Airline Passenger: I Refused To Switch Seats So A Mom Could Sit With Her Toddler Daughter — ‘Hell To The F— No’

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An old Reddit post is seeing new life thanks to an Internet community that is debating how they’d react during a potential seat-swap trade where a passenger was asked to give up a window seat so a mother could sit next to her “toddler” daughter.

The airline passenger who commented in the r/MildlyInfuriating section of Reddit, writes that it was “not my problem they didn’t book together.”

The unidentified traveler, who doesn’t mention the airline, says he/she was on a trans-Pacific flight leaving Japan which indicates it was heading to the U.S. mainland.

We’re talking about a long flight and the Reddit user is being asked to switch out a window seat for the mother’s middle seat one row back.

What would you do on a 10-hour flight from Japan to the United States? Would you give up your window seat for a middle seat so a mom could sit with her daughter? / Getty Images

“Had a woman ask me to change on a TPAC flight from Japan. I was bulkhead window and her toddler daughter (Ed. note: the person eventually clarified that the young girl was somewhere around 4 or 5) was in the middle next to me while she was in the middle seat in the row behind me.

“She asked me – and just me – to switch with her so she could have my window seat (next to her daughter) and I’d take her middle seat a row back.

“Hell to the f–k no,” the Reddit user wrote.

“Worse is we were surrounded by others from her tour group that she could’ve asked for a three-way trade instead. Or the tour operator.”

“The audacity to ask just me and expect an inferior trade on my side.”

The Redditor wasn’t finished just yet. When pressed by fellow Reddit travelers on when others should give up their seats for the greater good of society, it set off another round of comments.

“I just started refusing altogether. Unless it’s for an upgrade. I’m sick of entitlement from people, and it seems elevated on planes and even more so of late. I don’t know you. I don’t generally care about you beyond reasonable human compassion. And I am certainly not responsible for your poor planning. Don’t talk to me again and go away,” he or she continued.

But what about the kid, the Reddit community screamed.

“The kid was a gem. Mom was hardly frazzled. Total scam being run on me,” the user fired back.

Hold up, why would someone rather sit next to a 4 or 5-year-old for a long haul across the Pacific Ocean?

We need some more context here.

“She was just very calm and quiet,” the ‘Hell to the F-No seat swapper wrote. “Then even as boarding continued, she just played with her backpack of toys. I guess nothing really raised red flags that they’d usually raise. And I was in a great seat and just ready to get airborne and to my project in the US.

“This situation was unique because she was with a tour group of 30+ people. Literally surrounding us. This was a 777-200 (I think), it’s been a couple years. And given where our plane was originating and where they were from (not the same country), and whom was excitedly communicating with whom, it was evident who was in the tour group.

“She didn’t ask the gentleman on the aisle in my row – on the other side of her her daughter, nor did she ask anyone else in the middle section of the plan or on the right side of the plane. She asked me only then proceeded to be a bitch. She made zero effort to actually change seats for her daughter. So to say it’s “hard” to sit together is utter bullshit and that she was just “caring” for her daughter is a farce. Neither of those was her concern.”

Whew, what a ride!

The passenger who wouldn’t give up his seat says the mother clearly targeted his seat and didn’t offer to make a deal with anyone else in her tour group. / Getty Images


  1. After reading through dozens of responses from this person, it feels like this is a guy who put his foot down on the whole “Would you mind trading seats?” scam. It just doesn’t read as a woman who is fed up. The person mentions way down the thread about having kids, but indicates not understanding the correct terminology for a 4 or 5-year-old. “We called our kids toddler until that age. Between baby and adolescent. I think we did. Now I can’t remember,” the person wrote.
  2. That’s definitely a guy. There’s not a woman on the face of the earth in the developed world who doesn’t know the difference between a toddler and a preschooler.
  3. Am I switching that seat for a 10-hour flight? There’s a very good chance I would if the mother came with a much better trade proposal. If mom is just targeting my seat and not offering up a better trade than my window seat for her middle seat, then she’s a fool.
  4. These seat things don’t raise red flags for the airlines? We have self-driving cars, but there’s not a computer system that detects young kids who aren’t sitting with their parents?
  5. The mom should’ve been negotiating seat swaps with a gate agent.

Look, those of us who are prepared travelers shouldn’t be shamed into feeling like we’re the a-holes.

If the mom cared so much about sitting with her daughter, she would’ve found a flight attendant to see if a trade deadline proposal could be worked out here. She didn’t go to that extreme. She sat there behind her daughter sulking over not getting a window seat.


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Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. Before we can pass judgement on anyone involved … we need biological genders / preferred genders / sexual preferences / and, of course, Voting Records over the past five POTUS elections for everyone … including “the toddler”. This IS 2023 after all.

  2. Traveled for business for years. I’ve been asked to trade my aisle seat for a middle seat so someone could sit next to a family member. Same answer each time. I absolutely will for $100 per hour flight time. Round to the 1/2 hour. $100 up front and show another $100. Cash only. Actually had one person take me up on it.

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