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Smug seat hog gets his just deserts

By McClatchy News Services

POSTED:



Question: I was returning to California with my wife and son. We had a layover in Las Vegas and were getting ready to board the plane as "early boarders." Upon boarding we saw that the first location with three seats together was seven rows back. As I approached those seats, I noticed a small paperback on the aisle seat. I assumed that someone had left it behind. When I reached for it, the man in the seat across the aisle (7C) told me it was reserved for his wife, who had a later-boarding pass. I said it was against Southwest policy to reserve a seat and asked him why she couldn't take the seat beside him. He replied, "Work with me, buddy." His demeanor made me really want to sit in the seat, but my wife and son told me to leave it alone.

After we were seated, I observed others attempting to sit in the "reserved seat" and getting the same treatment. Eventually his wife arrived and sat there. As the plane filled, he stretched out and appeared to even inflate himself. Incoming passengers looked at the seats beside him but figured there would be more room elsewhere, so they moved to the back of the plane. When I thought everyone had boarded, I noticed that this guy had the only empty seats left beside him. He had a look of victory on his face.

But then the last passengers arrived — a couple with a lap infant. You should have seen the look on my favorite passenger's face as they sat beside him. I have never enjoyed the sound of a screaming child, but I did that evening. Better yet, the baby vomited all over 7C. He demanded a new seat (can't blame him this time), but the flight was full. His only option was a flight attendant's seat in the rear of the plane. As he walked back to it, our eyes met and I winked. I just couldn't help myself. Karma doesn't often appear in such an obvious fashion, but it did on that flight.

Answer: Nothing makes my day like a good travel-karma story. Thanks for sharing! If anyone else has a similar story to tell, please send it in.

Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at deartripadvisor@tripadvisor.com.






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onevoice82 wrote:
Next time have the guts to hand him his book and say; "nice try my friend". What is he going to do, pick a fight with you? Most people know that will get you kicked off lickity-split
on June 10,2013 | 05:24AM
alohacharlie wrote:
For all of the times that I frequently fly, I have experienced several bad situations and several good situations, but never have I ever seen a bad situation turn out so great as this one did. I would have called the flight attendant and let them deal with the situation.
on June 10,2013 | 08:52AM
sanababeets wrote:
What a great ending!! Great job in refraining from laughing in his face.
on June 11,2013 | 02:18PM
BadBingo wrote:
Thanks for sharing. It is always enjoyable to watch a rude person get their comeuppance.
on June 12,2013 | 03:31AM
pandadaddy wrote:
This sounds like a fabricated story.
on June 12,2013 | 06:04AM
localguy wrote:
You are just jelous you didn't submit it.
on June 12,2013 | 11:10PM
hikine wrote:
If everyone knows Soutwest's policy then let the stewardess deal with the passenger. Take the book give it to him and sit. Don't know why people have to cater to rude passengers. I was in a flight once and a passenger called the stewardess and claimed we were in their seats. When the stewardess looked at their tickets she told him that his seat was farther in the rear.
on June 12,2013 | 02:47PM
localguy wrote:
One time this clueless couple thought they owned the luggage storage bin over their seats, saying it was "full" Later on flight steward was looking for space for bags, guess where they went. Always a few clueless, dysfunctional people who are legends in their own mind. Time to clean out the gene pool.
on June 12,2013 | 11:10PM
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