Hilariously, after discussing the issue last week, I was the victim of airplane manspreading on a recent transcontinental United Airlines flight.
Manspreading On An Airplane – This Time I Am The Victim!
Fares were really high last Wednesday, to the tune of $529 one-way for a Washington Dulles – Los Angeles flight on Alaska or United in economy class. Thinking outside the box, I booked a saver award ticket on United for the following morning (the 6:00 am nonstop had saver space) and then attempted to standby on the 6:00 pm flight the night before (United allows standby within 24 hours of your confirmed flight).
I did clear onto the flight…but wound up with a middle seat in Economy Plus. It was totally worthwhile considering I’d be able to get home at a decent time and see my wife and kids ahead of my trip to London the next day.
Well, upon boarding I found my seatmate had already boarded…and staked out a claim to my legroom. I had to laugh…I had just written about this issue a couple of days prior in a story that went somewhat viral.
I thought he would move once I settled in, but he did not. In his (limited) defense, his leg space was reduced due to a steel beam securing the seats in front of him, but I did not enjoy any extra room for my feet. In other words, he felt entitled to take my allocated leg room because his was reduced. He also had two bags that he had set under the seat in front of him.
I waited a couple of minutes and very overtly took the picture above, hoping he would get the message.
But he didn’t. His feet remained there.
So I dropped my bag on top of his feet.
And he still didn’t move!
So finally, I looked over at him and said, “You’re stealing my legroom. If you want it, we can trade seats, because I’d prefer the aisle in exchange for a bit less room for my feet.”
He finally got the message and moved his feet, without uttering a word.
The rest of the flight was smooth.
The manner in which foot space is allocated in economy class (and in business class) is not always equal. Sometimes a middle or window seat might have more room than an aisle seat, or vice versa. When that is it the case and you find yourself with reduced foot room, remember that you chose your seat and it is not okay to manspread into someone else’s space. I cannot believe this dude was so rude, but I’m glad that he gave in after realizing that I would not tolerate his feet in my space.