A teenage traveler has sparked a debate online after she was accused of being ‘fatphobic’ when she asked to switch airplane seats after being seated between two ‘plus-sized’ passengers.
The teen said that she wouldn’t normally ‘have any problem’ with being seated next to ‘plus-sized’ people but because the ‘plane seats are terribly small’, neither of her fellow passengers seated beside her could ‘fit comfortable into their seats.’
“On either side of me, my seat neighbor’s shoulder was on top of mine and their thigh was on top of mine as well," the passenger recalled.
“It was a pretty long flight and was kind of uncomfortable, so about an hour and a half through, 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. She managed to find a seat a few rows behind mine that I could sit in.”
She said moving from her original seat was ‘pretty awkward’ but ‘the rest of the flight was fine’.
However, the atmosphere changed at the end of the flight. “After I got off, though, the woman I was previously sitting next to was waiting for me.”
The Reddit poster continued: “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’.
“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. 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’s wasn’t like I was being suffocated or anything.”
The 19-year-old asked Reddit if she’s an ‘a**hole’ for moving seats. One Reddit user said she was not and explained: “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 AH for saying that drivel.”
Many Reddit users agreed with her although
While another user replied: “Would she have preferred you repeatedly asking them both to keep their body parts off of you no matter how they had to contort to do so? She thought it was fair for you to be uncomfortable so no attention was put on her?”
A third comment read: “'Not the a**hole. 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.
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 and calling them pigs or anything like that.
“What you did was find a solution that allowed everyone to sit comfortably and maintain dignity.”
And another social media user replied: “She's overly sensitive and I get why, people of a larger size are often humiliated by society. And she was probably acutely aware of how uncomfortable/cramped the situation was.”Featured Image Credit: Christina Pang / Dave Cameron / Alamy