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Woman Explodes Into an Argument With Another Passenger on “Flight Etiquette” at 30,000 Feet After Her Knees Get Crushed By a Reclining Seat.

Caught in the shared space of a packed holiday flight, a woman battles for legroom with an older woman determined to recline her seat. The tension escalates into a heated exchange that triggers introspection, etiquette questions, and self-doubt, leaving both OP and the reader questioning: Who was really at fault?

The Packed Flight

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The Original Posters (OP), a 26-year-old woman, boards a packed flight during the holiday season. The limited space forces her to store her bag under the seat, crowding her long legs. Her knees jut against the seat in front of her, an uncomfortable compromise for a four-hour flight.

The Reclining Lady

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The woman in the seat in front of OP, a woman in her 60s, tries to recline her seat, crushing against OP’s knees. This is repeated several times, each attempt meeting resistance from OP’s trapped knees. The woman’s frustration grows with each failed attempt.

The Confrontation

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The older woman finally turns to confront OP, demanding why she isn’t making room for her seat to recline. OP explains her situation, highlighting the lady’s lack of consideration for the shared space. She also points out the general etiquette of minimizing reclining in cramped flights.

The Insults Fly

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The older woman becomes agitated and accuses OP of being “everything that’s wrong with the world.” Stung by the insult, OP retorts by calling her an “entitled b****.” The tension between the two escalates dramatically.

Flight Attendant Intervention

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Infuriated, the older woman brings the situation to the attention of a flight attendant. OP defends herself, explaining her side of the story. The woman, however, manages to paint OP as the troublemaker due to the name-calling.

Doubts and Regrets

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OP is left wondering if she was indeed the one at fault in the argument. She considers the nuances of reclining etiquette on flights. The thought process adds to the turbulence of the situation.

Clarity and Confusion

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OP explains that she’s not excessively tall and that she had plenty of room until the woman started reclining. The fact that the woman was trying to recline too far compounds the problem. The uncertainty continues to unravel.

Unavoidable Circumstances

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OP further elaborates that the situation arose from an unavoidable circumstance, as her flight was a last-minute rebooking. The seat and flight choice were out of her control, adding to her frustration. The conflict’s origins lie in an unfortunate chain of events.

The Not-So-Bulky Bag

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OP also emphasizes that her bag wasn’t unusually large or overstuffed. The space under the seat was simply not adequate, leading to the uncomfortable proximity of her knees to the reclining seat. Her earlier defensive stance gains weight.

Considering the Argument

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OP acknowledges the validity of the argument about purchasing personal space on a flight. However, she highlights that she, too, has the right to the space for her bag under the seat. The power dynamics of the situation continue to shift.

A Last-Minute Passenger

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OP’s bag contains fragile Christmas gifts, requiring it to be kept in a safe location. This necessity reinforces her decision to keep her bag under the seat in front of her. The complications of the situation become increasingly complex.

Her insistence on safeguarding her Christmas gifts further restricts her choices of where to place her bag. Thus, despite the discomfort, she chooses to endure the situation rather than risk damaging the presents. This reveals a further layer of the problem: OP’s personal obligations clashing with the travel situation.

A Question of Space

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OP ponders over the traditional instructions of placing personal items under the seat in front. She questions whether the expectation to put her feet there is practical or fair. The argument further emphasizes the discrepancy between ideal flying conditions and the reality.

Defining Normal

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OP clarifies that she was sitting normally and did not require any extra space when the plane took off. However, the issue arose when the woman in front started reclining her seat to the point it encroached on OP’s space. The fine line between acceptable discomfort and invasion of personal space is explored.

No Deliberate Hurdles

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OP insists she was not purposely trying to stop the woman from reclining her seat. She emphasizes that her actions were reactive, not proactive, and were the result of a difficult situation, not spite. This chapter reflects the common human tendency to interpret defensive reactions as aggressive actions.

The Blurred Lines of Etiquette

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OP’s story ends with her left in a state of confusion and regret. She’s unsure whether she acted appropriately or if her frustration overrode her judgment. The nebulous rules of airplane etiquette and personal space blur the lines between right and wrong.

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, “If she kept banging into your knees, she should’ve stopped. There simply wasn’t room. And she sure shouldn’t have been yelling at you. That would’ve been a good time for you to call the flight attendant.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote: “Until the Department of Transportation mandates more space in between seats, we all have to realize that flying may be an uncomfortable experience. That means you don’t recline into the person behind you.”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person states, “If someone buys a seat and that seat was designed to recline, I wouldn’t say that’s entitlement. Your handling of it with escalation was not right.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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Another viewpoint on the story: “Normal plane etiquette is that you get a seat that fits you and doesn’t infringe on others’ space. It’s totally normal to recline your seat on a plane, and I would consider that part of their space. This means if you’re spilling into the seat next to you – buy another seat. If your legs are too long – buy one of the seats with extra legroom.

You both escalated unnecessarily and were just downright rude.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by a Reddit thread.

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