Man Posts Complaint After Plane Passenger Refused To Give Up Middle Seat So He Could Sit Beside His Girlfriend

He is under no obligation to move.

Plane seats, tweet Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock

A man on Twitter sparked a heated debate in his replies when he tweeted about a predicament regarding assigned seats on a flight and a passenger he was sitting next to.

Zack Bornstein, a writer for Saturday Night Live (SNL), tweeted that he was “losing his mind” while sitting in the aisle seat of his row on a flight and complaining about the disagreeable passenger sitting in the middle seat.

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When Bornstein offered up his aisle seat to sit next to his girlfriend, the man refused.

With nearly 200,000 likes and over 7,000 retweets, Bornstein’s viral tweet sparked a world of debate in the replies as people sided with him, and other people sided with the man in the middle seat.

The tweet reads “losing my mind, just offered the aisle seat to the guy sitting between me and my gf on a flight, and he said he’d rather stay in the middle seat between us.”

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His girlfriend, sitting in the window seat, was blocked off from him by the man sitting in the middle seat.

Understandably, he offered up his seat to him in order to be able to sit next to his girlfriend, but the man refused for an unknown reason.

“I mean obviously I can see why this seems weird if you are a normal flyer,” wrote Lucy Huber, an editor for McSweeney’s but people who are afraid of flying often sit in certain seats and sometimes even pay more to do so for superstitious/perceived safety reasons.”

This argument seems to hold some weight because another person replied saying: “There’s a chance the guy is a nervous flyer for whom routine (e.g. the same seat on every flight) is a coping mechanism.”


“Some therapists even recommend it.”

Nowadays, in order to fly without the risk of your ticket being sold to someone else in case your flight is overbooked, you need to select and pay for specific seats.

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The man who chose the middle seat likely chose it for a reason that doesn’t have to only mean 'it was cheaper.'

“The man did nothing wrong,” wrote a man named Ben. “A bit odd, yes, but nothing wrong.”

Many people questioned that since he was now complaining after the fact, why didn’t he just buy the seats side-by-side, to begin with?


Many believe that he might have hoped they would get all three seats to themselves if no one purchased the ticket.

Bornstein, aware of all the debate happening under his Tweet, wrote “lmao these replies are psychotic, but yes we also offered the window, no he didn’t seem nervous at all, and yes he pounded 3 full bags of salmon jerky on a 5.5 hour flight.”

For some reason, people consistently find it within themselves to defend people who don’t want to move from their seats on the plane, but just as equally, people like to criticize the person who doesn’t move.


Nothing says that the man needed to give up his seat so that the couple could sit together, but it would have been a generous thing to do.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.