We’ve debated the ethics of seat swapping and the protocol for making requests, but an airplane seating story out of England that left a six-year-old boy crying really makes me shake my head.
Jerk Refuses To Switch Seats With Boy Who Was Assigned Same Window Seat, Separating Family
Like many six-year-olds, Ryan Bandli loves to fly and loves to look out the window when he flies. He was traveling from Manchester (MAN) to Budapest (BUD) with his parents on Buzz, a subsidiary of Ryanair, and his mother had pre-paid to reserve a window seat for him.
But upon boarding the plane, the family noticed that another woman was sitting in the window seat assigned to their son. They compared boarding passes and both were assigned the same seat (not sure how that is possible, but okay…).
The woman refused to move, insisting that it was her seat and in any case, she had sat down first. Ryan began to cry.
His mother told The Mirror:
“Ryan was really upset and anxious and he cried. He didn’t understand how this could happen. We sat separately and it was really stressful.”
He was reassigned an aisle seat next to his father and spent most of the flight crying. The family was separated.
Ryanair blamed the issue on an “isolated IT glitch,” but let the woman remain in the window seat.
“Buzz regrets the inconvenience caused to Ms Bandli and her son and a member of our customer services team will contact them directly.”
Early reports suggested that the family paid for a window seat in the emergency exit row (where no one under 15 years of age is allowed to seat), resulting in the seat swap. The Bandais insist this was not the case and that a window seat closer to the front of the plane was purchased.
And so, for now at least, we will assume that is the case and address the female passenger who refused to move.
To her, I say shame on you, jerk. It’s one thing to demand a window seat when you are assigned an aisle seat. But it’s quite another when you are both assigned the same seat. I’m not blaming the woman for creating the problem, but when you see a family separated and a six-year-old kid crying for the window on a two-hour flight, for goodness’ sakes just be a decent person and move…
A seating snafu on a Ryanair subsidiary resulted in a six-year-old boy losing his window seat. My son, who is also six, loves windows and would have a similar reaction. Thus, I understand how important a window seat is for a young child. As far as I am concerned, the woman should have moved seats. If this was the family’s error, then the kid better shut up and learn how to deal with disappointment. That’s life. But this was not their fault.
Do you agree with me or would you have also refused to move seats for the boy?
If it turns out this was an emergency exit situation, then Ryanair should have found the family seats together elsewhere on the plane.
image: Sz Adri
Wah Wah. Boy does not get what he wants. This is a non story.
Talk about being entitled…
That was just selfish…
I like a window seat myself but if a little boy or girl wanted my seat,I would gladly give it up..
No Questions Asked!!
It’s a flight not a kidney
It’s definitely not a kidney, but It could be a mental case where this person, if like me, gets very anxious and panics whenever I’m to go on a flight. I for one finds it hard to sleep even the night before a trip! For me a window seat is a must! It helps to lessen my fear of flying, been able to see out the window helps to calm my nerves. So I wouldn’t be giving up my seat to a crying child because then you would have an adult with another problem on the flight. People who sometimes go off/crazy during a flight it’s most likely because of their nerves got the better of them, panic and anxiousness sets in. . Some people has to take medication, like I do sometimes before going on a flight! Sometimes that medication doesn’t work so well because your nerves overrides it. My sister and daughter takes a sleep meds about half hour prior to boarding depending on how long the flight will be! So calling that lady a jerk is so out of line, because I would definitely one that would be a jerk!
Also parenting is not an easy tasks by no means, I’m a mother of 2. But parents should learn to be able to control their child/children and start explaining or talked to them from early age about the world they will be living in. Even at home my girls knew crying was not going to get them what they wanted and often times they will have to learn to deal with disappointments. I travelled with them a few times when they were very young and I made sure I talked to them about how to behave on a flight often times we didn’t have window seats and just made sure I had ways to keep them occupied by traveling with some of their favorite stuffs, there was no electronics in those days! Or planned travel time with them when I know they would be sleeping. That lady is by no means a Jerk!!!! Blame the damn airlines they need to do better!
F*ck them kids
Watch your language. Another F-bomb will result in a site ban.
F*ck you Klint and your weak sob story from your 1000 views a month website. Hack article written by a nobody…
I mean – maybe, but where do you draw the line? Just because the child cried, the passenger should have moved? What if the child didn’t cry – would it be OK for her to refuse?
As always, blame the airline – but if I wanted a window seat for whatever reason (I work better in a window seat, wanted to sight see), and rightly purchased and was assigned it, moving due to an airplane error would be annoying, no matter how heart tugging the issue is.
What I can’t figure out from this article is if there was another window seat available that was comparable to the one the woman was sitting in and the boy was upset about. If there was, she absolutely should have moved. If not, it’s a tougher call, at least for me. For a lot of reasons I have a strong preference for a window seat, so without knowing about her motives, she may as well.
At any rate, it’s ultimately and entirely on the airline when this kind of screw up occurs-(i.e. if it was an emergency exit. Why not communicate to the parents before boarding of the need to repeat? Why just create a mess for the crew to end up having to deal with it and unhappy paying customers?
Some people like this exist in this world, unfortunately. On top of that, the Daily Post says that this kid has a fear of flying and the family bought a window seat to help accommodate this, which makes her actions even worse.
What’s more upsetting is that Ryanair initially rejected any compensation according to the mother and only now refunded the reservation cost after the story went viral according to the Daily Post. I’m not surprised at this action by Ryanair, though, because they tried to reject my claim for EU261 when they had delayed my flight for seven hours back before covid. I was feeling petty at the time and eventually went to court claim and got compensation only then.
Agree re: Ryanair, but how do you know that the woman already in the seat doesn’t herself have a fear of flying and thus also needed a window seat?
Blame Ryanair and no one else. In the same circumstances I would have remained in my booked seat. Children have to learn that they don’t always get what they want or are promised and tears won’t improve anything for them either. This lady might have saved Ryan growing up to be a snowflake. Well we can hope but by the sounds of his mother, I think he’ll end up a snowflake.
I love Matt’s blog because he encourages us to share our 2 cents on matters such as this.
I don’t want my daughter to become as snowflake either, BUT one has to remember kids are kids and emotionally vulnerable and when they’ll learn a valuable lesson and other times, get PTSD. I know the difference and strive to exercise compassion and discipline at the appropriate times (I don’t always succeed.)
THAT being said, sometimes things in life do go wrong beyond our control. I then show my daughter coping skills on how to handle it (skills I use myself in adulthood). Treat yourself in another way. Buy him some nice movies and treats. I also would have considered a compromise: Ask a different non-meanie passenger to switch seats for takeoff/landing because the rest of the time, the window isn’t interesting.
This burden should be on the airline. Not the passenger. End of story
Shame on YOU, Matthew, for shaming and calling the window seat pax a “jerk”! She sat in her seat and had absolutely no obligation to accommodate anyone else. The kid sat next to his dad for the entire rest of the flight so he was safe and not separated from either parent. She has the right stay in her seat, the window seat should not make or break a flying experience but either way, lesson learned that you can’t always get what you want.
While I agree with most of your comments…denying a 6yr old two hours of enjoyment on an airplane, is selfish, its the airlines IT department for the screw up, no issues there. Yes the women paid for her seat, she could give it up and bring some happiness into her life by giving happiness. Some people suck any more….and poor at it too.
This! The passenger had no obligation to switch. We don’t even know her side of the story. Also, something doesn’t add up. The family only prepaid for one seat? So the rest of the family is assigned at random? If the family had prepaid for all seats, I’d think it would be fairly easy to ask someone else to switch window to aisle and the parents can easily switch middle seats to sit with the child.
@Matthew, “…assigned the same seat (not sure how that is possible, but okay…)” First, doesn’t this happen on “regular” carriers occasionally? It’s been quite a while for me, but off the top of my head, I can remember at least a half dozen times on UA alone. They were op-up, weight & balance, or aircraft change situations. For an LCC, these may not apply, but seat dupes are not unheard of.
Second, when seat dupes happen, doesn’t it usually belong to the person who’s already in it? (You know, “possession is nine-tenths” and all) Surely, in your vast travels, you’ve experienced it. What’s happened in those cases? It’s appropriate to blame the airline, but the woman (presumably) also paid for her seat. She’s hardly a jerk for refusing to move.
Kid got his first NO in life. And cried. Time to learn many other NOs will come his way. That’s called life.
Concur. It’s such a disservice to the child when the first time he hears the word “no” is when he loses an election.
this sucks all around but I don’t think calling the female passenger a “jerk” was appropriate. We do not know if she has a fear of flying too and that sitting next to a window is helpful for her, but instead she gets called a ‘jerk.’ Not cool at all. Secondly, the child is disappointed, and I get that. We don’t know if the parents tried to use this as a “teachable” moment once the FAs abandoned any additional efforts to try to find others willing to swap, if they did anything in the first place. To be fair, boarding time on an aircraft is a busy time and there is a hell of a lot of announcements going on and the environment is very noisy so even the ability to ask around for other volunteers can be tricky. Additionally, we are potentially needing two people to switch if the volunteers from other rows are available because I image that at least one parent will also move with their kid. The situation sucked, but I don’t think calling the lady with the window seat a jerk is productive.
She is not a jerk. Not even a little bit. What if she has anxiety about flying? What if the window seat is how she copes with it? Why would you think a six year old kid should “win” in this instance? I’ll tell you why – because YOU HAVE KIDS and it truly makes me wonder if you mollycoddle them and teach them that because they are young they should get whatever they want. I don’t have kids – and if I had been the woman, I wouldn’t have moved either. But if it was my kid – I would use this moment as a teaching experience about how to handle yourself when you don’t get what you want.
Ethically – the woman did NOTHING wrong. On the other hand you calling her jerk because she chose her own comfort over someone else’s child through no fault of her own – makes me question your moral compass. And then to bring it up on your blog – me thinks you are the jerk.
I agree but I don’t think the blogger actually believes the passenger is a jerk. By adding a jerk to the title of the blog, viewers will click on it and immediately have an opinion on the matter. Thus, people will click and leave comments. But that is just my 2 cents.
Yep yep. Got me. Lol.
Thank you David H. I do have children and my child would have probably cried at age 6 if this happened. I may have asked the lady if she would consider trading, but how could I fault her if she said no? She didn’t steal my child’s seat. She sat in her seat and then sh*t went south for everyone involved. It sucks and is a difficult parenting moment, but they’re all alive a d safe and need to stop b*tching. The fact that someone thought they should waste our time telling this story is so much more jerkish than the lady just minding her own business on the plane.
100% agree. The airline should have accommodated the child but not at the expense of another customer.
Sure, the kid started crying so we all need to accommodate? – sorry, no, welcome to the real world
Not because he cried, but because he had a boarding pass for that window seat and the woman refusing to move meant the family was separated. Shame on her and shame on Ryanair.
Wait, Matthew – “Shame on her”? SHAME? You have NO IDEA why this woman didn’t give up her seat – NONE and yet you wish shame on her. How disrespectful can you be over something so petty? What if she was going to a funeral and wanted to watch the clouds and imagine the dearly departed? What if she had a previous traumatic incident on an airplane and sitting by the window made her feel calmer? What if a fortune teller had told her to pick that seat because it was how she was going to meet the love of her life? We have NO IDEA why she didn’t want to trade. But the only story in your head is how it incovenienced a family so that they couldn’t all sit together. You can think it’s unfair – but to wish shame on them? How awful.
Shame is a powerful tool.
Yes, shame IS a powerful tool. And so are you for jumping to the conclusion that she deserves it.
Shame on you.
She has every right to her seat. If you want to blame someone blame the airline.
The little boy is NOT the victim here.
I wouldn’t have moved either
That’s hardly a surprise.
How do you know Chi?
I get the whiff of racism
Oh darling, it’s not that. CH is a regular commenter.
Wow. Blatant, unapologetic racism.
LOL. He’s a regular poster on LALF. Has nothing to do with his alleged race.
Buzz fault, full stop. Child & adult had rights to the seat. Pointing out perhaps all the adults could have handled it better so young Ryan was not upset. How the situation & resolution are presented can make a difference to a child. As in, it’s not the end of the world. Stuff happens and you deal with it.
One of the commenters above said the woman had “absolutely no obligation to accommodate anyone else.” How cynical. Perhaps the commenter feels no obligations rooted in basic human kindness, but I hope that attitude doesn’t catch on.
This is called a seat dupe event, hardly a common happenstance. The only one left to blame here is the airline. The woman passenger had every right to keep her assigned seat that the airline had assigned her. It doesn’t make her a jerk at all!! Whether or not she had a soft spot in her heart for the kid or not that’s a different story. Now, bring it up with the airline, they’re the ones that bear all responsibility. How about offering the kid a visit to the cockpit or, I don’t know, a later flight with an open window seat?? Get creative, it’s called customer service!! Let’s stop blaming our fellow passengers just because they don’t kowtow to a whining kid. Blame the airline instead!!
Sitting in that aisle seat must’ve felt like two whole hours living in an apartheid state for the young lad, ay Matthew?
What I find interesting is that no other passengers around them offered to move. It makes the me think that the father may not have conducted himself in all that friendly of a matter. Though I would agree that there was no ethical obligation for anybody to move to accommodate a 6-year-old’s temporary enjoyment, if a child was really expressing his desire to look out the window, surly someone around them would have spoken up. Most pax on Ryanair probably didn’t pay for their seat assignment, and I’m sure there was a window passenger nearby that would have preferred an aisle anyway.
Best Response – Full Stop. Where are all those parents who have been in the same place and happen to be on this flight solo and might switch seats? If this was a non-weirdo family it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t help. As with all these social media-driven stories, context is limited. Not saying they were Turkish Airlines / Malaysia nut girl but something seems off. People can tell when someone is being reasonable and having a hard time vs someone with a toxic attitude to be ignored. I’m not referring to the kid. I’m looking at the parents. May be that’s the nerve that was struck here. Easier to call someone a jerk than reflect on the limits of parental entitlement fatigue that many of these comments seem to be pushing back on.
It is possible that all of them were jerks…
What seems weird to me is that no other accommodation could be made. It’s a Ryanair 737, it’s not like there was only 1 window seat, and there is only 1 class of service.
If the FA had gotten on the intercom and asked if there were 2 people willing to give up a window and center seat to accommodate a child and parent, how many volunteers do you think there would have been? Plenty I bet. They don’t have to do this for every kid who wants a window, but this was a rare “double booking” event, which shouldn’t happen with any significant frequency.
You know what else could have helped with an upset child- a free chocolate bar, or some other treat, or a trip to the flight deck to meet the pilot prior to takeoff, or some other token measure to turn things around.
The reason I try to avoid Ryanair is not because of the low-cost 737 routine, but because they seem to relish being mean while doing it. In my mind this is on the airline more than the passenger who didn’t want to move.
An FA announcement would be way, way beyond the Ryanair service standard.
Does not make the woman a jerk at all. Numerous friends have a fear of enclosed spaces. Being able to see out the window makes a tremendous difference. Obviously can’t say that this is the case here but I have to imagine that there must have been an awfully good reason for not making the switch.
The airline is at fault. Not the woman who did not give up the seat on her boarding pass.
This happened to me earlier this year on KLM (also flying to Budapest, by coincidence). I checked into my flight and was issued a boarding pass in Canada. After I arrived at AMS, I boarded plane and someone was already in my seat. It turned out there was a plane equipment change, but they forgot to change my seat assignment when they changed the plane.
I ended up sitting in a worse seat for the flight. I blame KLM, not the guy who took the seat on his boarding pass that happened to be the same as mine.
People with kids should not get special treatment.
First come, first served? This move also separated the family. The woman should have been forced to move or been thrown off.
No it didn’t. The kid got to sit next to his father.
Goodness…and they say my proofreading is bad. I had to clean up nearly every word you wrote.
Seriously Matt? No way should she have moved. She did nothing wrong whatsoever. Perhaps SHE even paid for a window seat as well. Why are you being so personal about this? It´s a non-story, and many in here seems to agree.
You sir, are a piece of sh!t. All you need to do is look in the mirror to see entitlement.
I’ve been called worse!
The women should have been forced to move or thrown off the plane? For what? Refusing to give up the seat she paid for?? The seat number that was on HER boarding pass too? So just call her names, without getting her side of the story. The only jerk here is the airline. That woman had every right to the seat, sure it would have been nice if she moved but she didn’t have to.
What??? Thrown off the flight for refusing to give up her assigned seat??? How many times have I seen families rebooked due to missing their original flight? Now, you want them to have priority seating over everyone else? This is unrealistic.
Consider there may be a good reason why the woman would not move besides being selfish. I know someone that is very likely to get motion sickness unless they sit in a window seat and can see outside. They would do the same in that situation to avoid being miserable (and throwing up) on the flight.
Wow trying to spin these stories so many ways. Why didn’t his selfish Jerk of a father switch seats with him
The jerk is the one who headlined the column “selfish jerk”. —
Idk why everyone is acting like the woman had more right to the seat than the child. Both parties had paid to select that specific seat. I don’t think it’s fair to assume the woman was a “jerk” either though because we don’t know what her situation was.
If I had watched this situation unfold as another passenger nearby I would have just given up my own window seat to either the woman or the child. I can’t believe nobody nearby did this
I also find it awful that the airline didn’t immediately refund the seat selection fee to the person that paid to select that seat and then wasn’t allowed to sit in it until after this went viral. That’s just terrible customer service
“Won’t somebody please think of the children?”
if boy did not cry does it make any difference?
I blame the parents who failed to take this opportunity to teach the boy a lesson – everything in life has a twist & can be out of your control & expectations. Let the kid cry to everything that wanted.
Matt, just admit that you can’t be neutral in this situation. And telling a kid that he can get what he wants just by crying isn’t good at all.
I’m not sure any of can ever claim to be neutral. But I do agree that giving into a crying child is a dangerous game. My point is the child should not have been crying in the first place.
Then the parents should have boarded well in time. Not the other passengers fault. This is on the airline.
If Ryanair sold me the option to make a child cry, I’d pay it in an instant. Good work, lady.
Maybe sitting next to his father was the issue!
It’s for the children. Good chance to teach his son sometimes life has it’s disappointments. He’ll get a chance another day.
As an ex f/a it is very important that a person seated at an emergency exit must be able to follow instructions on how to open and lift the emergency exit window (weights about 30 to 40 pounds ?kg). Clearly a 6 year old would have been too slow or incapable. You might think well the mom can open it, but what if debris made her not able to open it. Now a person has to go through two people to get that exit open. Seconds count in an emergency evacuation. You cannot compromise people’s live to get a 6 year old to stop crying. What the airline should have done (since it was their mess up) was to give the kids mom a deep discount on their next flight.
No one, certainly not me, is arguing a six-year-old should be allowed in an emergency exit row.
I mention that because the family insisted they were not seated in an exit row. If they were, this becomes a totally different discussion.
As someone who is allergic to children, I sympathize with the poor passenger who had to sit in the same row as said human.
I’m allergic to the schmucks who don’t like kids…and?
It sounds like we all need to take our Zyrtec before we fly.
The source news article is nothing more than a shameless effort by the parents to shake the airline down for compensation. How else does a non-story about a 6 year old’s temper tantrum get published complete with carefully staged pictures from the plane?
OMG..give the the kid the seat,geez!
Calling the woman passenger a jerk is out of line! Personal biases in news are a big problem and this is a good example. There is more to this story obviously. The responsibility lies with the airline and the crying child with his parents. A good lesson for the child that you don’t get what you want by crying. The airline needs to remedy this. The woman passenger is not at fault here.
This isn’t news, just my blog.
i hate to break it to you, but your blog that “isnt news” is at the top of the news feed that you cannot disable on android phones without installing a third party homescreen app, so thats probably why people are seeing it as news
Well, that I do not have control over, but I don’t hold myself out as a journalist…that’s for sure.
Nice! Matthew doesn’t know the full circumstances but calls someone they don’t know and have never met a “selfish jerk” in their blog Live and Let’s Fly, a name which brings to mind the idiom Live and Let Live which expresses the idea that all should be able to live their lives in the manner they want to, regardless of what other may think of them.
If the boy had a boarding pass for the same seat and really wanted the window, then the woman should have moved and is a jerk for not moving, IMO. But of course, Ryanair should have sorted it out.
Your statement makes little sense. If everyone lives thier lives in the manner they want, chaos, death, and undue suffering is the result. The whole tragedy of the commons thing…
Tell the kid, “I’m happy to move if your Daddy loves you more than he loves $250”
Let’s see how much they want their kiddo to be happy.
My son burst into tears when our wait listed upgrade didn’t clear for a seat in First Class. Too bad – he dealt with it and it’s been long since forgotten. Kids learn, kids recover, that’s life.
Apples and oranges, wouldn’t you say?
Calling the passenger a ‘jerk’ is a far, far worse ‘sin’ than that passenger remaining in her seat.
That was unfair and unreasonable of you to call the lady a jerk. Geez. And your blogging is usually very balanced – not this time around! It was not unreasonable of the lady to not move – especially since she was seated there first as you are reporting. I don’t care if the six year old loves flying either.
She should have moved, especially if both had a boarding pass for the same seat. If I was the gate agent, she would have moved or been thrown off the flight.
Much as I love your articles, write-ups and experiences, you’re being pretty harsh. I mean, really, was the kid going to be traumatized for the rest of his life ? Furthermore, the error lies with Buzz Air – even if a computer glitch, these things do happen and rather than be so quick to have her thrown off, as is one of your “options”, maybe the parents just need to explain to the child that things go wrong in life and “we deal with it by just not being able sit at a window seat today” !!!
Kids should not be coddled. It’s why my kids don’t have screens of any kind, clean up after themselves, behave on airplanes, and consider apples or unsweetened yogurt a sweet treat.
This is different. The kid had just as much right to the seat as the woman sitting there first.
Wow. Thrown of the flight? For sitting in the seat she paid for? It’s pretty clear you’re a world-class cunt with a bias towards anyone with children. Despite what you say about how you raise your children, no doubt they will follow your behavior and turn out to be total cunts, too
I didn’t say she should be thrown off, I said she should have been thrown off if she refused to move seats.
You are out of line
You had a good point until you spewed the c word
Some people enjoy being abused,insulted,humiliated….and vulgarity of the lowest street level isnot uncommon on this blog.
Your ongoing comments and stubborn stance on your opinion illustrate what is wrong in our world now. The unwillingness to really hear that there might be another side to the story or a differing opinion has led us to a society of intolerant, entitled people such as yourself.
Wow, you must have missed reading my ongoing comments. I’m not dismissing other people. I am disagreeing, to an extent.
If it was correct that the row in question was an exit, then the child (and parents) would have had to have been moved anyway. I’m sure Buzz air could have just paged the family pre-boarding about the exit rules, which might have helped all the awkwardness, etc.
Nevertheless, are children allowed to “suffer” the indignities of disappointment in this life ???… or do they just continue to get coddled through everything that can and will go wrong in their lives?
> The kid had just as much right to the seat as the woman sitting there first.
So Mattthew agrees the woman has as much as a right as the kid to the seat, but comes down squarely in the kid’s favor, just because…he’s a kid? Because he cried? If they both have the same right, why should she give it up? In this case it basically came down to “she was there first” and videos of that guy being dragged off the plane are still pretty fresh, so airlines aren’t going to force anyone out of a seat who doesn’t want to move.
But if you disagree with “who’s first”, would you agree to a coin flip? Because that would be the fairest way to have adjudicated this. Or do you think no matter what, the kid wins? In that case don’t say “the kid had just as much right”, admit that you think the kid had MORE of a right.
I have changed my seat before on request, and I have refused, and it basically depends on what the situation is. In this case I probably would have done it as a courtesy. And I agree with everyone above that the crew did not get creative about this, like going on the speaker and asking for volunteers, then throwing in a free cocktail. There are plenty of creative solutions to this problem, and I certainly don’t blame the woman for not moving.
I am a father and my first thought on reading this was: “Kid, welcome to the real world of usually being disappointed”
So that’s a good point concerning who is entitled to the seat if both innocently assigned it. But to me, the tie-breaker is the fact that the Ryanair snafu meant the family was separated in the cabin (the mother away from the father and son). Seems that alone should have been enough for the woman.
And people in hell want ice water… Unfortunately don’t always get what we may legitimately be entitled to.
READ THE ROOM
I enjoy reading the blog and stories but your emotion is coming in the way. Read the comments left by the visitors to the page. In a sense, read the room. People are not trolls but your visitors are likely frequent travelers. Everyone is not mean but face alot of situations.
(for the record, I would have moved. But I respect and agree with comments as I also have been accused of been too accommodating.)
To be clear, I am not calling those who disagree wtih me trolls. I understand the desire to place all the blame on the airline and not the woman.
What I don’t understand is why the woman didn’t offer to trade seats at least for descent or something. I’ve been seated next to kids who have climbed over to observe. And reading a few of the “opinions” today I question if they had a childhood.
Klint should have li replaced with u
Making little white boys cry and not giving them everything they want is the only way to prevent school shooters and rapists, teach your brat manners
No need to get racial, Cora.
Were any other passengers seated in window seats asked to change? Are they all jerks too?
Not as bad…
Can’t even take valid criticism. Baby. Get a new job thin-skin
Oh honey, you play right into my trap.
Matty’s getting a little cross for getting pounded for being presumptuous & self-righteous. Did you give up your seat? Did you interview the woman who refused to switch? Perhaps her condition exceeded the child’s. Why are her reasons any less
valid than the child’s?
Because we should not separate families, especially those who paid to sit together…
Ah yes, singles should always get the worst – sorry no. Time to stop accommodating fàmilies at the expense of everyone else. Other people have rights, too And people traveling along should not be considered second class and expected to move every time.
Child needs to learn now, that you won’t always get what you want. Too bad he isn’t black, he could just chalk up to racism.
To echo some other commenters, there has got to be more to this story. I think most of us, had we seen this situation unfold, would have offered our own window seat up to the crying kid. I know that I would have. And yet, row after row of people sitting in window seats did nothing to help. Why?
As someone else suggested, I have to wonder if the father was being a massive bully/ jerk, losing the goodwill of everyone else on the plane. Call me judgmental, but look at the guy’s jeans and watch. The only dudes I know who wear these types of jeans and watches are… well… complete jackwads. Or maybe the whole story is made up.
But there’s no way a whole plane full off passengers wouldn’t help a nice, civil father and his crying son. There’s more to this story.
If the father was a jerk, then shame on him – I also would not have given up the seat. We have no suggestion he was.
If a child sees everyone who doesn’t accommodate their whims labeled as “jerks” they’re very likely to grow up to be a jerk themselves. The other passenger passed up an opportunity to do a good thing. Maybe for a good reason, maybe because they’re a jerk. Judging without the full story is kind of a jerk thing to do.
No bias in this editorial. None at all. /s
Maybe the lady is a jerk, but not giving up her seat isn’t evidence for the proposition. If she wanted the seat and booked it, and is sitting in it, it’s hers. Same if she ordered the last meal on the flight and the kid after her didn’t get one. It’s hers. The airline screwed up, and it isn’t her responsibility to be the one put out, no matter how sympathetic the other party is.
I say this as someone who has kids and has swapped seats before and would do it again. (Or not. No way I’m swapping out of an extra leg room seat or into a middle seat.)
Interesting analogy. Let’s run with that for a moment. If a flight attendant is supposed to sort meal preferences based on status but instead just goes front to back, should we not speak up if we are told our first choice is not available?
This is exactly how kids today have turned out so vulgar, the problem comes from their parents. They become a version of their parents in the future and this becomes a vicious cycle, one generation after another. God forbid your children learn from your word choices and emotions!
As an elementary school teacher with a firmer hand, I always come across parents who blame us and society for their crying children. No matter what the situation is, they only believe in their and children’s side of the story. Fortunately parents we come across tend to use more professional word choices, imagine if we were called ‘jerks’ in return for educating your crying children, do you feel anything? Let’s hope your children don’t use words like these on you in the future.
My children don’t read LALF.
That’s because they trust the Thought Leader, innit?
“Selfish jerk”? You for real, man?
everyone else annoyed by calling the lady a Jerk and I’m trying to figure out why some are referring to Ryanair and other Buzz…who knew that Buzz was a subsidiary of Ryanair??? I guess I learned something today.
I guess I’m supposed to also comment on my side, she’s not a jerk…I would have offered until the kid cried…if my kids cry they definitely don’t get what they want, so another person’s kid isn’t going to either. /shrug
I get where you’re coming from, but using a fairly popular blog to shame (though not name) a person without having full context seems a bit reckless. As many others have stated, you don’t know the woman’s circumstances. Maybe she also deals with anxiety. Maybe she paid for her reserved seat as well. Maybe she was just being spiteful. There are many maybes that the initial story doesn’t speak to, and assuming intention is not helpful to anyone in the story.
I know that I am projecting, but as someone with a non-visible disability, there are a lot of things I do to ensure I have a safe and sane flight. It’s just as possible that the woman has a similar situation to where she was “stubborn” to avoid having a meltdown in public. Perhaps rather than shaming someone for not making the same decision you would, it would be more constructive to use your bully pulpit to call out the real culprit: Buzz/Ryanair.
Fair comment. Thank you.
Kid learned a good life lesson. You don’t always get what you want. Even after crying like a baby.
That’s a good lesson to learn when the kid is the one acting like a brat, not the woman who refused to move.
If that kid was mine and he started crying, I would have said: “You want an outside view? I’ll give you an outside view!” Then, I would have duct taped him to the airplane wing! Nobody would have had to listen to the kid! Also, there’s nothing that a good old-fashioned beating with a belt can’t solve!
Next, if I were the kid’s parents, I’d sue Ryanair out of existence! And while I’m on the subject, HEY PARENTS: You get what you pay for! Don’t fly on a cheap-a$$ airline!
Lastly, if I were Ryanair, I would have tossed the parents AND THE KID off the airplane and told them they could fly once their kid was able to regain his composure!
That’s a bit much.
The adult should have not been the child like idiot to cause a easy remedy. Most days, adults act worst than kids. This lady could have done the right thing, but she is a true POS.
To label someone a selfish jerk for staying in a seat she was assigned because a 6 year old wanted the seat and cried is excessive. There was a meme posted recently about a jeopardy contest where a man said the correct answer but because a woman gave the wrong answer louder she got the points until the other male contestant said he was a member of a historically marginalized group so he should automatically get the points.
There is a big difference between a parent or family member not switching seats and a random person who may have booked a window seat because she is afraid to fly, wanted to see aerial views, and doesn’t want to have to get up 10 times for people who need to go to the bathroom and cry.
Before we could assign our seats ourselves online in 2003, I didn’t know what seats we would get as I was a child. For Caribbean trips there might be an A300 on AA and we’d wind up with seats in the middle. For international flights to Europe, sure, special attention was paid to reserving window seats with the travel agent.
I feel bad for the kid and kids should be treated like kids and cherished but it’s not right to call a woman a selfish jerk for this reason,
So from the gist of the comments it seems that Matts issue lies with
1. The woman refused to move
2. The kid and his family were separated
1. The woman had every right to refuse to move as it was an airline goof up. The woman didn’t take someone else’s reserved seat
2. The kid was travelling with his father it’s not like he wasn’t seated next to a family member
All in all boo hoo for thr kid but that’s life. Sometimes you don’t get what you want.
You’re taking a hugely grey situation and trying to make it black and white with what you personally judge as wrong to be villainous. While I personally might very well have given up my window seat for the kid, it’s simply not right to imply that a person is scum for not doing the same.
It’s the airline’s problem. Personally, if it were me, I would have switched. But I wouldn’t blame anyone else for not wanting to, or think they were a jerk. Not sure why you are so angry about this, Matthew?
I’m going to go out on a limb and say part of the anger is related to the 110 comments so far…the more controversial the more comments, the more traction. I don’t have a problem with it, it’s not like we are being fooled, everyone knows this is how the internet works, right?
First, as a Dad, I don’t let my children behave this way. That kid in the photo is too old to act like that. It’s not any less scary watching the ground disappear from under you by a window than it is not it at all.
Second, If my child was crying and somebody took a photo of it and then put a story about it on the internet, God help me..
Third, this is the airlines fault. Families are allowed to board first in my experiences and the fact that they were last to the seat regardless, is telling.
In my opinion, in this story, the Boys dad is the Jerk and the person who took this photo is worse than that.
I assume it was the mom who took the photo.
Wow, extremely harsh reaction, Matthew. In case of a seat assigned to two people then the first person in the seat gets to stay in it. Think……. Take a breath……….. and then write slowly next time. Have a very pleasant day.
Matthew, I just read the Mirror story, which you linked to above, in its entirety. (https://www.mirror.co.uk/travel/news/woman-refused-move-crying-son-28426259). A picture in it shows the child leaning against his father, and appears he may be playing on a phone. He was not totally separated, and he is likely doing okay. However, what strikes me most is that the story seems clear when it says:
“[The child’s mother] claims the airline rejected the request and told her that the seat was given to someone else as it was by an emergency exit.
“‘The CAA requires that UK airlines have procedures to ensure that customers are seated where, in the event that an emergency evacuation is required, they may best assist and not hinder evacuation from the aeroplane,’ a Ryanair employee wrote to Adi.
“‘Only those customers who appear reasonably fit, strong and able to assist the rapid evacuation of the aeroplane in an emergency should be allocated seats that permit direct access to emergency exits.’
“Under the rules, child are not considered suitable passengers to sit by the exit. Adi says they were not sat in an emergency exit row.
“She has also questioned why they were able to book seats in the first place, and why they weren’t allocated a row with a window seat elsewhere.
“Referring to the company’s Polish subsidiary, a spokesperson for Ryanair said: ‘This Buzz passenger’s seat was not sold twice; this misunderstanding was as a result of an isolated IT glitch. Unfortunately as the flight was fully booked, there were no other window seats available.'”
This being said, I wonder, did you consider the entirety of the story or did your (kind and protective) fatherly urge possibly blind you to some of that? The woman was not even allowed to give her seat to the child, the way this reads.
I also agree that you are being too harsh in tone, which I have been noticing lately, and I wonder why. I have very much enjoyed your blog for a couple years now, but the last 2-3 months, you have been using very harsh words toward people you dislike rather than calmer rhetoric. It’s surprising. It’s your blog, I get it. I can do the same with mine, I get that too. But it does make people bristle a bit. You said your kids don’t read LALF. Someday they will. They love their dad a lot; that much is obvious by your posts of them. You are clearly a great father. In this case, though we can’t know everything, I am not so sure this was not the only call that could have been made, though.
Also, I have been sitting in a seat assigned to someone else–it does happen. We both had been assigned the same AA seat. No biggie in our case. It was a man and he was happy to take a different aisle seat (I had the window). But no one had a clue why we both had boarding passes with the same seat assignment!
PS Sorry for this lengthy post
I’ve rarely been on a flight there wasn’t a baby screaming to high heaven,in fact I have a hunch airlines order them from the screaming baby catalog.This trip could have meant alot to that little boy,the wonder of flight,the view from way up high,and it was all crushed by someone being far more baby like and unreasonable given her age.Yes kids are emotionally immature and can burst into tears for silly things,Einstein cried when he dropped his ice cream .Who is perfect 24/7?She should have done the decent thing and let a child see the wonder of what we adults find a boring necessity.
-Clickbait inflammatory title
-Lack of detail for one party
-Karen author passing judgement anyways
-Indignant responses from Karen clearly not thrilled to hear the opinions they solicited
-Algorithmically high engagement from the controversy and unnecessary negativity and low-key suffering generated by the post
First time visiting this blog, last time visiting this blog.
I dont agree with this article. IMO it is not the woman’s problem. She used her hard earned money to purchase a seat that made her comfortable. She sat there first shes entitled to her seat and should not have to move for another adult nor a child. People should teach their kids not cry for things they cant have instead of everyone trying to give achild everything they cry for. This is exactly why this world is so F!ed up this kids become adults who have fits for not getting their way.
@Mat I frequently read your Posts and I like them. But in this case I am confused about the words you have chosen.
Are there any confirmed facts ? If I look at the pictures from the plane it doesnt look like an emergency exit row for me. In my opinion (and no proven fact) the family book 3 seats in an exit row. At the gate the agent saw the problem and tried to hotfix it giving the family other seats. so father & son got these seats where a woman already had the window seat. And maybe (remember maybe) they tried to pursuade the woman to swap seats what she refused for many possible reasons.
As long as she has a valid boarding pass with that seat number on it, writing about the lady with your words may become a problem especially if one frequent traveller knows that lady and tells her about your post and the result could become quite expensive.
Keep in mind every medal has 2 sides. (Sorry for my bad english but I hope everyone understands it)
We do not know if this woman paid for her seat. She may have just been assigned it. The onus was on the airline to sort it out. Regardless though, the woman’s actions were selfish. If she had anxiety as some have suggested, she should have stated “I purchased this window seat to help me cope with flying”. Perception is everything. If I were an observer and what unfolded was what is described in this article, then I too would have thought she’s a jerk.
Thank you. Good analysis.
Parents need to quit conditioning their children to get their way by crying. Weather they mean to or not.
If they really wanted to sit next to each other and at a window. then they could have requested a different flight for the airlines error.
She shouldn’t have to justify anything to anyone under any circumstances. It is up to the airline staff to solve these problems. Notice not ONE other passenger sitting an a window seat offered to swap. NOT ONE. So what is it an entire cabin full of jerks?
In the US if the airline wanted to solve this problem they’d offer passengers financial incentives to swap. But the reality a child being sad about a window seat is not an emergency.
Nobody was chasing around the table get the silverware. He had a moment and they just blew up around him. I live in America. If a child gets a hit on the bott, comes the police , takes the child away and shot the parents.
He should be happy nowadays if he gets food on the table.
I would have moved, but I have kids and I love kids – I’m the dork who makes faces at little kids to try and help them stop crying on flights.
That said, the woman had every right to sit there, and she wasn’t a jerk for saying that she wanted to sit in the seat she had been assigned. If there is a jerk in the situation, it’s the Ryanair gate lead who didn’t fix the issue by telling the mother to move and tossing her a 50 euro credit or something like that.
There *is* one clear winner in the situation, and that’s the mom, who had a nearly 3 hour flight away from her 6-year-old…
Too many comments. Sue the airline for psychological discomfort and anxiety in the boy. Don’t blame another passenger. I won’t give up my window seat because I specifically have claustrophobia and I need the shade open to look outside; Just a good reason as the boys.’
Might be a bit off-topic but it’s hard and difficult being a kid in this cruel world and that’s why I don’t have kids.
The error was the airline’s; they could easily have offered the woman a better seat in business or first class or otherwise compensated her to move but chose not to do so.
True, agreed. Ryanair doesn’t have any first or premium cabin, but at least an extra legroom seat if available would have been nice/the right correct thing to do in that case
Something similar happened to me once on a BA short haul (around a 2hrs 30 mins flight). Family had been split up and asked if I would swap my seat for a child to sit next to both parents (otherwise they’d have had one parent sat elsewhere). I obliged, because frankly, why not?
Anyway, 30 mins into flight the CSM (as they were then) with a tiny Club Europe cabin comes to do a “Gold hello” (a rarity at the best of times for those of us with BA Gold) and finds out from the family that I’ve moved and why I’ve moved. Long story short, it was a pleasant Band C afternoon tea in 2A for the rest of the flight.
I find that being gracious and giving in these kinds of situations, especially with flag carriers who have the capacity to show their gratitude for helping to make a calm cabin environment.
Seat dupes happen almost every flight, almost every day. The flight attendant calls the agent and says, “John Smith and Jane Doe both have 23A.” The agent checks and says, “Jane Doe is in 23A and John Smith is supposed to be in 9C.” Nobody is obligated to give up “their” seat for anyone else. There’s nothing about possession being 9/10ths of the law. Nobody is a selfish jerk. This is a non-issue, everyday occurrence.
The world does not bend over backwards for your kids. No way am I reading an exit rows seat for some kid, especially one so overcome with mild adversity. Is he going to cry the emergency exit open if needed?
Been reading a lot of your articles as of late, and it seems you love to vilify those who don’t follow what your standards of etiquette should be. I feel you are quite gratuitous in thinking that even a quarter of the traveling public follow your standards of travel etiquette. I’ve given up on this long ago. If my seat reclines, I recline it. If it is my seat, I don’t move. If I am in the middle seat, I take both arm rests. I admire your chivalrous approach to airline travel, but in the end it is not realistic.
There’s a funny video out there (from what I’m not sure) where a Mom asks a guy to swap seats so her little child can sit by the window. The guy in the window seat, who fits the classic stereotype of a dofus, complete with crumbs from his pretzels he is munching, basically tells her that’s life. It isn’t fair and get used to disappointment.
Matt you have no idea of who the woman even was! If she reserved it she is entitled to it, and she boarded first, so little whiny kid can’t get his seat. Fuck you
I feel kind of bad for the boy because this made the news with his name and picture in it. It might me embarrassing to him when he gets older.