passengers sitting on airplane
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
June 1, 2022 ·  4 min read

‘I won’t switch seats on a plane for a mum and baby paid extra to sit there’

Plane rides can be ruined on the basis of the seats and co-passengers one gets. As such, we have every right to enjoy superior seats should we choose to pay extra. Should we give that up for someone else who is having difficulty but forgot to plan for it, just for the sake of being “helpful”?

This is why seats on a plane have become one of the most polarizing topics in recent times. This is especially true for stories where people ask to exchange seats and the owner refuses. Today, we have a story just like that.

u/Bratster22 posted on the AITA (Am I The A**hole?) subreddit about his troublesome experience involving a couple with a child.

Is Having A Baby The Difference?

Apparently, for one passenger, having a baby with them means a lot of trouble. It usually does mean that, but people book plane seats beforehand to avoid such situations. This is what OP had in mind as well:

My wife and I were travelling on a 10 hour flight from Europe to Asia last week. We booked our tickets well in advance and also managed to book the specific seats we wanted […] We paid for these seats as it was going to be a long journey and wanted the extra leg space.

When we boarded, there was woman holding a baby seated in the middle seat. We had booked the 2 aisles on the off chance that the middle seat may be empty but with full intention for me to switch to the middle seat if the passenger wished to sit in one of the aisles and not between us. This woman, before I even had a chance to put my bag in the overhead compartment, asked me “Can I be really cheeky and ask you to switch seats with my husband?”

She then pointed towards her husband sat in the second row on the left side column of the aircraft (only the first row has extra leg space and requires additional payment to book the seat). She then told me that her husband needs to be next to her to help with the baby.

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Image Credits: Stock

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A Firm But Polite Refusal

The woman also claimed that they had paid extra as well. But, somehow, they had been still been given seats with less legroom. The OP was having none of it:

My wife stayed quiet while I politely but firmly told her that unfortunately as his seat is in a second row, I wouldn’t be moving there as I had specifically paid for the seat with extra legroom. She then claimed that she and her husband had paid as well but they placed him in the second row, which seemed very suspect.

Then the steward came and requested me to switch with the husband on her behest and I had to tell him the same thing, making things quite awkward. She then threw daggers at me for some time. […]. Thankfully the steward came back and told me that there were 2 vacant seats in one of the other first rows and offered to move us. We ended up moving there but could hear this lady animatedly make comments about us to her husband from behind for sometime after that.


OP’s in-laws had differing opinions, but his wife agreed with him:

When I recounted this incident to my in-laws they said that I should have just moved as she had a baby with her and that turned into a different conversation about baby expectations! My wife agrees with me that her poor planning is not our problem and that we should have stayed out if there were no other first row seats.


Reddit’s Opinion On The Seat Matter

Even though we may not choose a side, the commenters on the Reddit post seemed to have unanimously agreed that OP was NTA. Here are some of the most interesting perspectives:

u/Time_Highlight89 said:

NTA. You had no obligation to her. Why couldn’t she switch with someone in her husband’s row? As for the “but she had a baby,” that’s irrelevant. She could trade off with her husband. She might have a beef with the airlines, but not with you.

u/The_Death_Flower said:

NTA, if her seats had been moved she should have taken it up with the flight attendants, not expecting other passengers to switch around for her. She wasn’t in the wrong for asking, but her making comments about it to her husband during the flight lands her (plane puns) in entitled parents territory

u/TheFairyingForest said:

NTA. When I traveled overseas with my one-year-old child, I called the airline and spoke to someone who gave me all kinds of great tips. We booked our seats based on their advice. You planned ahead; she didn’t. Her poor planning does not make you TA.

So what do you think of the situation? Does having a child automatically mean one has extra privileges? Or is it too much encroachment especially since OP rightfully paid for those seats?

Let us know in the comments below!

Keep Reading: ‘I Cancelled My Daughter’s 16th Birthday Party After Her Disgraceful Behaviour’


  1. AITA for not giving up my seat on the airplane?Reddit. May, 2022.

    Attention: While many of these stories are interesting, and we would love to take their word for it, the content in this article was taken from an unverifiable source (i.e., a Reddit forum). As such, we cannot guarantee that these events truly happened in the way that they are described in the original source.