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When travelling abroad, most passengers plan ahead to ensure their journey is as comfortable as it can be.
One woman did just that and booked an aisle seat, knowing she would be stuck on a plane for eight hours.
She explained that she booked the seat against a wall ahead of her flight so she would have a bit more “leg room for slouching and the ability to stand up and move around”, reports The Mirror.
Elaborating on her situation on Reddit, she explained: “I have a disability that caused cysts to erode my spinal nerves for years before we caught it, and, despite surgery, I live with severe chronic pain resulting from extensive nerve damage.
“This pain significantly worsens when I’m sitting in an upright position, but I knew I could manage the flight with my medication, leg room for slouching, and the ability to stand up and move around whenever I needed to ease the pain without having to repeatedly inconvenience potential seat neighbours by forcing them to get up so I could get through.”
After taking her seat, the 22-year-old was joined by a woman and her two-year-old child, who took the middle and window seat on her row.
“The dad was several rows behind in a window seat,” she added.
“As I expected, as soon as they were settled in, the mum turned to me and asked me to switch seats with her husband so he could be there to help with the baby.
“I politely told her ‘No thank you, I’d like to keep my seat,’ which was not received well.
“She badgered me for several more minutes, but I stood my ground.”
Not wanting to take no for an answer, the woman was forced to go into detail about her medical condition, something she would rather have kept private.
“She said ‘What a load of bulls***’ [because] my condition is invisible, so that really got to me,” she added.
“I called over a flight attendant because at that point I was tired of being insulted and called heartless (also, the husband never once got involved in this situation) and she eventually got the woman to stop.
“She still spent the next eight hours very loudly talking cr*p about me to the baby and making a show of yelling back to her husband when she needed something.
“I put my headphones on, read my book, watched TV, got up and walked around when I needed to, and all around had an otherwise pleasant flight experience.”
While the odd passenger shared a smile with the 22-year-old, most others joined the mum in giving her dirty looks.
She said: “I did get a lot of dirty looks while the mum was making a scene.
“There was one guy who smiled and nodded at me (he was close enough to hear my story), which I appreciated, but most everyone else around was throwing me disgusted stares for a while.
“I heard one older lady in the row across whisper to her husband that I was a monster.”
Wanting to know whether she was right to stand her ground, she asked Reddit users what they would have done in this situation.
She added: “I just feel like, if they wanted to sit together, why didn’t they buy three tickets next to each other in the first place?
“Perhaps I would’ve considered switching if it were only a minor inconvenience – I understand travelling with a baby must be hard -but in this case, switching would’ve negatively impacted my flight experience to a very high degree, and that isn’t what I paid extra for when I purchased my ticket months in advance.
“I didn’t think I’m in the wrong, but it’s hard to maintain that thought when you have a cabin of people looking at you like you kicked a lost puppy.”
Commenting on her post, one user said: “Even if you did not have the disability you would not be an a***hole.
“They very likely made their own bed by deciding to get the two bulkhead seats (seat that back onto a wall) and gamble they would be able to badger their way into the third rather than getting three seats together further back in the plane.”
Another user added: “Did she offer to switch seats with the people sitting in the row with the dad? Didn’t think so.”
A third user said: “She’s not bad for asking, but she’s completely and utterly wrong for not shutting up when you said no.
“That’s a long flight, man! She didn’t even deserve an explanation, but you gave her the reason and she still didn’t shut up.
“You did everything right. She sucks and I feel sorry for that baby.”
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