Awkward: He Wouldn’t Give Up His Exit Row Seat. What Would You Have Done?

by SharonKurheg

Sigh…the things you find on Reddit…

Established in 2005, Reddit is an American social news aggregator, web content rating, and discussion website. Registered members submit content to the site, such as links, text posts, and images, which other members then vote up or down.

Reddit has one area called AITA. The initials represent the term, “Am I The A-Hole.” The community is defined as, “A catharsis for the frustrated moral philosopher in all of us, and a place to finally find out if you were wrong in an argument that’s been bothering you. Tell us about any non-violent conflict you have experienced; give us both sides of the story, and find out if you’re right, or you’re the a-hole.” It’s kind of like a “jury of your peers” sort of thing.

We’ve mentioned other situations from AITA in the past:

As I perused the AITA section of Reddit the other day, I found another situation where the writer was asking their “jury of their peers” if they were an a-hole:

AITA for not giving up my exit row seat on an Airplane?

I was flying from Detroit to Greensboro this afternoon and I was lucky enough to get an exit row when I asked the concierge at the desk. It really makes planes more bearable as I am 6’11” and have leg issues from collegiate sports.

I got on and when most people were boarding, this mom asked me if her 14 year old girl could have my exit row seat because she gets nauseated on planes. I was very confused about how that even works but she asked nicely so I just politely declined. She wasn’t happy about it but she didn’t really make a scene.

Now 15 minutes into the flight this girl starts yakking all over the place (on her mom’s laptop, the seat in front, the aisle, literally everywhere). I’ve literally never seen so much vomit in my life and the plane just REEKED for the rest of it. By the end of the plane, it had caked into the carpet and was pooling under her chair.

I asked if everything was alright and the mom went off saying this was an entirely avoidable situation if I had of just traded seats with her. If I had of actually known this was gonna happen I probably would have sucked it up but I guess I didn’t really think it would happen. By the end this mother had turned a couple rows against me and I was getting death stares. One woman said under her breath “if you’re gonna be that tall, just buy first-class.”

I asked my wife about it and she says I did nothing wrong but she’s very high maintenance in public so I’m not sure how much I believe her. AITA?

So, was the poster an a-hole?

There were close to 550 replies (you can read them all at this link – heads up that there’s some adult language) and I’ll cut to the chase – the overall consensus was that the original poster (OP) was not the A-hole. There was a whole lot of conversation about a whole lot of other people and situations though:

  • The FAA only allows you to sit in the exit row if you’re 15 or over the girl was 14.
  • You also have to be able to follow the crew’s instructions in the event of an emergency. What if the kid was yakking in the middle of an emergency?
  • People went back and forth about why the mom wanted the girl to sit there. Some suggested that maybe if she was over the wing, it would be a smoother ride and she wouldn’t have yakked so much.Others said it would have just given her more room to puke so it went more on the floor than anywhere else.
  • Lot of people said that if she knew there was going to be a problem with vomiting, why didn’t she had her own bags or something to get sick into, instead of having it go all over everything? Or, hello, get a seat closest to the lavatory?
  • Very good point: “It makes it even more frustrating when someone told him that he should get a first class ticket if he’s gonna be that tall??? Like how does height suddenly mean that he has to pay more money to not be in pain when this was the easiest solution? It’s not like he decided ‘well, i want to be 6’11” today, maybe 5’4” tomorrow’”

There were a couple of responses that stood out:

  • …or a huge bag to hold the excretions. It’s like bringing extra diapers cause you know your babies [sic] gonna poop.
  • NTA. Mom needed to go into this with a much better plan than “maybe some rando will give up their seat.”
  • NTA: overwing exits should be filled with able bodied people, not barfy 14 year olds.
  • Maybe she was hoping to open the window for some fresh air

Of the 554 replies, there was not one person who suggested the OP was in the wrong. But what do you think? Should he have moved for the sake of the yakking 14-year-old?

Feature Photo: Krista E. / flickr

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


MFK March 23, 2024 - 5:43 pm

No. The mom was the a-hole.

Steve Cluck March 24, 2024 - 3:50 pm

I’m usually flying pre-board/medical. So I’m not allowed to take the exit row. But had I been granted the exit row after paying extra, I’d have kept the seat. The kid being under age also isn’t allowed in the row.

Taylor March 25, 2024 - 10:28 am

I’m 6’5″, and I cannot think of a single scenario where I would voluntarily give up an extra legroom seat that I spent time/energy/money to acquire. Not one. I can’t imagine if I had to deal with six more inches of height!

Know your special circumstances and plan ahead.

And don’t get me started on “well you’re tall, you should just buy first class!” In what world does height come with a cash supplement?


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