A Woman Helped A Stranger Refuse To Swap Seats On A Plane & TikTokers Say She's A 'Hero'

"Go back to row 26 where you belong."

Associate Editor, Global
The TikToker explaining what happened. Right: Seats in an airplane.

The TikToker explaining what happened. Right: Seats in an airplane.

Seat swapping on an airplane has been a hot topic on social media, with many people being praised for refusing to change seats to accommodate other passengers.

Now one woman is being called a "hero" on TikTok, not because of what she did for herself but for helping a stranger get out of an unfair seat exchange.

Washington state-based TikToker @not.cristinayang explains it happened on a flight from Hawaii to Seattle, which is about a five-hour trip.

The traveller says she was sitting in the window seat when someone approached the woman sitting in her row to swap seats so she could sit next to her friend.

"She looks at the Asian lady next to me, the little Japanese lady, she says 'Let's switch seats. I'm back in [row] 26,'" the TikToker explained in a video posted on January 13.

"Mind you, we're in premium economy, okay? We're like in row 8 with all the unlimited drinks and snacks."


Replying to @mixedchick132 the audacity of some people #flying #assignedseats

The TikToker said the Japanese woman was about to get up to make the switch after being told the row 26 seat was next to the window, which made it better than her current middle seat.

However, @not.cristinayang knew the seat was worse and decided to step in.

"I was like 'Except for the fact that we are travelling together.' Hello, we're both Asian, of course we know each other and 26 is not premium economy, you can smell the toilet back there. No!"

She looked at the Japanese woman and said "sit down Connie."

"I don't know what her name is I just called her Connie for some reason and she sat down. I guess I was meaner than the other lady."

The lady in row 26 was upset she couldn't sit with her friend and accused @not.cristinayang of making things up about travelling with the Japanese woman.

"So I look over at the Asian lady next to me and I start speaking to her in Cantonese, which is like totally the wrong language for her, but this lady is not Asian so she's not going to know the difference," she explained in her video.

"The Asian lady looks at me [...] she responds to me in Japanese and I'm like mhmm that's right."

"I look up at the lady who's still standing there and I go 'okay we're going to continue talking about you in our language so why don't you go back to row 26 where you belong.'"

With over 2.5 million views on the video, the majority of people are hailing the woman for what she did.

"I love this SO much A+++ for you looking out for someone who probably feels uncomfortable saying no (hi, it’s me)," one person wrote.

"This story is top tier! I love that you stood up for her!" another person chimed in.

Several other TikTok users called the woman a hero for her actions.

"Not all heroes wear capes!! They speak Cantonese!!" a person noted in the comments.

Others suggested the two friends who wanted to sit together should've handled the seat swap differently.

"If they wanted to sit together so bad, row 8 friend should have gone back to switch with whoever was sitting next to row 26 girl. Upgrade the mover," one comment reads.

Other's loved how the Japanese woman played along, with one person writing, "Connie is a fast learner."

So next time you're on a flight and hear an unfair seat exchange about to go down, don't be afraid to help a fellow passenger out if it looks like they need it.

This article's right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Asymina Kantorowicz
Associate Editor, Global
Asymina Kantorowicz is an Associate Editor for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on celebrity and health news and is based in Victoria, British Columbia.
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