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23rd Oct 2023

‘I refused to switch seats with old couple on 12 hour flight after I paid for an upgrade’

Charlie Herbert

'I refused to switch seats with old couple on 12 hour flight after I paid for an upgrade'

‘I paid for the extra legroom and I need it!’

A man has defended himself after he refused to let an elderly couple sit in his seat on a flight because he had specifically paid for an upgrade.

Flying can be uncomfortable at the best of times, but especially on long-haul flights, which is why some will fork out extra for a little more comfort such as extra leg room.

This is exactly what this man did, and when an elderly couple had decided to take his seats he wasn’t having any of it – a move that didn’t go down to well with his fellow flyers.

To try and establish whether he was in the wrong or not, the man took to the famous ‘Am I the A**hole’ Reddit forum, writing a post titled “Old couple try to take our seats on a plane.”

The man wrote: “A few years ago my significant other and I planned a three-month trip around the world. Our first flight was from New Zealand-LA. 12-13 hours.

“We booked and paid for our flights and I added the premium economy seats as I’m 6’3 and wanted the extra legroom. Cost an extra $60 (£50).

“This flight was with Air New Zealand, the screen has your name on it when you get to your seat.

“We get on the plane. Find our seats and there is this older couple sitting there (mid 70s). I ask them if they got confused with their seat numbers. They hadn’t.

“I show them my ticket and seat number and point to my name on the screen. They then ask me just sit in their seats which were ten rows back. No leg room.”

When the elderly couple refused to move, the man insisted they move because he had paid extra for the luxury of the leg room.

The man explained the conversation: “Me: You want me to sit in your seats?

“OP (old people): Yes, that would be nice thank you.

“Me: I paid extra for these seats and would like to sit in them. Please move to your seats.

“OP: Oh, it’s not that bad there’s plenty of legroom.

“Me: Yeah, there’s plenty of legroom in my seats because I paid for it. I’ll help move your bag if you need.”

As the argument continued, a long line had formed in the plane, forcing a flight attendant to intervene and ask what was going on.

The conversation continued: “OP: This man wants us to move seats!

“Flight attendant: Sir, please go to your allocated seats.

“Me: Here is my ticket, these people are sitting in my seats. I paid extra because I need the legroom.

“FA to old people: Excuse me, you will have to move to your own seats as you have not paid for these seats.

“Old people: Well, can we please have an upgrade?

“FA: Sorry, this is a full flight so that’s not possible.”

The man added: “I got some stink eyes from other people on the flight. I paid for the extra legroom and I need it.”

In the comments of the post, it seemed like most people concluded the man was in the right and was most certainly not the a**hole in this scenario.

One person wrote: “I have no idea why the other people who paid extra for legroom would glare at this guy.”

Meanwhile, someone else said: “This isn’t a two hour flight where you buck up for the good of old people, which is still not right given the social experience that is flying – I wouldn’t care if it was a two hour flight there is still the principle of the matter, but I may cave depending on my mood.

“12-13 hours is no joke though – there is no giving in. You move those people or the plane doesn’t take off,” they added.

Related links:

Flight attendant explains where the ‘best seat’ is on a plane and why

Brit gets revenge after train inspector can’t do anything about group sitting in seat he booked

Plane passenger sparks outrage after refusing to swap first class seats with 10-year-old