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Traveler Called Entitled For Saving A Row Of Airline Seats For Her Friends Who Boarded Late

Photo: RossHelen / CanvaPro
Woman texting while sitting in an airline seat.

Traveling can be stressful and that inevitably puts people on edge. Unfortunately, both common sense and patience seem to take a backseat the minute passengers set foot in an airport.

That's exactly what happened to Brooke McNelis. Her decision to "save seats" for friends running late for a flight did not sit well with her TikTok followers.

Viewers called McNelis ‘entitled’ after she saved a row of airplane seats for her friends who boarded late. 

“When you’re the bold one in the friend group,” she wrote over her video, “to save the whole row [of seats] on a flight.” 

Boarded on her Southwest flight with open seating, McNelis shared a video of herself sprawled over a set of three airline seats. As each passenger walked by, attempting to sit in her row, she awkwardly sent them away saying she was “saving them for friends.” 



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While many people, including McNelis, found the incident both funny and embarrassing, others in the comments weren't quite as entertained. Angry over her video, they debated how appropriate it was to “save” seating on an “open seating” airplane. 

While her tactic was to turn people away, others in the comments shared their own ways to “save seats,” including putting coats and bags over the seats to block them off.

Others called it “selfish” to save good seats for people not even on the plane yet. 

Southwest follows an 'open seating' concept where passengers get a boarding group, and then enter a free-for-all during boarding. 

While many enjoy the process, others find it incredibly stressful, especially for friends and family who aren’t in the same “boarding group.”

Traveler Called Entitled For Saving A Row Of Airline Seats For Her FriendsPhoto: Hispanolistic / Canva Pro

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“You should’ve just gone to the back of the plane,” one viewer wrote, “if you planned on taking up so many seats. Or logged on earlier to get in the same group.” 

Surprisingly, Southwest Airlines has no policies against saving seats. 

Despite the outrage McNelis' video sparked, the truth is she wasn't doing anything wrong, at least according to Southwest’s standards. “Southwest allows seat saving, including the saving of multiple seats,” one person wrote on a Southwest community board. “Officially, they state they ‘have no policy’ for or against seat saving.” 



So, the next time you find yourself on an “open seating” plane, maybe it’s worth the embarrassment to save a few seats. At least, this woman’s story is evidence that it works. Or, of course, you could try "Bachelor" star Caelynn Miller-Keyes' tactic of having a full argument across seats during the boarding process.

One thing was made perfectly clear from McNelis' experience: The only thing worse than a crying baby, reclined seat, or clapping when the plane lands is a free-for-all airplane seating arrangement. 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture analysis and human interest stories.