Last week I went to El Paso, Texas. Coming home, I had an exit-row, window seat – the creme de la creme of economy-class airline seating. Shortly after I sat down, a man roughly twice my size asked me, “what seat do you have?”, which is the polite way of saying, “I think you’re in my seat”. I confirmed with the flight attendant that I was in fact in the correct seat, and that his was the one directly in front of me. He took a look at that seat and muttered, “you’ve got to be kidding me”, and the flight attendant said something I didn’t catch the beginning of but that ended with, “…unless she’ll switch”. I took one look at him, one look at the amount of unused space I had, and said, “Yes, I’ll switch”. You would think I’d done something worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. The flight attendant was just floored, said she’d never seen anyone do that, and I had to repeat myself before the gentleman even believed me. Yet, I am small enough that even in the other seat, I still had a little room to spare. It just didn’t make any sense to me that he should be incredibly uncomfortable for the next three hours, when I would be equally comfortable in either seat. But both of them went on for several minutes about how incredibly kind I was to do so and offering to buy me drinks, until instead of feeling good about doing a nice thing, I ended up feeling bad that it was that uncommon of an occurrance! Was it really that strange a thing to do? If so, why? Please comment!
Posted by: Inside-Out Peace | February 24, 2009
On Giving Up An Exit-row Airplane Seat