A Window Seat Nightmare

by SharonKurheg

If you’re a fan of the window seat, you’ve probably “been there.” You’re all settled and you’re on your way to your destination. You’re looking out the window here and there, or maybe you’re just enjoying having a wall to learn on, or the little bit of extra space under the seat in front of you.

And then, all of a sudden, the passenger next to you suddenly starts taking pictures out the window. Of course, it’s one thing if they only do it once or twice. Or if they take the shots from the confines of their middle (or aisle, if it’s just 2 seats in the row) seat, that’s usually OK too.

But a TikTokker named sterlingavannah had a much bigger problem on her hands – she had a window seat and the older man seated next to her appeared to continually lean over her to take pictures of the view.

Her caption for the video, which has well over 8.5 million views, was, “Do people not know personal space? And that you can choose a window seat? Only option was to stare out the window.”. Here’s the video:


Only option was to stare out the window😭

♬ Funny – Gold-Tiger

Many of the 20k+ responses offered suggestions of what sterlingsavannah could have done:

  • Closed the shade
  • Speak up for herself
  • Stare him down
  • Speak to a flight attendant

One or two said to humor the guy and let him take his photos. And a handful suggested that she was suffering from “freeze response” (from NIH: Part of description of an adaptive alarm model suggests that a freeze response may occur in some threatening situations. Specifically, freezing — or tonic immobility — may overwhelm other competing action tendencies. For example, when fleeing or aggressive responses are likely to be ineffective, a freeze response may take place.) but I personally question that. An older man leaning over to take photos may be annoying, but unless the woman in the window seat had unusual responses to someone else’s (admittedly) poor boundaries, I doubt it would be considered enough of a threat to warrant a fight-or-flight or freeze response.

As someone who appears to be significantly older than sterlingsavannah, I would have had no problem setting limits with this man (who, many people questioned, if he was her father or some other older man she was traveling with. She said he was not her father). But that’s me now. When I was her age, I might not have said anything in a similar situation, either.

What do you think? Would you have said something if you were in her shoes?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Jinxed_K February 20, 2024 - 7:53 pm

I probably would have just quietly closed the shades and/or pulled out a portable game and use the excuse the open window would cause too much glare on the game screen.

Nancy February 20, 2024 - 8:27 pm

Ha! Since my kids always insist on having the window seat, this is what I do to them. 🙂

SharonKurheg February 20, 2024 - 8:29 pm

LOL! Yeah but they’re you’re kids; you have that right! 😉

Patrick February 21, 2024 - 8:57 am

I believe this happened quite a while ago didn’t it?

SharonKurheg February 21, 2024 - 9:11 am

Based on the date of the video, a couple of months ago, yeah.

Rupert February 21, 2024 - 9:50 am

A simple ” Excuse me, Sir, please stop reaching through my space, you are making me uncomfortable” would have quickly & politely resolved the issue.
Instead, she secretly films him without permission and posts it publicly. She complains about him infringing on her space, yet infringes on his privacy!
If this was in Europe/on EU airline, he was merely impolite, while she actually broke the law…

David Miller February 21, 2024 - 1:17 pm

Rupert – Are you kidding?? —-” she secretly films him without permission ” — Just how could he not know she was filming him ? Is it his “privacy” when he is infringing in/on her privacy?
(Comment edited by YMMV to remove portion that was against posting guidelines)

Belinda February 24, 2024 - 8:32 pm

Next time he leans over you, in a very loud voice tell him he is a pervert and


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