Clever or cruel? That’s the debate over a man who charged his obese seatmate $150 to avoid being bumped off a flight.
On Reddit, a man asked, “AITA for making an obese man pay me cash to take up part of my seat on a long flight?” AITA is an acronym for a popular section on Reddit I won’t repeat here. He went on to share the details of the flights.
His own narrative is somewhat humorous, but I’ll summarize what happened:
- Transcon flight of five hours.
- Man is seated in economy class in an aisle seat in a section of two (window and aisle only, no middle)
- A “very obese” man boards and attempts to take his seat next to the man.
- Obese man spills over into the man’s seat, taking 1/3 of it.
- Man tells the obese man, “Sir, I’m sorry but this situation is not working for me, you’re taking up quite a bit of my seat.”
- Obese man shrugs, noting quite rightly there is literally nothing he can do about it though he tried to tighten himself up.
- Man complains to a flight attendant, who tells the obese man he will need to buy a second seat.
- After looking, FA notes that every seat is taken and thus there is no place to move one of the men to.
- Obese man mentions he cannot miss this flight, but flight attendant tells him he will have to get off if another passenger is not willing to have him intrude into their personal space.
- Man sees how flustered the obese man is and makes him an offer.
- “Look, I’ll put up with this if you give me $150 — that’s half the cost of this flight and that would compensate me enough for the circumstances.”
- Obese man instantly agrees and pulls out the cash from his wallet.
Reflecting on the flight, the man surmised:
From my perspective, I gave the guy a valid option to stay on the flight and I was compensated for literally having only 75% of my seat max (let alone the feeling of a person’s body pressed against you involuntarily). A win-win. He wasn’t angry at all, if anything he seemed quite relieved we could work it out privately.
I’d love to hear the perspective of the obese man. Was the $150 a grateful compromise to the problem or blackmail? Is the airline truly to blame for offering such small seats or did the man have other choices?