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someone takes window seat

Woman stole someone's window seat on plane, how to respond

Most everyone has been in a situation once or twice where you look down at your ticket while boarding your flight to double check your seat number only to find someone already sitting in your seat.

Typically the person responds respectfully and with a slight twinge of embarrassment as their error is pointed out to them. It happens to just about everyone at least once. There's no shame in accidentally sitting in the wrong seat.

But what happens when you notice someone sitting in your seat but instead of them excusing themselves from your space, they direct you to sit in their seat? Their middle seat. Unless your original seat was in the lavatory, there is likely zero world where being told to sit in the middle seat feels like an upgrade. There's nothing wrong with the middle seat per se, but unless your seat mate is your partner, friend or family member, you're squished between two strangers fighting for armrest space.


There are all sorts of qualms people have about the middle seat. Having to step over someone to get to the bathroom, having other people step over you to get to the bathroom, someone inevitably falling asleep on your shoulder. The list could go on but it just comes down to comfort, which is why many people pay for a window or aisle seat. But it can feel like you've hit the jackpot when the airline seats you in a window seat without you having to pay an upgrade fee. That's exactly what happened to this Reddit user.

The airline gods shone down on them that day and gifted them with a window seat that they were thoroughly looking forward to only to discover it occupied.

"It was an 8 hour flight, and I wanted to sleep with the wall support the window seat offers. However, when I get on the plane, a lady is in my seat. She says 'oh, I didn’t realize. You can just sit here' and points to the middle seat. I have a hard time with confrontation so I just accepted it. If this were to happen again, how do I respond," u/Hairy_Visual9339 asks.

Commenters were quick to give the timid flyer advice for future encounters with audacity filled seat mates.

Photo of airplane seats with overlay of Reddit screenshot

Photo credit: Canva/Reddit Screenshot

"No, that doesn't really work for me. I'd like my seat," one person quipped.

Another offered their own anecdote as a cautionary tale, "Made the mistake of not doing this on a train. Only one other person in whole carriage, of course it's my seat. They have a laptop set up act like I'm being very unreasonable and so I sit somewhere else. Fine whatever. Four hours into 8 hour journey and the train is now complete full. I've been forced to move seats twice already, everything is booked and I'm some desperate, seat-less vagabond with nowhere to store my suitcases, wandering the aisles in vain, despite having a perfectly good reservation."

When all else fails, tattle, "just say, "I'd rather have my window seat thanks." and if that doesn't work tell a flight attendant."

"My response is always “oh, no thank you” and I just stare at them until they move," someone shares.

Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you can't tell another adult so they can fix the situation when your discontent is being ignored, in one person's case, let the help come to you.

"Some guy tried to take my seat and stick me in his middle seat across the aisle so he could sit with his wife and teenager and I said “oh, no thank you. I picked this seat intentionally when I checked in”. He starts throwing a hissy fit, trying to get me to take his shitty middle seat and the flight attendant swooped in like a freaking goddess, and told him to move. He goes to the other side, still bitching, and banged his head on the luggage compartment so hard that three rows worth of people audibly gasped," says a commenter.