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WIBU re: couple hogging spare seat on plane

(129 Posts)
eslteacher Sun 24-Mar-13 14:02:58

It's a trivial one, but whatever!

So DP and I took a 9 hour flight the other day. Tickets suggested we would have adjacent seats, but due to a weirdly out of synch aisle numbering system on the plane, we ended up being an aisle and a row apart on a plane set out like this:


So he was in C and I was in D, but not on the same row. Could just about talk, but with much straining, shoulder-tapping and leaning backwards/forwards into the aisle, and with the noise of the plane and people coming down the aisle all the time it was all very awkard and uncomfortable.

Anyway, there was a couple in seats A and B on the same row as me (in D), but when the plane doors closed no one had sat in C. Perfect, I thought, DP can move into that seat. As I leant forward and said this to him, the man of the couple immediately moved onto the spare seat, and started piling their bags and coats onto the empty seat now bewteen them. The woman tapped me on the shoulder while I was mid sentence to DP, and said very firmly that they would be keeping the seat for themselves so as to be 'more comfortable' during the flight. I smiled and explained our predicament with the weird numbering and how we'd like to sit together, thinking they hadn't understood, but they just kept shrugging and broken recording me with 'no, we're keeping the seat so we can make ourselves more comfortable', while adding more and more of their stuff onto the spare seat.

At this point another random lady sitting in front on them got involved and told them they were being selfish, but they just blanked her, closed their eyes and pretended to go to sleep.

I wanted to get the air hostess involved, but DP (who reeeally hates arguments and is massively non confrontational) said he wouldn't be comfortable sitting next to them anyway now and he really didn't 't want to have to make a big scene to get the seat. So, much to my anger they ended up getting to keep their seat, while I was left to seeth with rage during the whole flight.

So anyway, since I had 9 boring hours to reflect on this I did wonder at one point if they had just as much right to the spare seat to be 'more comfortable' as we did for the purpose of sitting next to each other. AIBU in thinking they were selfish, or were they being no more selfish than us?

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Mar-13 14:06:40

I think the most unreasonable person here was probably your DH.

I don't know why he thought simply asking a member of staff if the stuff could be moved is confrontational - it isn't.

They were selfish fuckers but if your DH wasn't bothered enough to have a simple word with the staff, I can only assume he wasn't as put out by them as you were.

eslteacher Sun 24-Mar-13 14:08:59

Heh, was going to add a bit on the end of the post saying I thought my DP was also unreasonable for being a pussy (which I told him), but since it was already long I omitted that ;-)

ProtegeMoi Sun 24-Mar-13 14:09:27

The seat didn't belong to anyone so whoever got their first gets it really, wasn't nice that they only too it after hearing you telling OH to move but that's life and you had no more right to it then they did. If it was to sit by a child fair enough but adults are quite capable of sitting apart for a flight and if sitting together was so Important the you pay for it.

Where was all their bags beforehand? If on their knee etc. then I'd thought they needed it more to be honest, 9 hours cramped in with bags is horrendous.

HollaAtMeBaby Sun 24-Mar-13 14:09:39

YANBU but is your DH always so wet? You should have involved the cabin crew. If he didn't want to sit next to the rude people, you could have had seat C and put him in your seat.

specialsubject Sun 24-Mar-13 14:09:41

you should have involved the cabin crew if it bothered you that much.

Being two people with the third seat spare is the economy class jackpot so I'd be selfish about it too. It isn't an issue for two grown adults to be slightly separated for 9 hours.

future ref; there is a website somewhere which gives a good guess on the seat configuration for your flight.

NinaNannar Sun 24-Mar-13 14:10:21

you were both pussies imo

him for saying no and you agreeing it

ll31 Sun 24-Mar-13 14:10:28

I suppose really they got there first-you were going to use it for your convenience too. .. think yab mildly u

HollaAtMeBaby Sun 24-Mar-13 14:10:42

PS in future you can check flight seating plans on so that you know what you're getting when you do your online checkin! smile

They were being v selfish. You should have said something to the staff, because they have once again learned that being ignorant twats gives them their own way (I suspect this is how they've got by so far).

ifancyashandy Sun 24-Mar-13 14:12:29

Neither of you had any more 'rights' to the seat than the other. They got there first.

You can't change the outcome. Let it go.

frogspoon Sun 24-Mar-13 14:13:06

It was a free seat, neither of you had any more right to it. They got to the seat first do they were entitled to keep it.

It would have been nice if they had moved their stuff to allow you to sit with your husband, but they had no obligation to do so. It's also a shame that no lone passengers were willing to swap with you so you could sit together, but again, they were under no obligation to do so.

I wonder if had you explained to the air hostess that you and your husband were disappointed that you could not sit together due to the numbering system (leaving the couple out of it), they may have perhaps moved you to an alternative seat so you could sit together.

fluckered Sun 24-Mar-13 14:13:23

i think the fact it was a 9 hour flight and had nothing else to think about it got to you more. they were bring selfish and igornant however.

BOEUF Sun 24-Mar-13 14:13:27

They were horrendously rude.

trixymalixy Sun 24-Mar-13 14:14:22

I'd have spoken to the flight attendant. This happened to us on our honeymoon flight so I can understand the seating layout. I was fuming as we had checked in really early and from the seat numbers it looked like we were sitting next to each other. We got seats together in the end.

MintyyAeroEgg Sun 24-Mar-13 14:15:43

They were being extremely rude and oafish.

MrsMangoBiscuit Sun 24-Mar-13 14:16:08

So your DH was in the seat directly in front on the man of the couple? I would have asked him to swap with you, then I would have put my seat back as far as possible. See how comfortable the fuckers are then! grin

Yes I know whoever gets there first can have it, and no one had any "right" to it, but they sound really bloody selfish to me. They wanted it for bags, you wanted it for a person to sit in. They could have at least offered it to you half way through.

fluckered Sun 24-Mar-13 14:16:32

i loathe flying and get very panicky on taking off and landing. on a flight home after hols we were seated seperately (feckin transfer bus picked us up first insisted we sit at the back and were last in queue to check in and board the plane i KNEW this would happen so my panic was building). i was seated beside a couple who were lovely but the more they chatted to me being nice the more i could feel the panic and tears building. dp is like yours .. hates fuss in public etc. however he asked for a person on the other side of the aisle would be mind moving into the middle empty seat so i could at least be near him. oh the relief. i was so grateful to dp and this man. jsut to have dp on other side of aisle made all the difference to me.

thezebrawearspurple Sun 24-Mar-13 14:18:25

I can't blame them for not wanting him to sit next to him and have to deal with the pair of you talking across the aisle for nine hours. Unnecessary torture, most people hate being next to loud, gobby people on flights. Next time bring a kindle or ipad and headphones to keep yourself entertained. yabu.

dopeysheep Sun 24-Mar-13 14:19:16

I was on a flight where the mum and two kids were on one side, then the aisle, then me with a spare seat in the middle and the dad in the window seat. I asked if he wanted to swap to be nearest to his family and he said thanks but 'no not really. It's more peaceful here."

I think the couple were a bit selfish but flights are dog eat dog aren't they?

ChunkyPickle Sun 24-Mar-13 14:19:19

First come first gets in my opinion.

Did you check if any of the people sitting next to you were singles and would swap (aisle seats are quite desirable so you'd be in a strong position)

I always check where we're seating when we check in (if I haven't picked seats first) - plus I try to be early as I find the check-in staff are much nicer then smile

JuneChurch Sun 24-Mar-13 14:22:59

Neither of you had any right to it. They probably had had the same idea, they just got there first. These things happen.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 24-Mar-13 14:23:59

They were been selfish but I'm not sure I blame them. Though if it was me I'd probably have let your Dh have the seat. However I'd have been wishing I'd said no and kept my bags there. grin

Having an empty seat next to you on a long haul flight is like winning the lottery.

To be honest on a flight I'd take the opportunity to read, snooze, watch tv, etc. I would be too upset at not been next to Dh.

BalloonSlayer Sun 24-Mar-13 14:25:02

Blimey I had to re-read the OP to check that it really was your DP you were talking about and not your toddler whom you had to supervise for 9 hours.

Why on earth did you have to make such a ridiculous fuss about trying to get seats next to each other? It's not like you were sitting at opposite ends of the plane.

I mean : Could just about talk, but with much straining, shoulder-tapping and leaning backwards/forwards into the aisle, and with the noise of the plane and people coming down the aisle all the time it was all very awkard and uncomfortable. How absolutely dreadful for you! How did you cope? hmm

VivaLeBeaver Sun 24-Mar-13 14:26:56

I meant I wouldn't be too upset at not been next to Dh.

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