Passenger sparks debate online after charging obese passenger $150 to sit next to him on flight
A man has split the Internet over an admission that he charged an obese plane passenger $150 for a five-hour flight because the passenger was allegedly “taking up quite a bit” of the man’s seat.
The anonymous traveler posted the account on Reddit’s “Am I the A------“ forum, searching for feedback about his alleged actions.
“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,” the man begins his post, before going on to say “a very obese man” boarded the plane and was assigned the seat next to him.
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“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,’” the anonymous passenger claims in the post.
After the overweight passenger “tried to be narrower,” the poster said he alerted a flight attendant 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,” the passenger writes in the post.
“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,” he continued, stating that the “awkward silence” caused him to make his seatmate an 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.’”
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While the man claims that the overweight passenger “instantly agrees, pulls out cash, and pays” him, those on the anonymous forum were not as pleased with the transaction and called the poster an “a------.”
“This is ridiculous. You made a scene and embarrassed the man and then made him pay you for a fraction of your seat. You are the epitome of an a------,” one commented.
“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,” one wrote.
“And of course he graciously gave you $150. He was relieved that some money was going to shut you up and you weren’t going to continue to humiliate him for the entire flight- or worse, get him kicked off this flight,” another user commented.
Those on the flight with the man also reportedly called him names "under their breath" after he proposed the payment.
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However, many agreed with the traveler’s idea and applauded his “compromise.”
“You compromised. He compromised. It was an awkward situation of nobody's making. I think half the cost of the flight was maybe a bit steep though, if he was only in a third of your seat. Having said that, five hours is a long time,” one person commented.
“Guy knew he was fat, could have bought two seats but didn't. [Original poster] let the guy stay on the flight, have enough room to accommodate without paying for two seats and without the embarresment[sic] and inconvenience of having to get off and wait for the next flight that wasn't fully booked,” a user wrote.