A Reddit user recently asked the community if he was the jerk for invading another passenger’s space on a long-haul flight. They didn’t react well to his tale.
Our Original Poster (OP), a 26-year-old man was on a long flight a few months ago, occupying a middle seat between a young woman in her 20s by the window and a woman in her 30s by the aisle.
A Tall Passenger
He’s a tall guy and never comfortable on planes because his knees always dig into the seat in front, causing him pain.
Spirit and Their Small Seats
He typically takes a walk around the airport before his flight to stretch his legs, but this time he neglected to do so.
Plus, he was on Spirit Airlines, which meant less legroom than usual.
He Was Already Feeling Pain
About half an hour after takeoff, he found himself trying to inch his left knee to the side to get some sweet relief and open space.
He was specifically targeting the no-man’s-land between seats, level with the shared armrest.
Two Hours of Comfort
However, he wasn’t paying attention to his knee the entire time, and he conceded that it was possible that he was occupying space that rightfully belonged to his window-seat neighbor.
Nevertheless, everything was fine for about two hours.
Suddenly, the woman by the window called over the flight attendant and said something like, “Could you tell him to keep his damn leg in his own damn seat!”
OP was horrified when he realized she was talking about him!
She Was Not Happy
He quickly retracted his leg in deep shame. The woman added a crude remark about “his enormous genitals,” insinuating that spreading his legs was about male genital comfort.
However, she wasn’t speaking clearly, and the flight attendant didn’t seem to understand her.
The attendant asked her a clarifying question, but she didn’t answer, so the attendant eventually left.
She Didn’t Want to Talk to Him
OP was initially shocked into silence, but when the flight attendant left, he started frantically apologizing to her.
Unfortunately, the woman refused to speak to him and acted like she didn’t hear him!
Why Would This Be Weird?
Instead, she started texting on her phone (which he thought was weird because they were on a flight).
The woman on the aisle told OP that he could use some extra space on her side, but then she promptly went to sleep, leaving him without any extra legroom.
She Didn’t Want Anything to Do With Him
He tried again to apologize to the woman by the window, but she ignored him.
He Felt Embarrassed
He went from feeling embarrassed to confused, replaying the situation over and over in his head, wondering why the woman didn’t simply ask him to move his knee instead of calling over the flight attendant!
He Did What?!
OP began to sneak peeks at the woman’s phone as the flight progressed. He was baffled by her behavior and wanted answers.
He admits that he was being judgmental, too, but said he had his own reasonings. Here’s why: she spent the last three hours of the flight watching TikToks about shaming obese people and texting someone.
Should He Have Been Looking?
OP didn’t see everything, but a significant portion of the woman’s phone usage was definitely about him. She wrote, “Men really do be too much sometimes,” with a laughing emoji.
He Thinks He Was Humiliated
The woman continued to ignore OP for the remainder of the flight, and he ignored her too. He got a good but painful workout of the muscle that keeps your knees together!
It was a humiliating experience for OP and one that he couldn’t shake off even after landing.
Should He Have Been More Considerate?
Looking back on the situation, OP thinks that he should have been more considerate of his seatmates’ personal space.
However, he still thinks that the woman’s behavior was uncalled for, and he wishes that she had just asked him to move his knee instead of causing a scene.
He couldn’t shake off the feeling that he had been unfairly treated and couldn’t understand why the woman had been so hostile toward him.
OP also wonders if the woman’s behavior was motivated by something other than his knee, such as his appearance or gender.
He’s Realized His Mistakes
OP realizes that he should have tried harder to avoid causing discomfort to his fellow passengers. He should have been more mindful of his posture and tried to keep his knees together.
He also realizes that the woman on the window seat might have been going through something personal, and he didn’t want to add to her stress by confronting her.
They Think He’s a Bad Guy!
Reddit users were not on this guy’s side. As OP mentioned that legroom on planes has always been an issue for him, they deemed it his fault for not booking a bigger seat or paying extra for an aisle seat.
They thought he should have been more considerate to the woman sitting next to him and that he should have never looked at her phone without permission!
One user said, “Pay for extra legroom. Having some random guy pressing his leg against me is enough to make me get up from my bus or train seat because it creeps me out.”
“I don’t like being touched, and I make sure I always try to avoid it. You need to be mindful of those around you.”
What do you think about this tale? Have you ever had to put up with a passenger invading your space on a tight flight? How did you deal with it?
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