The raging debate over airplane etiquette has a new entrant, this time in the form of a quick-thinking passenger who swept the internet by revealing how she saved another traveler from an unfair request to switch seats.
Seattle-based TikTok creator @not.christinayang shared the experience on a “four or five hour” flight from Hawaii to Seattle in a recent video that has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.
According to the travelers, she was sitting in a row of three in premium economy when someone asked the woman sitting next to her to switch seats so she could sit next to her friend.
“I’m sitting in the window seat and right next to me in the middle seat is a little Asian girl. I think she’s Japanese,” she recalls.
One airline passenger detailed the moment she saved another traveler from an unfair seat swap
The TikTok creator and Seattle mom, known online as @not.christinayang, shared the experience on a “four or five hour” flight from Hawaii to Seattle
“She spoke really quietly and there was another person in the aisle seat.”
During the flight, the creator says that the passenger in the aisle seat asks the occupant in the middle seat to change seats.
“So the person on the aisle is traveling with another woman and her companion says, ‘I want to sit next to my girlfriend,'” she explained.
“And she’s looking at the Asian lady next to me … she’s like, ‘Let’s swap places, I’m back in 26.’
“Note that we are in premium economy. We’re like in row eight with all the unlimited drinks and snacks. So the lady next to me says, ‘Oh, you know we switch places? Um, okay, right.”
“And so she starts to stand up and I’m like, ‘No! “
According to TikToker, her defiant insistence that her seatmate remain in her original seat on the plane prompted the eager requester of the seat swap to provide a reason why she wanted to move.
“And so the lady says, ‘Oh, but it’s a window seat, it’s so much better than a middle she has,'” she recalled.
“I thought, ‘Except for the fact that we’re traveling together. Hi? We are both Asians, of course we know each other. And 26 isn’t premium economy…it’s like you can smell the toilet over there. No!”
“So the little Asian lady next to me half-stands and … she looks over at me and I say, ‘Sit down, Connie!’
“Okay I don’t know her name, I just called her Connie for some reason and she sat down. I think I was meaner than the other lady.”
The creator said this incident happened while sitting in premium economy when “you would get unlimited drinks and snacks.”
The creator then goes on to say the “lady in 26” is “kinda pissed off” that she can’t sit next to her friend.
Would YOU spare another passenger a seat swap request?
“She said, ‘No, you’re not traveling together, you just made that up,’ she said.
“And I look over at the Asian lady next to me and start speaking to her in Cantonese, which is totally the wrong language for her, but this lady [in 26] isn’t Asian so she won’t know the difference.
“The Asian lady looks at me and she says yes, and then she answers me in Japanese. And I say, “Mmhmm, that’s right.”
“I look up at the lady who’s still standing there and say, ‘Well, we’re going to continue talking about you in our language. So why don’t you go back to row 26 where you belong, ok? Because if you wanted to sit next to your girlfriend, you should have booked a ticket next to her, not 20 rows behind.”
The TikTok video has garnered thousands of comments, with some slamming the passenger who wanted the seat swap and others finding humor in the scenario.
The TikTok video has garnered thousands of comments, with some slamming the passenger who wanted the seat swap and others finding humor in the scenario
‘”Let’s swap.” Not even “Would you mind switching places with me?” Some people are so entitled,” one person said.
A mother has revealed the “right way” to ask a fellow passenger to change seats – amid the ongoing angry debate over plane etiquette
‘Or her friend could have withdrawn and sat with her. You’re not asking anyone to downgrade for your convenience,” added another.
A third person wrote: “I’m sure someone from row 26 would have taken the free upgrade if it was that important.”
“You’re a hero,” someone else put it simply.
“Connie nailed the task,” said one TikTok user.
“May your coffee always be hot, green lights on your driveways and closed parking spots in the parking lot,” wrote another.
This recent video is the latest in a long line of incidents that have sparked debate online about airline etiquette.
In November, a mother revealed the “right way” to ask a fellow passenger to change seats.
Earlier, a man went viral on Reddit after revealing he had refused to give his extra legroom chair on a 10-hour flight to a mother who wanted to swap so she and her young son could sit next to her husband .
Mum-of-two Anna Lyn Cook said on TikTok that she thought her family would have to split up on her last KLM flight – because four seats abreast weren’t available
As she boarded the plane, she said she decided to approach someone sitting in the seat next to her family members and ask if they would be willing to take her seat instead
His actions sparked a major argument over whether he was wrong for not making the change, and TikToker Anna Lyn Cook revealed she was put in a similar situation but insisted she had found the right path, asking someone to switch seats.
Mum-of-two Anna, who lives in the US, explained in a video recently posted to TikTok that she thought her family would have to split up on their last KLM flight – because four seats abreast weren’t available when she walked to them pick.
However, upon boarding the plane, she decided to approach someone sitting in the seat next to her family members and ask if they would be willing to take her seat instead.
Anna explained that her seat was “a lot better” than his as it had “a lot more legroom”, adding that she “wouldn’t ask anyone to switch unless she could offer them a better option”.
She described the seat she wanted as “pretty narrow,” while saying hers was a lot roomier.
A Reddit user named Emily Kauai caused plenty of internet tension after she shared a photo of herself completely squished in her seat because the man sitting next to her spread his legs
The mother added that the stranger seemed unhappy having to sit next to her two young children, so he was more than happy to switch with her.
Days after this video became the talking point, the debate was taken to a new level after an angry passenger started a new discussion about whether or not it’s okay to spread out on a flight.
A Florida Reddit user named Emily Kauai has left many online divided after she shared a photo of herself completely crushed in her seat because the man sitting next to her had his legs spread so wide, that they spilled into their area.
In the image posted earlier this month to the app’s Well That Sucks thread, the unidentified man was seen with his limbs spread on a recent Southwest Airlines flight.
His left leg extended well beyond his seat and into Emily’s, forcing her to sit with her legs tightly pressed together – and her post sparked a major argument over whether or not his actions were acceptable.
“This is how my entire four hour flight went today,” she captioned the post. “I’m a 1.60 meter tall woman.”