Man reveals why you shouldn’t switch seats on a commercial flight

@mmarkroberts/TikTok CGiHeart/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘They don’t always have the best intentions’: Man reveals why you shouldn’t switch seats on a commercial flight

‘Are plane squatters a thing?’

 

Melody Heald

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A popular TikToker is warning travelers against agreeing to switch seats with other passengers on commercial flights. His warning comes after he almost got scammed himself.

“If somebody asks you to switch seats with them on a commercial flight, be cautious because they don’t always have the best intentions,” TikTok user Mark Roberts (@mmarkroberts) warns his 1 million followers.

He shares how he caught a woman trying to scam him into getting a better seat on the plane.

“As soon as I sat down, this random lady taps me on the shoulder and she’s just, like, ‘Hey. My seat is right here,’” he recalls. He says she pointed to the seat next to him.

“‘But my daughter is a couple of aisles up. Would you mind switching with her, so we can sit next to each other?’” he says she told him.

Why her request raised a red flag

“I was already in premium economy, and the only people that were sat down in front of me at that point were in first class,” he says. “I had to assume that her daughter was in first class.”

Roberts says he asked the woman if he could see her ticket, but she refused.

“Then, she tells me that her daughter has the ticket, and she goes on to describe her daughter,” he says. ”As if she wanted me to walk up and down the aisle of the plane and look for her, so we could switch seats.”

When that didn’t work, he says the woman resorted to guilt-tripping him.

“All of a sudden, she just gets super lethargic, and she plops her bag in the overhead bin and then falls into the seat next to me, and she’s just like, ‘Being a mother is so hard. I’ve been walking around all day. I’m sorry. I’m just so tired,’” he recalls.

He says she brought up which seat her daughter was in again. However, he stood his ground.

“I got the feeling that she pulled that out of thin air,’” he says. “I was like, ‘No. I’m good here.’”

Roberts says the woman then got “visibly upset and was like, ‘You wouldn’t understand what it takes to be a mother.’”

“Next thing you know, this random due comes down the aisle and taps her on the shoulder and is just like, ‘Ma’am, I think you’re in my seat,’” he continues.

Roberts says the man showed her his ticket to prove it was his seat, not hers. “And you could tell her blood started boiling,” Roberts says.

The woman went and sat at the back of the plane, where her real seat was located, Roberts reveals at the end of his video.

@mmarkroberts

but if somebody does asks to switch seats with you on a flight dont always assume its a scam because i feel there are genuine families that just want to sit together — it was just some random flight on a plane i happened to be on

♬ original sound – Mark Roberts

Viewers have suggestions

Roberts says in the caption of his post that he understands sometimes families will genuinely want to switch seats so that they can sit together.

“Dont always assume its a scam,” he clarifies. “It was just some random flight on a plane i happened to be on.”

Roberts’ video has 9.5 million views.

Viewers in the comments section backed the TikToker. And they are sharing their suggestions for how to respond if you don’t want to give up your seat with the least amount of fuss.

“‘Sorry. If we crash I want my body identified correctly’ usually shuts them up in my experience,” one user shared.

“I always pull the i don’t speak English,” a second commented.

“The right answer to someone asking u to switch seats is always ‘have u asked a flight attendant if they can help u?’ irs best not to get involved in their nonsense lol,” a third said.

What to do if someone asks to switch seats

You don’t have to switch seats with anyone. The seat you pay for/are assigned to is yours for the flight. Most people understand this. As a matter of fact, a woman was widely celebrated for standing her ground and refusing to switch seats so that a woman and her teenage son could sit together on her flight.

If you are asked to switch seats with someone, and you don’t want to, like Roberts, you can always just politely decline. If it escalates from there, it is recommended that you call a flight attendant to handle the situation.

On smaller planes, switching seats can even be a safety hazard as the weight distribution of smaller planes matters more.

The Daily Dot reached out to Roberts via email.

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