Plane Passenger Wonders If They're Wrong To Eat On An 8-Hour Flight After Seatmate Complained To Crew About The Smell

She claimed the smell made her sick, but the passenger ate their dinner anyway.

Annoyed woman on a plane Yaroslav Astakhov/

A person is wondering if they did the wrong thing after their airplane seatmate called the flight crew to complain about them eating food during the flight.

In a post to the "r/AmITheA--hole" (AITA) subReddit, a forum where people go to figure out if they were in the wrong in a conflict, they detailed what happened.

In their post, the passenger wrote that they had an eight-hour flight with a short connection, so they had no choice but to eat on the plane.


But their seatmate complained, so they wondered if they'd done the wrong thing.

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The passenger's seatmate claimed the smell of their burger and fries made her sick and complained to the flight attendants.

The passenger wrote their post while on their flight, saying that their seatmate was so angry she was "glaring daggers at me while making passive-aggressive comments under her breath."


But the passenger really had no choice. Both of their flights on their eight-hour journey served only "a small cracker pack."

And their super-short connection left them in a bind. They wrote that "during the connection, I only had barely enough time to run from one end of the airport to the other."

Once they arrived at their connecting gate, they realized they had enough time to buy food in the terminal, but not to eat it.

"I checked with the gate agent to see if I can bring food onboard," they write, "and she happily reassured me that I could. I went and got a burger, fries, and a drink."

As soon as they were able to put their tray table down, they began to eat—and that's when their seatmate piped up.


"This is when the lady sitting next to me told me she doesn’t eat meat or fried foods and the smell of my burger and fries are making her sick."

At first, the passenger says they ignored the woman, but that only seemed to fuel her complaints.

Finally, the passenger spoke up and told the woman, "I bought the food after checking with the gate agent and I’m hungry so she’s out of luck."

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The woman then called the flight attendants to complain about her seatmate eating her food.

The woman did her best to get her seatmate in trouble, but in the end the flight attendants did not agree with her.


The passenger writes that the woman, "was told that I’m well within my rights to eat food that was bought at the airport."

Still, the passenger wasn't sure if they were in the right or wrong.

"I know I’m right when it comes to the airline rules," they wrote, "but the food is pungent in an enclosed area and she’s still glaring at me."

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Commenters agreed that the passenger had nothing to apologize for and was within their rights to eat their food during their flight.

Most Redditors were not having any of the woman's complaints and even urged the passenger to retaliate.


As one user put it, "Feel free to glare back and make passive-aggressive comments right back at her."

"If I was in the mood, I'd even chew with my mouth open while facing her lol."

Another Redditor added, "don't forget to make the 'this food is soooo good moans!'"

One person had an even more devious suggestion—"Offer her the bag [the food] came in if she is going to be sick."

While another user pointed out the obvious. "We've all gotta smell stuff that makes us wanna puke, on a plane. Welcome to air travel..."

And, of course, several people pointed out that the woman has no right to complain—and even if she did, she was overreacting.

As one person put it, "It’s not like [they're] eating a tuna sandwich."


"Just because she doesn’t approve of eating meat and fried foods doesn’t mean she can dictate what others around her are eating."

But one commenter summed the situation up perfectly with a story about airplane food of their own.

"On my last two flights, I had someone eating sushi beside me on one and then a bloody egg sandwich on another. I actually have a ridiculous strong sense of smell."

"Do you know what I did. Shut the fu-k up about it. And tightened my mask."

Yeah, that's probably a better idea than tattling to the flight attendants.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.