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Woman Shares Photo Of Man Spreading His Legs On 4-Hour Flight & Asks People How They Would React

Photo: More Than Production / Shutterstock / Reddit
woman, airplane manspreading

Airplane trips are uncomfortable enough with tight seats and little legroom. 

However, one woman’s trip was a bit more than just mildly uncomfortable; the photo she shared online proves that. 

The photo depicts a man sitting next to the woman with his legs taking up nearly all her space. 

The woman shared the image to the Reddit thread, r/mildlyinfuriating, a subreddit in which people air out their grievances and ask others for their thoughts. 

In the image, the woman’s legs are uncomfortably wedged between the seat in front of her and the leg of a male passenger seated next to her. The male passenger however appears to have plenty of room in front of him since his legs are sprawled on either side of him, intruding on the space of the passengers next to him. 

“This was how a four-hour flight went today,” the woman wrote above the picture. “I am a 5’8’’ female.” 

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Other Redditors shared their own nightmare flight experiences having little space to themselves. 

“Last flight I was on, I was seated next to someone who was 6'5. I'm 6'2 and was in the middle seat,” one man revealed. “NY to LA flight, we were STRUGGLING.” 

“I’m 5’5” and even I get SO agitated and cramped up after an hour,” another shared. “I usually end up crisscross applesauce if nobody is beside me or with my knees to my chest with my feet on my chair.” 

“Honestly, I really feel for tall people on this one… I can’t imagine how uncomfortable that is.” 

Other travelers shared their tips and tricks for making long flights with little room more comfortable. 

“I’ll lock my knees straight forward into the seat in front of me. It makes the person in front of me unable to recline more than an inch or two, but it’s fair to my immediate neighbors,” one man wrote. 

“I’m 5’2” and my husband is only 6’ and when we fly together I always let him take some of my space, but usually I either rest my legs literally on his lap or I’ll put my feet effectively under his legs and then he can rest his feet in my space,” a woman commented. 

“Plus, he sits window and I sit middle since I can’t sleep on planes so if I rest my legs on his lap my feet are still nowhere near anyone else.” 

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Some believed that the male passenger in the photo was "manspreading." 

Many people agreed that flying is difficult due to the tight conditions passengers must endure during long flights. However, others pointed out that the man in the photo was completely inconsiderate of the space of his fellow passengers. 



“This guy is actively spreading his legs with his phone positioned between them. Like; why?” one person wrote. 

“The dude in that photo is a jerk. Unless you’re less than 48 hours out of a vasectomy, there’s no reason to be manspreading like that,” another expressed. 

"Dude is manspreading out of his lane. A hard bump to the right should clear the issue up," another commented.  

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The term “manspreading” refers to male passengers who sit with their legs wide apart on public transportation, infringing on the personal space of others and making traveling an unpleasant experience. The word gained popularity after a 2013 social media debate on the platform Tumblr where Internet users called out men who lacked consideration for the space of others on public transport by sitting with their legs apart. 

A study conducted by Hunter College in New York found that men stretch their legs out while seated on the subway five times more often than female passengers. "What makes so many men think that they are entitled to two or more seats on the train?" one student expressed. "Maybe we need a massive revolt against the manspread." 

While the debate over "manspreading" continues, it's an opportunity for travelers to consider the importance of respecting each other's space, regardless of gender, and making the journey a bit more pleasant for everyone.

So, the next time you find yourself on a packed flight, remember, we're all in this together, and a little consideration can go a long way in making the experience more bearable. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.