Woman Demands Man Give Up His First Class Seat Because She's 'More Important' — So The Pilot Steps In

Being entitled never pays off.

serious airplane pilot guys_who_shoot / Shutterstock

The most infuriating people in the world often are those who simply think the rules of life don't apply to them, and just like in any customer service business, air travel attracts its own frustrating folks.

Whether it's people being too intoxicated when boarding or causing disruptions throughout the duration of the flight, bad passenger behavior is often a result of the stress of flying, mixed with entitlement.


One man got to experience this entitlement first-hand on a flight.

A man said a fellow plane passenger demanded he give her his first-class seat.

Posting to the r/EntitledPeople subreddit, the user explained the life situation that had led him onto the plane that day: he was an airline Captain living in Atlanta, Georgia, although he treated Houston, Texas as his more permanent home. To get to his job, he would need to commute between the two states.

There were usually some options for a commuting pilot to get a seat on the flight without having to pay extra, but on that day, most of the options were not available. The jump seat in the cockpit was taken, and if he took a "pass riding" seat, he could potentially be bumped off the flight in favor of a paying customer.


man on airplane by window Ricardo Oliveira / Pexels

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With that in mind, the pilot bought the last seat in first class and got ready for his flight. After taking his seat, however, he was approached by a displeased passenger.


"​You are sitting in my seat," the woman told him. "You'll need to move right now." The pilot checked his boarding pass, confirming that he was in the correct seat, and did not have to move.

The woman insisted he was an employee, not a passenger, and that the seat belonged to her. After refusing to show the pilot her own boarding pass, he declined again to move.

"You'll need to resolve this with the flight crew," he told her. "I'm a passenger."

She disappeared in a huff and then reappeared with a flight attendant to back her up. The attendant asked to see the pilot's pass, and it confirmed that he was a passenger who had paid for his flight and had this specific seat.


"Ma'am, that's his seat. He paid for it," the attendant informed the passenger, who was having none of it. "Well then throw him off, dear," she replied. "I've upgraded to first class and that is now my seat."

@yogimagee Just treat others how you want to be treated. I know there’s bad FA’s out there too, but trust me nice begets nice #flightattendant #flightattendant #flightattendantlife #flightattendanttiktok #yogimagee #yogimageeadventures ♬ original sound - Natalie Magee

The attendant asked to see her boarding pass, which she refused to turn over, claiming that she had already shown it when boarding and didn't need to show it again. The flight attendant had a few more clarifying questions to ask, trying to find a way to clear up the miscommunication, but the passenger refused to answer most of them.

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Eventually, the captain of the plane stepped in — tricking the woman to leave the aircraft.

The captain informed the passenger that he had spoken with the Gate Agent and apologized for the awkward situation.

"The Agent has corrected your paperwork, and has a voucher for future travel for you as well," he told her. "Please go fetch your new boarding pass and your voucher and we'll be on our way."

After she stepped off the flight, however, the captain then instructed the attendants to close all the doors and prepare for the flight. His "offer" to the woman, although genuine, also worked as a trick to get her to willingly leave the flight without having to call security or endanger any attendants.

According to comments on the thread, this is actually a common strategy for airlines. Captains do have power to remove passengers, according to Section 44902(b) of the FAA, known as "permissive refusal," which says, "an air carrier, intrastate air carrier, or foreign air carrier may refuse to transport a passenger or property the carrier decides is, or might be, inimical to safety."


airplane pilot YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV / Shutterstock

Although airline security does exist to help remove rowdy passengers, it, unfortunately, can cause a bigger problem than it solves. Frustrated passengers can get even more aggressive, refuse to leave, or escalate the situation into physical fights.

In order to avoid a scene, as well as to keep the flight schedules running smoothly, convincing a passenger to leave to get their paperwork can be much more helpful, as it was in this case.


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It really doesn't take much to be a good plane passenger.

Flying is no doubt stressful, but that doesn't give any passenger the right to be aggressive or confrontational on an airplane, whether it's to fellow passengers or staff members. In fact, it's really not difficult to be a good airplane passenger, allowing everyone around you to enjoy their flight.

Along with not acting entitled, like this woman did, passengers can make things go smoothly by simply being polite! That means saying "please" and "thank you" to flight attendants, and just treating them like human beings.

Being polite also entails stepping into a row to let a passenger pass by, being patient to wait your turn, and being aware of your surroundings.


Other ways to not be entitled include being a good seat mate — not kicking the seat in front of you, not reclining too far, and being mindful of the armrests.

@captsully Yes, airplane seats are tiny, the air is dry, and sometimes it feels like someone is always hogging the armrest. But here's the secret: a little courtesy goes a long way. Think of it like inflight turbulence — a few bumps and jolts are inevitable. But with some patience and goodwill, we can smooth out the ride. Happy skies start with considerate passengers (and maybe those noise-canceling headphones). #CaptSully #PassengerTips #PerfectPassenger #Aviation ♬ original sound - Capt. Sully Sullenberger

While these seem like pretty reasonable asks, many passengers take it a step further by removing their shoes, playing their music too loud, or eating smelly food. But doing so makes the trip unpleasant for everyone.


Remember: everyone around you is in the same boat (or plane) as you, going through the experience of trying to have a seamless trip. They all want to get to their destination as quickly as possible, and know that causing a disruption will only delay that.

So the next time you fly, take a page from this pilot's book and be nice!

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Hawthorn Martin is a news and entertainment writer living in Texas. They focus on social justice, pop culture, and human interest stories.