Teenager Shamed By Plus-Size Plane Passenger For Switching Seats

She wasn't trying to be rude when she changed her seat on the plane.

woman standing with arms crossed, plane in sky ViDI Studio / Shutterstock / Canva Pro / phtorxp from pixabay via Canva Pro

"I just got off a flight from Las Vegas to New York. My assigned seat was a middle seat, and both people next to me were plus-sized," a woman started her confessional, posted to the subreddit "r/AmItheA--hole" (AITA).

The subreddit is an online forum where users try to figure out if they were wrong or not in an argument that has been bothering them — which is where one woman turned to after being criticized by one of the plus-sized plane passengers.


The woman claims she was shamed for 'treating fatness like a disease' after switching seats because she was uncomfortable.

In her Reddit post, the 19-year-old shared that she had been traveling while sitting beside two plus-sized passengers. While she notes the situation wouldn't have been a problem in any other scenario, the seats on the plane were incredibly small and neither of the people sitting next to her were able to fit comfortably in their seats.

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"On either side of me, my seat neighbor’s shoulder was on top of mine and their thigh was on top of mine as well. It was a pretty long flight and was kind of uncomfortable," she wrote. 

About an hour and a half into the five-hour journey, the teen decides she would be more comfortable sitting somewhere else. She walked up to one of the flight attendants, quietly and gently explaining the situation and asking if there were any other open seats on the plane.

After asking, the flight attendant told the woman that there was an empty seat, and she promptly moved to it. "Getting my bag from under the seat in front of me and moving was pretty awkward, but the rest of the flight went fine."

woman shamed by plus-size passengerPhoto: Pereslavtseva Katerina / Shutterstock


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However, when the plane landed and she was getting off, the plus-sized woman who had been sitting beside her was waiting for her. She told her that she felt it was "embarrassing" to her and the other plus-sized man when the teen moved her seat, and that she was treating "fatness like [it was] a contagious disease."

"She also said that I made it a public demonstration to everyone that plus-sized passengers are an 'inconvenience' and opened the door to fatphobia on flights," the teenager continued. The young woman insisted that she didn't mean for it to come across that way at all.

"I can understand how it did and everyone on the flight saw me move, so now I’m wondering whether I should have just stuck it out," she inquired.


Most Redditors agreed that the teen was not in the wrong for wanting to be comfortable and switching seats.

"Her anger is misdirected," one Reddit user pointed out. "She can go ahead and be mad at the airlines for not accommodating people of her size, but it's a perfectly normal human response not to want to be touching someone you don't know and to take steps to make that not happen."

Another user added, "This wasn't you fat shaming. This was you looking for comfort. Her feeling uncomfortable was her problem, not yours. You didn't publicly shame her. You handled the situation extremely well."

"You paid for the ticket and politely found better accommodation," a third user chimed in. "You never said a word to her or anyone else about it which shows she was already assuming someone would complain about her weight."


While it is true that many plus-sized plane passengers often face challenges because of how small the seats are, or even from other passengers on flights, this young woman was clearly not trying to be discriminatory in any way.

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Nia Tipton is a Brooklyn-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.