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Larger Woman Reserved an Extra Middle Seat on the Airplane, Only to Be Body Shamed by an Unkind Passenger.

A woman finds herself in a tense confrontation on a flight after a couple usurps the extra seat she purchased due to her obesity. The woman stands up for herself despite the couple’s hostile reactions; the resolution hangs in the balance.

A Self-Aware Journey

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The Original Poster (OP), struggling with obesity, has learned to navigate the world with a sensitivity for her size. She is not oblivious to her size and the discomfort it can cause to others, particularly in tight spaces such as airplanes. A mandatory work trip to a conference puts her in a difficult situation.

The Extra Seat

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Recognizing her need for additional space, the OP purchases an extra seat for her solo flight to a conference. She views it as a necessary step to ensure her comfort, as well as to avoid causing discomfort to others. This decision, made with respect, is a step towards an unexpected encounter.

The Unwelcome Visitors

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OP’s flight takes an unexpected turn when a couple, separated by their seating assignments, notices the empty seat next to her. They see an opportunity to sit together and seize it, unaware of OP’s arrangement.

The Encroachment

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As the man settles next to OP, her worst fears come true: her side brushes against him, creating an uncomfortable situation. He even shoves her slightly, amplifying the discomfort. The OP can feel that a confrontation is imminent.

The Appeal

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OP gathers her courage and respectfully asks the man to vacate the seat, explaining her situation. “I bought this one for my comfort,” she explains, hoping he would understand. His refusal, however, only escalates the situation further.

The Second Request

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Refusing to give up, OP asserts herself once again, voicing her discomfort and reminding the man that she had paid for the extra seat. She tells him, “I feel uncomfortable, and I paid for the second seat so exactly this doesn’t happen.” Yet, his dismissal and return to his conversation with his partner only deepen the tension.

The Flight Attendant’s Intervention

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Left with no other option, OP calls for the flight attendant, explaining the situation quietly. The attendant, understanding the predicament, steps in to mediate the situation. The couple’s reaction, however, takes a bitter turn.

The Confrontation

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In response to the flight attendant’s request, the man gives OP a nasty look, his annoyance apparent. The tension rises further when his girlfriend mutters a rude comment under her breath. The conflict escalates as OP is faced with outright hostility.

The Insult

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The girlfriend mutters a horrific insult, which cuts deep. The words, though not spoken directly to OP, still reach her, magnifying the discomfort of the situation. It’s clear that this encounter has taken a personal and hurtful turn.

The Aftermath

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With the couple’s resentment clear, OP is left wondering if she is in the wrong. She reflects on her actions, questioning her insistence on the seat she had rightfully purchased. This introspection leads her to seek the perspectives of others.

The Self-Doubt

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In the midst of the controversy, OP grapples with her insecurities. She reevaluates her actions and considers whether she was too forceful in her request. It’s a period of self-reflection and uncertainty.

The Resolution

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Despite the negativity surrounding the incident, OP remains firm in her belief that she had every right to the second seat she purchased. She acknowledges the discomfort she felt during the flight and the ensuing confrontation.

The Empowerment

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As OP reflects on the incident, she finds a sense of empowerment in standing up for herself. She realizes that her size, while a sensitive issue, doesn’t negate her right to personal space and respect. This marks a significant turning point in her journey of self-acceptance and advocacy.

Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?

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The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responded

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One reader said, “Plane seats are ridiculously too small for anyone who isn’t a child, and as an overweight woman myself, I totally feel you on how uncomfortable this can be.”

Another Viewpoint

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image credit: dean-drobot/shutterstock

Another responder wrote: “You did exactly what you needed to do to make yourself comfortable on the flight.”

A Different Perspective

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A different person states, “You paid for the two seats. They were yours to do exactly what you wanted regardless of your reasons. Sorry, that happened to you.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

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Josh Dudick

Josh is a financial expert with over 15 years of experience on Wall Street as a senior market strategist and trader. His career has spanned from working on the New York Stock Exchange floor to investment management and portfolio trading at Citibank, Chicago Trading Company, and Flow Traders.

Josh graduated from Cornell University with a degree from the Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at the SC Johnson College of Business. He has held multiple professional licenses during his career, including FINRA Series 3, 7, 24, 55, Nasdaq OMX, Xetra & Eurex (German), and SIX (Swiss) trading licenses. Josh served as a senior trader and strategist, business partner, and head of futures in his former roles on Wall Street.

Josh's work and authoritative advice have appeared in major publications like Nasdaq, Forbes, The Sun, Yahoo! Finance, CBS News, Fortune, The Street, MSN Money, and Go Banking Rates. Josh currently holds areas of expertise in investing, wealth management, capital markets, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and personal finance.

Josh currently runs a wealth management business and investment firm. Additionally, he is the founder and CEO of Top Dollar, where he teaches others how to build 6-figure passive income with smart money strategies that he uses professionally.