This Redditor lucked out on getting upgraded to first class. So, when she was suddenly asked to move back to economy to accommodate another couple’s son, she refused! Was she selfish?
A Long-Awaited Trip
OP (Original Poster) is a 23-year-old who’d been planning a trip to San Francisco for almost a year. She booked her tickets a year in advance, too!
Then, about a month or two before her trip, the airline called her to say that she’d been upgraded to first class due to her points and being a member.
OP wrote, “I had never flown first class before, so to say I was so excited was an understatement.”
Making the Most Out of the Upgrade
Being in first class allowed her access to the airport lounge. So, OP made sure to do “everything possible” in the lounge before her flight.
She added, “I was welcomed with such a comfortable setting for the 13-hour flight.”
A Surprise Request
Unfortunately, about an hour into the flight, a flight attendant approached OP, asking her if she’d be willing to swap seats with a 10-year-old boy. However, the twist was that the boy wasn’t in first class or business class; he was in economy!
Let Him Be With His Family
OP explained that the flight attendant told her the boy’s parents were also in first class.
She wrote, “From what I was told, the two parents were both members and had also received upgrades, not realizing that their son wasn’t able to be upgraded with them. So they got their first-class tickets, but he was stuck back at economy.”
As if She Had No Choice
The flight attendant then entered her usual spiel, giving OP options as if she “had no choice but to move.” She was also telling OP things like she’d get “another free upgrade in another flight” or she could “get a full refund for the flight.”
Expressing Her Thoughts
She really didn’t want to leave her seat. So, she asked the flight attendant if there was any chance she could stay in her seat because she “genuinely thought” she was being kicked out.
OP explained, “She said that the two parents and I were the only upgraded passengers on the flight, and there were no other first-class seats available. So if there was to be any chance for the boy to sit with his family, it would only make sense for him to sit in my seat.”
If Things Were Different
OP then explained that she’d probably give up her seat if they were in a different situation. For example, she said that if the airline had overbooked first class and the boy had purchased a ticket, she’d switch seats.
I Have the Right to This Seat!
However, this time around, OP earned her place. After all, she got the upgrade because of how much she flew with the airline.
She added, “I may have considered it if the parents had bought their tickets, but they hadn’t either.”
No Hate Needed!
OP also mentioned that the flight attendant she was talking to shouldn’t be bombarded with hate, as she was “very polite” and “respectful” during the entire ordeal.
We’ll Do Our Job
The flight attendant also graciously accepted OP’s decision and was “very nice” about everything. She told OP that it was okay and that they would figure out what needed to be done.
OP noted that she never saw nor talked to the boy’s parents as they were sitting far from her. However, she did get “shamed” by an old woman in the seat next to her, telling her she made a child sit on their own for 13 hours.
It Wasn’t That Bad
She understood that sitting alone for a 13-hour flight can be scary for a 10-year-old. However, OP noted that she saw him walk up and down the aisles every hour to meet his parents, so it seemed that her decision didn’t cause much harm.
What Redditors Think
For Redditors, the blame shouldn’t be placed on OP. They called the old woman who criticized OP out and asked, “What about his parents, who accepted the upgrade but refused to bend for their own child?”
A top commenter wrote, “So, not his parents who accepted an upgrade and ditched their kid in economy; it’s the random stranger who’s at fault for making the kid fly alone. Give me a break. Not the a**hole.”
Another said, “The brass balls on grandma who had a go at OP while tucked up in her own seat!”
You’re Not Wrong!
Overall, users put both the parents and the old woman sitting next to OP under the spotlight. One of the parents could have sat with their child, and the old woman had no business judging OP for her decision.
A woman wrote, “Exactly. Who’s the a**hole parent that wouldn’t sit in economy so their child could be with one of the other parents? I’m glad the flight attendant was nice, but the fact that they put it on a stranger rather than asking one of the parents—because the parents clearly weren’t going to do it of their own volition—is kinda bulls***. Also, as someone else said, if that old lady was so put off by the whole thing, why not give up her seat? She’s in the winter of her years, and she still couldn’t be bothered to put a smile on a child’s face? Shame on her!”
Do you think OP carried any responsibility in this scenario? What would you do?
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This post first appeared as A Woman Refused to Switch Seats With a 10-Year-Old Stuck in Economy for a 13-Hour Flight. She’s in First Class With His Parents, but It’s Not Her Problem! on Quote Ambition.