Traveling long distances is not only a hassle, but it can also be quite tiring.
That’s why a lot of travelers are willing to pay good money to just to make the trip in as much comfort as they can afford.
However, one man’s experience during such a flight and how he dealt with it has sparked a fierce online debate on Reddit where he posted his story.
In summary, the man had a five-hour flight ahead of him but a “very obese” passenger ended up sitting next to him and taking up a lot of his own seat. In the end, he asked the passenger to pay him $150, half the cost of the flight, to which the other party agreed.
The man who posted the question said he specifically booked an aisle seat in a two-seat row so that he could have a comfortable flight. But then the obese passenger arrived and took up the window seat, prompting the man to say, “Sir, I’m sorry but this situation is not working for me, you’re taking up quite a bit of my seat.”
The rest of the story goes as follows: “He wasn’t rude, but sort of gave me a shrug as if there’s nothing he can do – although he did sort of tighten his arms in to try and be narrower.
“It just wasn’t enough, though. He still was overhanging over the armrest about 1/4th into my seat even when squeezing his arms in. I’m talking about fully hanging over the armrest into my seat.
“I end up stopping a flight attendant and ask her what can be done about the situation. She instantly tells him that he is likely going to need to purchase another seat. She goes to the front and comes back saying that there aren’t any open seats on this flight, so there wasn’t a way to move people so he could have two. This causes a very awkward silence.
“The guy seemed embarrassed and didn’t want to get up. He mentioned how he can’t wait for a later flight. I felt bad for him but I was also thinking about my own comfort on the long flight – the comfort I paid for.
“The flight attendant tells him that unless someone on the flight agrees to let him take up part of their seat, he’ll need to book another flight. The guy seems really flustered by this ultimatum, and here’s where I made my offer.
“I told the guy, ‘Look, I’ll put up with this if you give me $150 – that’s half the cost of this flight and that would compensate me enough for the circumstances.’”
“He instantly agrees, pulls out cash and pays me. He even told me he appreciated it.”
He ends the story by asking: “This leads me to beg the question, AITA (Am I the a**hole)?”
The post has gone viral and sparked opposing opinions on whether it was right or not. Some said it was right for him to charge the obese passenger while others viewed it as an act of cruelty.
One guy wrote, “The problem here was that this large dude stuck you with being uncomfortable on your flight, right? Well, the $150 didn’t make you any less squished in your seat, so it really feels like you just blackmailed this guy for being fat.”
On the other hand, one user commented, “Having less than one seat to yourself for five hours is worth less than having a full seat to yourself for five hours. OP was compensated for his discomfort.”
But a lot of people also pointed fingers at the airline for “cramming people into smaller and smaller spaces” and further fueled the debate over whether larger passengers warranted paying for an extra ticket or if it can be considered another form of fat-shaming.
There’s no easy answer but in the meantime, the debate on Reddit continues.
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