A Canadian Refused To Switch Plane Seats With A Couple & TikTok Slammed The 'Entitlement'

The couple wanted to sit together, but the passenger was "not moving" to the seat behind.

Trending Editor
Canadian Olympian Cynthia Appiah.

Canadian Olympian Cynthia Appiah.

"Seat selection is your friend. I promise you." That was the message from a Canadian Olympian who refused to switch seats on a plane so that a couple could sit together.

Cynthia Appiah, who has competed in bobsleigh for Team Canada at the Olympics, recently took to TikTok to explain why she isn't prepared to move seats on a plane when another passenger asks her to.

"It seems like there's a lot of conversations going on right now on TikTok about plane seats and whether you should have to give up your seat if someone asks you," she began.

She went on to explain that, as a national team athlete, she regularly flies between Toronto and Calgary and often upgrades her seat to Premium Economy or to a "preferred seat in economy."

Appiah noted that, when she catches a flight, she always pays for an aisle seat so that she can go to the washroom without disturbing anyone else, and stand up "to give myself a different position to be in than sitting."

On one occasion though, according to the athlete, she arrived at her Premium Economy aisle seat to find a woman sitting in it, next to a man beside the window.


Seat selection is your friend. I promise you. #airplane #seatswitching #canada

Initially, Appiah assumed she must have made a mistake so she "triple-checked" to ensure her seat number was correct.

"Yes indeed, that person was in my seat."

"I go up to her and I'm like 'hey, you're in my seat.' And she goes 'yeah, I know I am, but I was wondering if you wouldn't mind switching with my seat just behind me, so I can sit with my boyfriend during this flight?'"

Appiah explained that the woman's seat was still in Premium Economy and only one row behind, but it was a window seat and not an aisle seat, like she had specifically booked.

"I told her nope, I paid for this seat. I would rather stick with my seat. [...]

"I was just like, I bought the aisle and I'm not moving."

According to the Olympian, the woman then "got all upset," but accepted that there "wasn't much of a fight" for the seat.

Appiah concluded by saying that people should not "kindly ask (but really bully) people into giving up their seats."

And, it seems like the Team Canada athlete isn't the only one who feels this way.

In response to her video, many TikTokers called out the "entitled" behaviour of the couple who assumed that they'd be able to switch seats with Appiah.

"Wait, people are actually expecting people to give up their paid seats?!?! Bananas! Absolutely not," wrote one person.

"Say. It. Louder. Thank you," wrote another.

A third added, "People are rude and entitled. Book your seat in advance."

"Yup, some people feel entitled. Stick to your guns girl!!," shared somebody else.

While the significant majority of the responses agreed that nobody should have to give up their pre-booked seat, some did have more sympathy for those who try their luck.

"Some folks can’t book early or have to make last-minute plans and the seats aren’t together. That said I would never just sit in someone else’s seat," one TikToker said.

Another noted, "I can never afford to choose seats. I might ask someone to switch so I can sit by my daughter - but never if it’s not an equivalent."

The debate has been ongoing on TikTok, with users sharing their experiences of being asked to move to accommodate older people, families or children.

For the most part, many people seem to believe that nobody is obliged to swap seats with another passenger. Although, of course, not everybody agrees.

Helena Hanson
Trending Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.
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