The debate of whether or not it’s appropriate to ask someone to trade seats on an airplane so that people traveling together can sit next to one another is one that has raged on for years, and will undoubtedly continue to do so, but one TikToker’s account of an obnoxious experience has viewers pressed.
Surya Garg (@surya_garg) explained that while it’s annoying to be asked to give up your seat on a plane, she’ll generally do so if there’s a family with young children involved.
But that’s exactly what went down on her recent flight, where she says she had already settled into her window seat when she was approached by the woman assigned to sit next to her. She asked Garg if she would trade seats with her son, pointing to a middle seat a few rows back.
“I’m like, ‘who’s your son?’” she recalls. “And she points to this like, 6-foot-5 man!”
The son, she estimates, was at least 16 or 17, and had been talking on the phone to his girlfriend during the whole boarding process, seemingly disinterested in the seating arrangements.
“I don’t know what to say; I don’t want to move, I don’t think she really deserves for me to, ‘cause this is definitely just a case of like, bad planning,” Garg continues. “I don’t want to look like an a-hole, but I don’t think I’m an a-hole in this situation.”
She says she ultimately told the woman she didn’t want to switch. The whole situation might have been chalked up to one where there was no harm in asking if it had stopped there, but it did not.
“This woman makes the nastiest face at me I’ve ever experienced, sits down next to me in the middle seat, that like, she was assigned to, her son goes back to the middle seat that he’s assigned to in the back, and then, I kid you not, under her breathe for like, the entirety of the flight, is just like, muttering profanities at me,” she says.
@surya_garg for real like was I wrong #nyc #airplane #airplaneseats ♬ original sound – Surya Garg
Viewers readily assured Garg she was hardly in the wrong here, as people expressed their own frustrations with fellow airplane passengers who not only ask people to trade seats but act bizarrely entitled about it.
“The way she reacted is precisely why you should not give up your seat,” @itsjaycez wrote. “Good job sticking up for yourself.”
“There is rarely a situation where saying no to seat switching is putting you in the wrong,” @truecrimepixie agreed.
Others suggested that the way airlines have started charging more for seat selection or for certain seats has left more people willing to inconvenience others rather than pay the added fees.
“I’m starting to think [it] isn’t ‘bad planning’ I’m thinking people are counting on ‘the Good Samaritan’ so they don’t have to pay extra for a seat,” @emily.nicole325 observed.
@alixannahsmom shared the same sentiment, writing, “They buy the cheapest [fare] and hope to get one up on the airline by asking someone to switch seats.”
Whatever the reasoning that led to this particular incident, based on the woman’s behavior, @doofevilinco may have been on to something with their reply: “That kid was def thrilled u said no and he didnt have to sit next to her.”
The Daily Dot reached out to @surya_garg via TikTok comment.