Seat swapping on an airplane is a hot topic for many, and once again, a Reddit post has got people fired up.
In the Reddit post, which was shared on the Am I The A**hole subreddit, the 23-year-old passenger explained that she'd been planning a trip to San Francisco for around a year. A couple of months before the flight, she was contacted by the airline who said they would like to offer her an upgrade to first class.
Around an hour into the 13-hour flight, the passenger said she was approached by a flight attendant who asked if she would be willing to swap seats with a 10-year-old boy who was sitting in economy, while his parents were in first class.
"[...] I was told the two parents were both members and had also received upgrades, not realizing that their son wasn’t able to be upgraded with them. So they got their first-class tickets but he was stuck back at economy," the Redditor said.
"The flight attendant began giving me some options as if I had no choice but to move and she was saying things like I’d get another free upgrade on another flight or I could get a full refund for the flight."
The passenger ultimately declined the seat swap and while she heard nothing from the parents or the flight attendant, she said she was "shamed" by an older woman in the next seat.
But is the passenger in the wrong for refusing to give up her seat? We asked etiquette expert Louise Fox to weigh in on the matter; long story short, it's a no!
"The passenger doesn’t need an excuse to say no. She is not in the wrong in this situation," Fox said.
"If it was a two or even four-hour flight, I might be inclined to say 'okay' but a 13-hour flight … no thank you, I’d rather not move," she said.
"The passenger earned the right to travel first class through her support of this airline over the years and even though she didn’t pay extra for it, it was given to her as a token of appreciation. These opportunities don’t come up every day. I don’t think she should give it up or be shamed."
Fox added that the child's parents would likely have noticed that the child was seated in a different cabin when checking in prior to the flight.
"It is never correct to inconvenience someone else because you made an error, didn’t do your homework or as in this case made an incorrect booking. You shouldn’t expect someone else to account for your oversight," Fox added.
Instead of asking another passenger to give up their first-class seat, she said the airline could have instead moved the parents into economy and made other passengers happy by bumping them up to first class.
"As for the person who shamed her, perhaps she would like to give up her first-class seat to the child? I bet not," Fox added.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.