Flight Passenger Accuses Man Of Making Her Uncomfortable & Violating Her 'Personal Space' After He's Forced To Climb Over Her To Use The Bathroom

She refused to get up and make room for him, so he had no choice but to maneuver his way around her to use the bathroom.

Cheerful woman sitting in seat in airplane next to man on laptop Friends Stock | Shutterstock

Unless you're flying first class, flights are rarely enjoyable — hundreds of strangers squeezed together in a confined space with no ability to leave does not make for the pinnacle of comfort. 

One 40-year-old man on Reddit questioned if he was wrong for making another flight passenger feel uncomfortable despite having no choice in the matter.

She accused him of violating her 'personal space' after he was forced to climb over her to use the bathroom.

In his Reddit post, he explained that he'd been traveling on an 8-hour flight and already knew that finding a comfortable seat would be hard. 


"I'm a big dude," he wrote. "Not yet book-two-seats level, but enough for plane seats to be an absolute [nightmare]."

Man sleeping in window seat on airplane Dmitry Galaganov / Shutterstock

RELATED: Woman Who Repeatedly Put Her Bare Feet On Another Passenger's Armrest During A Flight Is Given A Valuable Lesson


He decided to book a window seat, and at first, the seat next to him was empty. However, a flight attendant ended up assigning the seat to a woman, who he recalled was nice and polite during the brief conversation they made as she was sitting down.

"Here's where things get tricky. Nature called a couple of times during the flight, and let's just say squeezing by in that cramped space is an exercise in contortionism at the best of times," he recalled. While the woman in the aisle seat stood up, "the woman in the middle seat politely refused to get up whenever I needed to use the restroom."

"I get it. Nobody wants some sweaty dude brushing past them," he wrote. "I tried my best to minimize contact, literally sucked in my gut, and held my breath like I was underwater. But even with all the contorting, there was some unavoidable brushing past."

While he understood that no one was going to feel comfortable with a man climbing over them on an already cramped airplane, proper plane etiquette is to stand up and move aside when your seatmate needs to use the bathroom — that's what you sign up for when sitting in a middle or aisle seat. It's the best way to avoid someone invading your personal space and prevent any potential discomfort.


"It’s a completely normal and appropriate thing to have to ask someone next to you to move so you can get to the restroom," Courtney Fadler, founder of professional etiquette service CF Etiquette, told Reader’s Digest. "This is not a faux pas, no matter how many 'sighs' your seatmate may give you when you ask."

@annabhamm airplane etiquette…asking for a friend🥲 #airplanes #aisleseat ♬ original sound - Anna Birmingham🦋

RELATED: Dad Says He Was Kicked Off A Flight For Taking A Photo On The Tarmac While He Was Boarding

While it was the woman who refused to follow proper airplane decorum, she apparently took offense at the man needing to use the restroom. At the end of the flight, she made a passive-aggressive comment about how he made her feel uncomfortable and routinely violated her personal space by climbing over her. 


"Honestly, I felt terrible. Didn't mean to make her feel that way, but what else was I supposed to do? Hold it for 8 hours? Ask her to physically get up?" he questioned. 

The man shouldn't have had to ask the woman to physically get up when she already knew that he needed to use the restroom. It's basic courtesy, especially on a plane, where space is already limited, and discomfort is pretty much unavoidable. Allowing someone to pass by without having to awkwardly climb over you is just common sense.

Commenters agreed that he wasn't wrong for climbing over her when she refused to get up.

"It's air travel. There are common courtesy rules (unspoken) that one follows. The few times I get stuck in the middle seat, it hurts my cranky old knee like crazy to get up... but I do it anyway because that's air travel," one Reddit user pointed out.

"She made a choice to not get up and objectively minimized the space you had to move past her," another commenter wrote. "She doesn't really have the right to complain about an uncomfortable situation she alone created."


Others suggested that since he described himself as being a "big guy," in the future, he should book an aisle seat to make it more comfortable for himself. However, plus-size travelers often book window seats to have more room, and as it is, planes are notoriously uncomfortable for them no matter where they sit.

@jaebaeofficial Share Your Thoughts on Plus Size Travel! What changes do you think should be made for a more inclusive, accessible, comfortable travel experience? ✈️ •⁣ •⁣ •⁣ #PlusSizeTravel #TravelingWhilePlusSize #TravelingWhileFat #TravelTalks #PlusSizeAdventures #Fyp ♬ Storytelling - Adriel

According to CNN, a plus-size travel influencer Jae’lynn Chaney launched a petition in April 2023 urging the Federal Aviation Administration to mandate all airlines have a comprehensive customer-of-size policy that "prioritizes the comfort and well-being of all passengers."

"We need the policies to be a little bit more standardized," she told CNN Travel. "At the bare minimum, we need every airline to have a policy that tells people of size how to navigate their airline."


It doesn't hurt to extend courtesy and understanding to fellow passengers, especially in situations where their comfortability and convenience are already compromised. Traveling can be stressful enough without people creating conflicts out of nothing.

RELATED: Man Berated After Helping An Elderly Woman Put Her Bag In A Plane's Overhead Bin

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