Couple Angry That Fellow Plane Passenger Turned On Reading Light At 8AM — He Claims He Needed It To Work

They should bring eye masks for their next flight!

Man working on an airplane Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock 

A couple traveling on an early morning flight trip was disturbed after the passenger seated next to them utilized the reading light to get work done. 

The man argued that the couple should have brought eye masks along with them if they were planning on sleeping during the flight. 

The encounter sparked a conversation surrounding flying etiquette and the use of aircraft reading lights. 

The man says he needed to use the plane’s reading light at 8 AM to complete work tasks before he landed. 

Sharing his story to the subreddit "r/AmItheA-–hole (AITA), he asked other Redditors if he was being inconsiderate by using the reading light while the couple seated next to him was trying to sleep.


He began his post by revealing that he was boarded on an early morning flight from the east coast to the west coast of the United States.

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At around 8 AM local time, the man turned on his reading light above his seat to skim through printed documents ahead of work.  

“I needed to complete the task before we landed, and I could not see the documents without the reading light, as the main cabin lights were not illuminated,” he explained. 

However, the couple seated in his row was annoyed by this.

“[They were] complaining in a different language (which I coincidentally also speak) to one another about what an inconsiderate a–- I am,” he wrote.


The incident left the man feeling conflicted about what he did.

“When I travel, I always bring noise-canceling headphones and an eye mask, and I don’t expect others to accommodate my sleeping preferences,” he shared. “And I did not turn on the light at an ungodly hour; I turned it on at 8 AM on a workday.” 

He did, however, notice that he was one of the only passengers using a reading light, admitting that it was “quite bright” and could not be adjusted to be dimmed.

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Most Reddit users agreed with the man and believed that the couple should not expect him to accommodate them.


“[They should bring] eye masks and earplugs. You can't expect the whole plane to do things on your schedule, and it's a fairly easy fix to keep things dark,” one user commented.

“My rule of thumb is that if the airplane is equipped with reading lights... and the flight attendant didn't cruise by and ask you not to use them... and it's 8 am on a work day... you are allowed to use the reading light,” another user wrote.

“They could put a blanket over their heads. Also, it was 8:00 am. They need to realize the world doesn’t revolve around them,” another user pointed out. “You should have told them in their own language: 'next time plan ahead. Eye masks are quite affordable.'”

“It's a public airplane, not a private hotel room,” another user noted. “Unless you were doing something exceptionally rude, you were not, then they are just a-–holes who didn't think they would have to deal with other people in a public space.”


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Others however believed that the couple had every right to complain as much as the man had every right to use the reading light. 

“You had every right to use the reading light. But come on, you woke them up. They're allowed to quietly bitch about you in a language they thought you wouldn't hear,” one user commented.


“You shouldn't feel bad, and they're allowed to complain to each other about it,” another added.

At the end of the day, airplanes are public spaces and you may not get the desired sleep you hoped if you’re traveling alongside those who have work to do. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.