A New York real estate agency resorted to swatting the hand of his seatmate after he repeatedly tried to open the window shade…in the row in front of him. He was seated one row behind. But while this particular matter may not be controversial, who has control of the airplane window shade when it 50-50 between seats?
Man Swats Passenger Who Kept Opening His Airplane Window Shade – Who has Control?
A viral Tik Tok video features New York real estate agent Eric Goldie “just plane fed up” with his seatmate seated behind him. Twice he swats the hand of the passenger behind him, who appeared to reach up beyond his seat in order to open Goldie’s window shade.
In the caption of his video, Goldie asks, “To be clear – I said multiple times not to reach their hand on my window. Should I have maybe caressed it?”
I tend to think his friend was sitting behind him and this was just a cleverly-staged joke, much like cooking a steak in the airplane lavatory was.
Nevertheless, I think this case presents an interesting question.
What Happens When The Window Seat Is 50-50 Between Seats?
In this case, it seems clear to me that Goldie has a claim to control the window shade. It appears it is fully within his seating area when his seat is reclined and mostly in his area when upright. He even addresses that point:
Replying to @sandy_kale To be clear – I said multiple times not to reach their hand on my window. Should I have maybe caressed it? #flight #flying #travel #traveling #holidaytravel #traveltips #2023 #2022 #greenscreen #greenscreenvideo
But what about those cases when the window is evenly-divided? What about in the cases where the window is behind your seat when upright but in front of your seat when the seat is reclined?
In those 50-50 cases, I tend to think that compromise is necessary, hopefully collegial, via discussion. Yes, you actually might have to speak to your seatmate!
In those cases where the window is behind your seat when upright and in front of your seat when reclined, I tend to think control will depend upon the current position of the seat
This matters because I can see this happening to me. Most people, for reasons that perplex me, tend to like their window shades shut on daytime flights. I prefer them open.
I recommend avoiding physical contact with anyone on an airplane and just alerting the flight attendant if your seatmate is messing with your window shade. Nevertheless, the situation does become more tricky when a window is in between two seats. In cases like that, compromise is necessary…a far better solution than swatting.
How would you handle a seatmate who reached up and opened your window shade? How would you handle a split window between rows?