A young woman who shared a recent travel predicament got more grief than she bargained for when she explained to others why she moved her seat for more comfort while aboard a challenging flight.
Describing herself as a 19-year-old female, a woman going by the username of “throwawayonaplane” wrote on Reddit, “I just got off a flight from Las Vegas to New York.”
She said her “assigned seat was a middle seat, and both people next to me were plus-sized.”
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She noted, “I wouldn’t have [had] any problem with this in any other situation, but plane seats are terribly small and neither of my neighbors were able to fit comfortably into their seats.”
The teenager went on, “On either side of me, my seat neighbors’ shoulder was on top of mine and their thigh was on top of mine as well.”
She added on the subreddit AITA (“Am I the a–hole?”) — in which people reach out to others to get insight on their own behavior — “It was a pretty long flight and was kind of uncomfortable.”
After about “an hour and a half,” the young woman said, “I walked up to the flight attendant and explained the situation as privately and gently as I could, and I asked if there were any other seats available.”
“Getting my bag from under the seat in front of me and moving was pretty awkward.”
The woman added, “She managed to find a seat a few rows behind mine that I could sit in.”
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However, “getting my bag from under the seat in front of me and moving was pretty awkward — but the rest of the flight went fine,” the woman wrote.
She apparently thought the problem was solved.
“After I got off, though, the woman I was previously sitting next to was waiting for me,” wrote the 19-year-old.
The teenager went on to share, “She essentially told me that I had embarrassed her and the other man, and that traveling while plus-sized is hard enough without ‘people treating fatness like a contagious disease.’”
“Now I’m wondering whether I should have just stuck it out — it wasn’t like I was being suffocated or anything.”
Added the teen, “She also said that I made it a public demonstration to everyone that plus-sized passengers are an ‘inconvenience’ and opened the door to fatphobia on flights.”
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The teenage poster continued, “I really didn’t mean for it to come across that way, but I can understand how it did and everyone on the flight saw me move, so now I’m wondering whether I should have just stuck it out — it wasn’t like I was being suffocated or anything.”
She then asked others if she was wrong for asking to have her seat moved.
The woman’s post to date has received 8,500 reactions — with some 2,100 specific comments directed at her.
Fox News Digital reached out to a psychologist for insight into the situation.
“I don’t think this passenger did anything wrong other than letting herself be bullied by the [other] passenger,” said Dr. Jayme Albin, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in New York.
“She has a right to a full seat, as do all passengers. It seems as if the overweight person took out [her] feelings of being embarrassed on her.”
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Also, Dr. Albin said, “Just because someone is unhappy with a situation doesn’t mean it’s a personal attack — sometimes it’s just a situational factor, not a personal one.”
“What you did was find a solution that allowed everyone to sit comfortably and maintain dignity.”
In a later edit to her post, the woman called out commenters for their “blatant fatphobia” and said she simply posted her story “to get some insight on if and how” she might have “handled the situation better.”
She also wrote, “Please stop being mean to all plus-sized people … Generalization isn’t nice.”
She signed off with, “Peace and love, xxx.”
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A top commenter on the post, earning 17,000 “upvotes” for this response, wrote, “You did not make a ‘public demonstration’ nor contribute to fatphobia in any way. You weren’t comfortable and you discretely asked for another seat. She’s an [a–hole] for saying that drivel.”
This commenter pointed out that airlines have been “making seats smaller for the past 20+ years. It sucks now compared to when I flew in the ’90s.”
Wrote someone else — earning over 5,000 “upvotes” for this comment — “Her anger is misdirected. She can go ahead and be mad at the airlines for not accommodating people of her size, but it’s a perfectly normal human response not to want to be touching someone you don’t know and to take steps to make that not happen.”
Wrote yet another responder, “I’m not plus-sized, I’m fat. So maybe I shouldn’t be speaking for plus-sized people.”
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The writer then went on, “But speaking as a fat person, if you were sitting next to me, I would be very happy that a solution was found that made everyone more comfortable.”
This individual went on, “I’m very aware of when my fatness is invading another person’s space and I am more embarrassed by that. You talked to the attendant quietly.”
“It’s not like you stood up and started shouting.”
The person added, “It’s not like you stood up and started shouting … What you did was find a solution that allowed everyone to sit comfortably and maintain dignity.”
Wrote someone else, “All passengers are renting space. If they can’t fit in their rented space, they are ‘stealing’ your space.”
This commenter added, “At some point, a very large person would need to buy a second seat. You are not shaming them. You simply wanted the (not very to begin with) comfortable space you paid for.”
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