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21st Mar 2024

CEO praised for refusing to leave airline seat to let mum sit next to her children


The mum had taken the liberty of sitting in her seat before even asking

A tired CEO who refused to switch seats on a plane so a mum could sit next to her children is being commended for standing her ground, as stories of airline seat wars continue to take off.

Tammy Nelson, the CEO of global jewellery brand CONQUERing, posted a now-viral video about the Delta Airlines exchange on TikTok, where it has clocked up about 1.7 million views and sparked over 3,600 comments.

During a flight from Cincinnati, Ohio to San Jose, California, Tammy explained another woman asked her – well she presumed she could, first – swap seats, so she could sit next to her two kids.

Arriving at her row, Tammy figured the woman was already sitting in her widow seat, one she requests because she suffers from motion sickness.

She told Newsweek: “I double-checked my boarding pass thinking I may have had the wrong row.

“When I confirmed I was looking at the correct seat, I thought she must have just mistakenly sat in the wrong seat. So I said, ‘I’m sorry but it seems you’re in my seat’, thinking she would realise it and move.”

But the woman had no intentions of doing so, and rather than asking to swap, said, “Oh, you want to sit here?”

Tammy explained: “I was pretty surprised at the question but replied simply saying, ‘Yes, that’s the seat I selected.”

At that point, the woman reportedly told her she wanted to sit with her children, who had been allocated the two seats next to Tammy’s window seat.

The woman then reportedly told her she was with her two kids who were sitting in the seats next to her window seat.

“Oh well I just thought we could switch since these are my kids,” she reportedly told Tammy.

In her TikTok video Tammy explained that she had a good reason for not wanting to swap seats. She gets airsick.

“I get motion sickness during takeoff and landing if I can’t see out the window,” Tammy said.

“I also don’t get a lot of sleep. I often try to get a little sleep on planes which is easiest with a window seat.”


Having had only 90 minutes of sleep the night before and knowing I had to give a presentation to 500 people, I desperately needed some sleep, so I did not agree to switch seats. 🤷‍♀️ Before anyone comes after me… the kids looked like they were about 11 and 15 years old. And the mom was in arms-reach of both of them from the middle seat in the row behind us. The mom proceeded to complain for at least 15 minutes to the person next to her loud enough for me to hear. But the woman actually defended me – several times. It was so kind and I appreciated it so much because I was feeling really guilty. 🤦‍♀️ #airplaneseat#seatswitching#airplanekarens

♬ original sound – MyCONQUERing

Tammy went on to explained that she had only had 90 minutes of sleep the night before and was headed into a “high-pressure work week where I would be presenting to 500 people and really needed to be at my very best so getting a little sleep on that flight was extra-important”.

Tammy said the mum was “super annoyed” as her refusal to swap, and moved back to her own middle seat.

As these stories have tended to go in recent months, commenters fully support flyers who refuse to swap and have no sympathy for travellers who don’t pay more attention to to their bookings.

One user wrote: “People should book seats together if they want to sit together.”

Another added: “The amount of families who aren’t paying to select their seats together is mind-blowing! You were 100% right to not give up your seat.”

A third, said: “I would never even offer to swap seats if my current one isn’t equal or “better”. And I definitely wouldn’t expect it to be my right to swap!”

Tammy added: “People are fed up with people feeling entitled” when it comes to things like this.

“Clearly the woman just expected that I would make a change to meet her needs, not considering what she had done (or not done) that put her in that situation.

“She just expected me to flex my plans to suit her needs. There seems to be a growing trend of this entitlement in society and I think people are just sick of it.”

Read the Newsweek story here.

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