Seats on planes are never the most comfortable of spacious but are a particular inconvenience for larger people.
One cruel and completely humiliating policy that exists with certain air travel companies is to charge people who are considered to be obese for two seats.
Not only is that completely illogical and embarrassing for the person involved, it is also a huge topic of controversy and debates on the subject have been going on for years.
To try and force an experiment on the topic, a man recently took to Reddit to ask if it was immoral for him to ask an obese man to pay him to sit next to him on a flight.
Taking to the notorious 'Am I the A**hole' subreddit, he wrote the following:
So this month I was flying across the country on a long 5 hour flight, which I had booked and seats selected for. I specifically chose an aisle seat in a row of two, so no middle seat — just the aisle and window.
Well, a very obese man boards and I can tell instantly he is going to have a tough time fitting in any of the seats. I assume maybe he bought two hence why he’s even attempting to board. I’m mentally crossing my fingers he’s not next to me, but sure enough he ends up pointing to the window seat next to me to let him in.
I get up and let him in politely, wanting to at least give him a chance. Well, he sits down and is easily seeping into about 1/3 of my seat. I sit down and am pressed up against him, making me uncomfortable. After a minute, I decided to be upfront and tell him:
Sir, I’m sorry but this situation is not working for me, you’re taking up quite a bit of my seat”.
He wasn’t rude, but sort of gave me a shrug as if there’s not 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.
Well the people sitting behind me (who keep in mind didn’t volunteer to sit by him) were making under their breath comments about me being an a**hole for doing that. I just ignored them and put the cash in my wallet.
From my perspective, I gave the guy a valid option to stay on the flight and I was compensated for literally having only 75% of my seat max (let alone the feeling of a person’s body pressed against you involuntarily). A win-win. He wasn’t angry at all, if anything he seemed quite relieved we could work it out privately.
After the flight, the couple behind me glared at me but I ignored them. This leads me to beg the question, AITA?
His scenario and reasoning divided Reddit and people couldn't decide if it was a completely reprehensible or reasonable thing to ask someone who had only paid for one seat.