Man shamed for refusing to switch seats with elderly couple on flight

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A tourist was given glares by other passengers after he refused to switch seats on a plane for an elderly couple.

The man had paid extra for the particular seat as he wanted extra legroom during the 12-hour flight.  

But the elderly couple claimed his seat, and the one next to it, were theirs – even though the man’s name was displayed on an electronic panel above it.

Nevertheless, the couple, thought to be in their 70s, asked the man to swap seats with their ones on the Air New Zealand plane. These had no extra legroom so the man declined.

Writing on Reddit, the man told how a confrontation threatened to develop until a flight attendant intervened to usher the pensioners away.

A queue had developed along the aisle and people were staring at the man, Mirror reports.

The man’s post has split opinion on Reddit, a social news forum.

The post, published yesterday, reads: “Saw a few plane seat-related posts so I thought I would add my story.

“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.”

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He detailed the lengthy conversation, after which the pensioners asked the flight attendants if they could upgrade their seats but this was declined as the service was full.

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

Flocking to the comment section, Reddit users shared their opinion about the controversial ordeal.

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.

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