighbours were able to fit comfortably into their seats”.
The poster claimed that she was assigned a middle seat on her flight from Las Vegas to New York, while the people sitting either side of her were both “plus sized”.
“I wouldn’t have any problem with this in any other situation, but plane seats are terribly small,” she wrote.
“On either side of me, my seat neighbour’s shoulder was on top of mine and their thigh was on top of mine as well.”
After alerting the flight attendant to the situation “as privately and gently as I could”, the crew apparently “managed to find a seat a few rows behind mine that I could sit in”.
The woman goes on to mention how “getting my bag from under the seat in front of me and moving was pretty awkward”, but that “the rest of the flight went fine” and without interruption.
However, she was surprised to find the woman that she had been sitting next to waiting for her after disembarking the aircraft.
“She essentially told me that I had embarrassed her and the other man and that traveling while plus-sized is hard enough without ‘people treating fatness like a contagious disease’.
“She also said that I made it a public demonstration to everyone that plus sized passengers are an ‘inconvenience’ and opened the door to fatphobia on flights.
“I really didn’t mean for it to come across that way, but I can understand how it did and everyone on the flight saw me move, so now I’m wondering whether I should have just stuck it out”.
The thread has received over 2,100 comments, with many people speaking in support of the woman.
One user said: “You did not make a ‘public demonstration’ nor contribute to fatphobia in any way. You weren’t comfortable and you discretely asked for another seat. The real AH is airlines for making seats smaller for the past 20+ years”.
Many others agreed, with one commenting that the woman “handled things discretely and did not fatshame people. You did nothing wrong”.