Tired Woman Praised For Refusing To Give Up Her Window Seat On A Plane So A Mom Could Sit Next To Her Kids

She wasn't sure she had made the right decision, but people supported her in considering her own needs.

woman at airport kraken images / Unsplash 

Airplane travel is a stressful endeavor, no matter who you are. Getting through the experience is tough on everyone, whether you’re flying alone or with kids.

A tired woman was praised for refusing to give up her window seat after a mom asked to sit next to her kids.

Tammy Nelson, the CEO and founder of a jewelry company called CONQUERing, had a big day ahead of her and a sleepless night behind her when she boarded a plane on her way to a professional presentation.


She shared a post that tackled what’s become a relatable issue for travelers everywhere: Are people expected to give up their airplane seats for parents traveling with kids?

Nelson filmed herself leaning against the plane window, sitting in the seat she booked and paid for.



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“What would you do?” She asked her followers. “I got on the plane, and a woman was sitting in my seat.”

“When I mentioned it to her, she said, ‘Oh, you want to sit here? I thought we could switch because these are my kids,’” the woman said, pointing to the two seats next to Nelson’s, where she was sitting.

Nelson told her she’d be happy to switch seats as long as the woman was also sitting in a window seat.

The mom had a middle seat in the next row, leaving Nelson with a tough decision: Should she help the mom out or center her own needs?

Nelson explained the context for her decision to keep her original seat, explaining that she’d only had 90 minutes of sleep the night before and was gearing up to give a presentation to 500 people. 


“I desperately needed some sleep, so I did not agree to switch seats,” she said. 

Tired Woman Praised For Refusing To Give Up Her Window Seat On A Plane So A Mom Could Sit Next To Her Kids Photo: Hanson Lu / Unsplash 

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“Before anyone comes after me, the kids looked like they were about 11 and 15 years old,” Nelson continued. “The mom was in arms-reach of both of them from the middle seat behind us.”


She shared that the mom “proceeded to complain for at least 15 minutes to the person next to her, loud enough for me to hear,” yet that passenger went out of their way to defend Nelson’s decision.

Nelson noted, “It was so kind, and I appreciated it so much because I was feeling guilty.”

While the woman’s request to switch seats was valid, so was Nelson’s decision not to do so.

Tired Woman Praised For Refusing To Give Up Her Window Seat On A Plane So A Mom Could Sit Next To Her Kids Photo: Chris Curry / Unsplash 


Nelson shared her vulnerability, revealing that the decision to do what was best for her came with a healthy serving of guilt for not doing what the other passenger expected.

She wasn’t callous in her choices; rather, she weighed her options, set a clear and healthy boundary, and stuck to it.

Airline seat selection fees are mildly infuriating, yet it’s not outlandish to expect parents who want to sit with their kids on a flight to book those seats ahead of time instead of weaponizing a sense of entitlement and relying on the generosity of strangers to bend to their will.  



The issue of airline seating has become so heated that even President Biden has weighed in, declaring on X that “You ought to be able to fly with your child — And sit next to them — Without paying an additional fee. It’s time all airlines offered fee-free family seating.”


At the end of the day, we’re all doing our best with the tools we have. No one should feel guilty for prioritizing their own needs, even when people complain loudly in the seat behind you for doing so. 

With her decision to keep her window seat, Nelson extended necessary compassion to herself despite her fellow passenger not doing the same. 


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things entertainment.