A woman told Newsweek how (and why) she refused to switch seats on a recent flight so that a mom could sit next to her two kids.
In a TikTok video posted under the handle myconquering, Tammy Nelson explained why she turned down one fellow passenger’s request to move from her window seat to an aisle seat for a Delta Airlines flight from Cincinnati, Ohio, to San Jose, California.
The clip has been watched over 1.5 million times, with fellow TikTok users flocking to praise Nelson for taking a stand.
The presence of children on airplane flights remains a source of some contention. In April, an exclusive survey conducted on behalf of Newsweek by Redfield and Wilton Strategies asked 1,500 American adults if there should be child-free areas on public transit.
Of those surveyed, 59 percent agreed that a child-free zone on planes and trains would be a positive thing, while 27 percent disagreed and 14 percent were unsure.
But while kids may have been at the center of this particular incident, they were not the main source of the conflict.
Nelson told Newsweek when she first boarded the plane, the mom was already sitting in her window seat. “I double-checked my boarding pass thinking I may have had the wrong row,” she said. “When I confirmed I was looking at the correct seat, I thought she must have just mistakenly sat in the wrong seat. So I said, ‘I’m sorry but it seems you’re in my seat,’ thinking she would realize it and move.”
Instead, Nelson said the mom appeared “shocked” at her question and replied: “Oh – you want to sit here?” Nelson said: “I was pretty surprised at the question but replied simply saying, ‘Yes, that’s the seat I selected.’”
At this point, the mom began gesturing to the two kids sitting in the seats next to her window seat, telling her “Oh well I just thought we could switch since these are my kids” as she pointed to the two seats next to my seat.”
Nelson said that although she didn’t “love that idea” she understood as a mom so agreed to move to the mom’s seat “as long as it’s a window seat.”
However, Nelson, who is the founder and CEO of CONQUERing, a global jewelry brand, had to politely decline when she saw it was a middle seat.
“I get motion sickness during takeoff and landing if I can’t see out the window,” she said. “I also don’t get a lot of sleep. I often try to get a little sleep on planes which is easiest with a window seat.”
“On that particular day, I only had 90 minutes of sleep the night before,” she said. “And I was headed into a high-pressure work week where I would be presenting to 500 people and really needed to be at my very best so getting a little sleep on that flight was extra-important.”
Support of Strangers
She said he mom was “super annoyed” and, eventually moved back to her seat. However, she went on to spend “at least 15 minutes” loudly complaining about the situation to the female passenger next to her, despite remaining within arm’s length of her kids.
Nelson was heartened by the other passenger’s response though. “The person she was complaining to very nicely said she could understand why she would want to sit together but added that, when in that situation, she always planned ahead to ensure her family was together by talking with the airline in advance or talking to the gate agent,” she said.
“As the woman kept complaining, the stranger also added that it wasn’t really reasonable to ask someone to switch seats when, oftentimes, those seats were selected way in advance and, many times, the person even has paid extra for their selected seat.”
Nelson said she was “grateful” to the woman for defending her. She wasn’t alone in supporting Nelson’s actions either, with many on TikTok echoing those sentiments.
“People should book seats together if they want to sit together,” one user wrote with another commenting: “The amount of families who aren’t paying to select their seats together is mind blowing! You were 100 percent right to not give up your seat.”
A third said: “Don’t feel guilty for standing up for your needs! And you weren’t taking something that wasn’t yours…. It was rightfully your seat! Be strong” while a fourth added: “I have kids and would never just assume. The audacity of some people.”
Commenting on the reaction, Nelson concluded that “people are fed up with people feeling entitled” when it comes to things like this. “Clearly the woman just expected that I would make a change to meet her needs, not considering what she had done (or not done) that put her in that situation,” she said. “She just expected me to flex my plans to suit her needs. There seems to be a growing trend of this entitlement in society and I think people are just sick of it.”
Nelson said that while it’s always important to “prioritize kindness” in life, she had to put her “need for rest” first. “Be to be kind and consider the request, but also to go with your gut and feel confident in standing your ground,” she said. “One person’s lack of planning doesn’t need to be an inconvenience to you.”
Newsweek has contacted Delta Airlines for comment. Newsweek could not verify the details.
If you have a family dilemma, let us know via [email protected]. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.
The post Woman Refuses To Switch Plane Seat So Mom Can Sit Next To Kids: ‘Entitled’ appeared first on Newsweek.