Man Refuses To Give Up His Aisle Seat To A Man's Wife So Ends Up Getting His Phone Stolen & Accused Of Terrorism

It was the airplane ride of a lifetime.

Man on his phone on airplane and airplane seats Humphrey Muleba & Athena / Pexels

Airline flights are notoriously stressful, and one man discovered just how panic-inducing they can be.

When the man sitting next to him asked him to give up his seat, writer Chase Mitchell tweeted, “dude beside me on this plane just tried to get me, an aisle seat, to swap with his wife, who is in a middle seat. Wife dudes really need to be stopped.”

Mitchell joked about refusing to give up his seat, but his decision led the man to steal his phone and accuse him of terrorism.

He continued the saga of his American Airlines journey on Twitter, sharing with his followers that the man’s wife ended up sitting in their row, and the couple proceeded to get drunk.


“He and his wife (oh by the way, Window never showed up so she’s sitting in here too) are three rum and waters in. Not like they’re mixing rum and water, like they’re shooting mini bottles of rum and chasing it with water, and complaining about the airline’s headphones policy.”

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He then stated, “I’m going to need like a day to decompress from this before I talk about the insane s–-t that happened AFTER this, but… this experience ended with the guy stealing my phone and being taken off the plane.”


Mitchell offered context to his trip, explaining that he flew from LAX to the Philadelphia airport without his laptop, so his phone was all he had, which held “numbers, my hotel reservation, the NAME of my hotel, everything. This will become important later.”

"I’m thinking, these are the worst people I’ve ever flown with, but whatever. I’m being polite (while tweeting about it). I’m watching Scream. Meanwhile like I said they’re both 3-4 rums deep. I notice he starts having outbursts, yelling ‘f–-k,’ etc,” Mitchell went on.

He explained that the plane they were flying didn’t have screens in the back, so he watched the movie on his phone. He said, “I notice they’re both weird about it — she asks how I have the internet, like she’s unfamiliar with airplane wifi. Whatever, they’re both older, I don’t think much of it.”

Later on in the flight, Mitchell’s seatmate kept exclaiming how sick he felt and got up to use the bathroom multiple times. He noted that “each time I’m standing up to let him out, I’m making sure to unhook my phone from the seatback and put it in my pocket.”


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Mitchell stated that “every time he sits back down, he’s really performative about how sick he is— keeps yelling, ‘I THREW UP 3 TIMES’ and s-–t. Finally, closer to landing, he needs to go a THIRD time. This time he’s straight up rude about it, like, ‘I GOTTA GO NOW, GET THE F–K OUT OF THE WAY.’”

At that instance, when the man stood up to use the bathroom, Mitchell said it was so ‘urgent and violent I had to get up without having time to think about it, and when I sit back down, I can’t find my phone.”

Mitchell couldn’t help but wonder if the man took his phone on the way to the bathroom.


“So anyway, while he’s gone again I am looking EVERYWHERE– I literally just had it. I feel under the seats, pull the cushions apart, etc. I ask his wife if she's seen a phone– no answer. I figure she didn’t hear me, ask again– no answer.”

Mitchell said that “This is around when it dawns on me, how absolutely f–-ked I would be without it, how few numbers I know anymore (like I said, I didn't even commit to memory the name of my hotel) and… I think that f--king guy took it? It feels like an INSANE accusation to even think of."

Mitchell panicked and went to go talk to the flight attendants, at first commiserating about the couples’ behavior, when one of the flight attendants mentions, “The guy told me he thought you were, like, using your phone to plan something. He’s nuts."

“So what the flight attendant tells me is WILD,” Mitchell explained. “I tell him, ‘Well, that’s really interesting because I cannot find my phone anywhere.’ I hesitate to make an accusation– like I said, it still feels like an insane thing to think happened. They both go check the seat with flashlights. Nothing.”


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The plot thickened when another passenger came up to Mitchell and told him he saw his seatmate steal his phone.

“Another passenger who didn’t hear our conversation discreetly sidles up to me and says he SAW the guy yank the phone out of the seat on his way to the bathroom. Now I realize how long the guy has been in there this time, and I’m like, ‘F–-k.’”

Mitchell said his mind jumped to crazy places — “I start worrying he’s trying to flush it, or cram it in a trash can, or just f–king smash it. I mean, WHAT IS HIS PLAN.”

When the man finally left the bathroom and returned to his seat, the flight attendants suggested he ask him about the missing phone, which Mitchell dismissed as a bad idea. Then, he realized that he had his Airpods, and if his phone is close by, he’ll hear the sound when they connect.


“So I put them in… and they do,” Mitchell said. “So all that’s left to do now is ask the guy. The flight attendants approach him first, and he denies it, plays dumb, pulls out his phone and says it’s all he’s got on him. So, with pretty much nothing left to do, I sit back down next to him, and ask him myself.”

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Mitchell said that the man denied having his phone, “a little more frantically this time. Without naming or pointing out the other passenger who told me, I tell him that someone told me they saw him do it. He demands to know who. I realize this might have been the wrong approach.”


“By now, everyone around us knows what’s going on, and that’s not helping either, because it’s hitting the conspiracy part of his brain. He starts thinking there’s some plot afoot. Next to me, very quietly, a dude I am very sure is an air marshal says, ‘I can help if I need to.’”

After the plane landed, the authorities escorted the man off the plane. When Mitchell gets to the jetway, the guy was standing there, and he’d “changed his tune from ‘I didn’t take it’ to ‘if you check his phone it will tell you everything.’ They ask him to empty his pockets, he does, and I immediately, blissfully see my Lock Screen flash on.

Mitchell unlocked his phone, while the man kept “demanding they check it for… spy stuff I guess? They obviously do not. All they would’ve seen is the end of Scream.”

When asked if he wanted to press charges, Mitchell declined. “I think the guy is unwell despite the fact that he has really f–n annoyed me tonight and he needs to drink less rum on airplanes. I hope him [and] his wife had a terrible ride home.”


Mitchell’s saga ended with him getting his phone back. Even though the man caused him harm and frustration, Mitchell acted with compassion by not pressing charges. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.