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Passenger hits out at couple who made him give up his seat so they could sit next to each other

Poppy Bilderbeck

Published 
| Last updated 

Passenger hits out at couple who made him give up his seat so they could sit next to each other

Featured Image Credit: Getty/ Mongkol Chuewong/ Getty/ AlxeyPnferov

A passenger has spoken out after he was 'forced' to swap seats to 'accommodate a couple'.

Another week, another airplane argument and this time it's not about screaming babies or naked toes, but swapping seats.

To swap or not to swap, that's the question, however, unfortunately for one passenger, he wasn't given much of a choice.

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Writing for Conde Nast Traveler, Todd Plummer reflects on his solo travelling experiences, noting it takes 'a lot' to 'phase' him.

However, one recent experience has left him reeling. Plummer writes: "Few travel experiences have ever irked me so badly as when I was recently forced to change seats on a packed airplane in order to accommodate a couple."

But what exactly happened?

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The passenger says he was 'forced' to switch seats. Credit: Pexels/ Athena
The passenger says he was 'forced' to switch seats. Credit: Pexels/ Athena

Well, earlier this year in September, Plummer took a flight from Istanbul to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Plummer received the seat number 11D - noting he was 'delighted' given he's 'a six-foot-two individual with the thighs of a lifelong skier'.

Alas, despite making it to his seat and starting 'mentally preparing' for the long journey, Plummer's experience in 11D didn't last long.

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Just as he was settling in, the gate agent 'storm[ed]' up to him, a man and woman in tow.

Plummer was told seat 11D had been doubled booked and 'worse, the other gentleman ticketed in 11D was traveling "in a couple" with a female companion, and her seat, 11C, was just across the aisle'.

Despite being the first one to the seat, Plummer says he was asked by the gate agent to move to 9D to 'accommodate the pair'.

The writer questions: "Couldn't the two unseated passengers take the still-empty seats just two rows apart?"

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The man was allegedly forced to move. Credit: Jasmin Merdan/Getty Images
The man was allegedly forced to move. Credit: Jasmin Merdan/Getty Images

Plummer pointed out 9D 'isn't an exit row' and he was 'quite fine' where he was seated, thanking the agent.

He continues: "By this point, my heart thumped and my palms grew clammy.

"I could feel the eyes of half the plane watching our uncomfortable conversation unfold. The air stifled. I could hear a pin drop. Seat 9D seemed to shrink before my eyes."

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Plummer says the agent told him the plane was 'very full', making him feel like the double-booking was 'somehow [his] fault' and him sitting there was 'somehow a personal attack on the sanctity of this couple's relationship'.

Plummer eventually gave in and moved seats. Credit: Pexels/ Kelly
Plummer eventually gave in and moved seats. Credit: Pexels/ Kelly

Eventually, Plummer 'caved,' the stalemate too much 'pressure' to deal with.

He notes he would definitely swap seats if it meant a child could be sat next to their parent or in a medical emergency.

The writer reflects on the experience as 'disappointing, irritating and downright humiliating,' noting he didn't want to have to publicly explain he needed the seat because he's 'so large'.

Plummer resolves: "Situations like this suggest couples are more deserving of a superior seat on an airplane, and perpetuates a stereotype that relationships are some sort of metric of happiness and success - or that two people are worth more than any one."

Topics: News, Travel, World News, Sex and Relationships, Mental Health

Poppy Bilderbeck
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