Flying is the worst for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one just boils down to other people. Yes, I know, it sounds like an arrogant and even misanthropic thing to say, but it’s the truth, especially with rude co-passengers.
People who take up all of the overheard bin storage space on an airplane, or those insufferable fools who speed in front of you to hurry up and get on the plane so they can be the first to sit down in their cramped seats. I don’t understand why they’re rushing to just go and wait anyway? It’s like speeding up to make a red light, who does that?
The worst of them, however, are the self-entitled passengers who just try and hog up every bit of room afforded to them on the airplane and throw away any semblance of human dignity or kindness out of the way just to get it.
Redditor earthshaker495 posted this story of an irate air commuter who was very, very insistent on reclining their chair. There’s just one problem: earthshaker was flying coach and was 6’3. The man physically couldn’t move his chair past his knees.
A few years ago I was on a flight from LA to Singapore (takes 16+ hours). I’m a tall dude – around 6’3″ (~190cm) – so I don’t fit very well in economy class seats. On most planes my knees are often very close or right up against the seat in front of me. This makes it impossible for the person in front of me to recline their seat, which usually isn’t a problem once the person in front of me sees how cramped I am in those tiny seats.
Now, normally someone would just accept the fact that they can’t recline their seat. A polite person would even apologize for hitting the knees of the tall man behind him. It’s not like he’s pushing against his seat preventing him from reclining, it’s just not a physical possibility.
However for this particular flight, the man in front of me was not having it. He tried to recline his seat, but couldn’t because my legs were there. He turns around and sees what’s happening and asks me something along the lines of, “Do you mind letting me put my seat back?”
I respond with, “I wish I could but I physically can’t. I’ll do my best to give you as much space as I can, but it won’t be much.” At this point he starts to get angry and just starts pushing as hard as he can back on his seat. Needless to say, this was not particularly pleasant for me. I ask him to please stop, and he says, “I’ll stop when I can put my seat back.”
Now this guy’s already getting annoying, and earthshaker, bless his patient soul, decides not to talk to the dude struggling ahead of him trying to push his seat back with all his might and let him do his thing.
I decide I’ll just wait him out; he’ll eventually get tired. After about 10-15 minutes of this, he calls a flight attendant over and proceeds to demand a new seat. The flight attendant tells him there are no available seats and he will have to deal with it. He demands to speak to the pilot.
Insanely, Mr. I-can’t-recline-so-I’m-going-to-throw-a-temper-tantrum-to-the-pilot thought that bringing up his chair conundrum was worthy of the literal captain of his transportation vessel’s attention.
Now I’ll admit that the universe and life, for the most part, doesn’t go our way. Bad people get good things and live charmed lives, injustice is abound. But then there are days when everything becomes right with the world.
For earthshaker495, this was one of those days. At first though, it didn’t look like it was:
The co-pilot finally gives in and says while looking at the man, “Sir, would you like to sit up in business class?”
But then the co-pilot pulled this classic move:
The man stands up and mutters something similar to, “[#)$(@#] finally.” To which the co-pilot responds, “Sir, sit down. I wasn’t talking to you.” He turns to me and repeats, “How would you like a seat in business class?”
I have, to this day, never seen someone as furious as the man as I walked past him to my new business class seat (with free drinks).
Now I’d like to think that Mr. Recliner sulked in his seat the entire time. With the extra three and a half inches of lean back room afforded to him, I hope that he went the rest of that flight wondering if he’d be sitting up in business class if he hadn’t acted like a petulant child.
But honestly, I don’t think people who behave that way are capable of possessing that level of self-awareness. He had to have been raised thinking that stirring up and acting like a total disrespectful animal would get him ahead in life.
Sadly, there actually was a case previously where someone complained to a flight attendant about someone who thought it was totally normal to take their shoes off on a plane and wave their stanky feet in their face.
After the man politely asks the woman to put her feet down while he’s eating instead of keeping them up on her tray, there was some back and forth between him, the woman, and the flight attendant that was called over.
Ultimately, the flight attendant reacted by offering the woman a $1,000 voucher for “accommodating” the man, i.e., taking her feet off of her food tray while sitting next to him as he ate. The man was offered nothing.
At the end of it all, however, the woman wasn’t offered $1k, which was explained to Frederick in a follow-up call from United Airlines. He tried explaining that it wasn’t cool for the airline to initially side with the woman in the situation instead of hearing him out for being the passenger initially disrespected, but it looks like the airline didn’t take his point of view. You can check out the entire thread about it here.
If that story grinds your gears then just remember, earthshaker was accommodated for dealing with someone who was acting nasty on a plane, so just think about that to hopefully cool your jets. Whoo-saaaaah.