Teenager 'kicked off plane' for complaining about sitting next to 'obese man' on 12-hour flight
| Last updated
A teenager has claimed he was kicked off a plane after complaining about an ‘obese man’ taking up ‘a good chunk’ of their seat.
The traveller took to Reddit anonymously to speak about what happened, sharing his quandary in the ‘Am I the A**hole’ thread to see if others agreed with how he handled the situation – spoiler alert: many didn’t.
The Redditor explained how they were on a 12-hour plane journey when they found they were sitting next to someone who was overweight.
They wrote: “I (18m) was travelling to my home country. On my second connecting flight, which is also by far my longest one being over 12 hours long, I had the delightful sight of an obese man that was taking up a good chunk of my seat.
“I am not a small guy myself. I have quite broad shoulders and am around 190 cm, so a full seat would already have been uncomfortable. I told the flight attendant about this issue and she told me that the seat was paid for by this obese person and the flight was full.”
The teen, who did not name the airline in his post, asked the flight attendant how it was possible that their seat was ‘still rendered as available if it was being used for someone’s literal rolls’, and made a comment about ‘how this airline wasn’t absolutely terrible just a few years ago (it wasn’t just this incident they just went downhill in quality)’.
The flight attendant then called him ‘rude’, with the Reddit user saying she doubled down on getting him ‘kicked off the plane’ - but would be compensated for the issue.
He continued: “The fat man took his opportunity to call me a fatphobic s**t. Some other people around gave me the stink eye. I know they think I’m a bad person for this, but on the other hand I’m having to pay for the lack of discipline of another person as well as this s***ty airline’s booking system. Hell I’d rather they called me the day before.
“The airline staff sent a letter of complaint that I got appealed and the consequences in the complaint (being a temporary ban) were removed less than an hour later. In the letter of complaint it said I was being rude to other passengers and the staff.
“Since it got appealed so quick, and I got to travel the next day anyway, I’m really not sure if I’m TA.
“AITA for my comments that have offended both the fat man and the airline staff?”
The post attracted more than 6,000 upvotes and thousands of comments, with the vast majority agreeing it was his behaviour that had been unacceptable – not that of the other passenger or airline.
One commented: “From the way you've written the post, I'm going to say YTA. Because often it's not what we say, it's how we say it. It probably would've been handled very differently if you had handled it differently. I know air travel can make people turn into idiots, so please everyone, don't be that idiot.”
Someone else said: “Hard YTA. OP behaved like a massive jerk. The fact that the poor man knew you were complaining about him tells me you were loud and rude. You are also fat phobic how do you know there wasn’t a medical issue causing him to be larger?”
A third wrote: “Yeah, quietly telling the flight attendant that you would like to be moved is the appropriate thing. If they can't move you, you just make the best of it. It's a flight. They're not asking you to move into that seat forever. YTA.”
A fourth said the Redditor was the ‘a**hole’ for how he handled his judgement, ‘fighting with every comment, being rude in responses’.
“OP, grow up,” they added.
Defending the teen, one wrote: "NTA honestly would have done the same thing. What did they expect? And also how is it fatphobic to want to sit in the whole seat you paid for?"
But another argued: "You are a fatphobic s**t - not because you want to be comfortable but for humiliating someone and referring to obesity of 'lack of discipline' (which also shows you don't understand the science of obesity."