Senior’s Shenanigans

May 11, 2013

in Senior Stories

Whenever I fly, I pay extra for the exit row since I am 6’5″ tall. I also always book the aisle seat in that row. I try to fly business or first class but that is not always an option. As I was in the gate area I hear an elderly woman on her cell phone saying that she had a window seat and had tried to get it changed to an aisle one but none were available. So she said she would appropriate one and had a plan to deal with the inevitable result. I surmised she would pull the confused old person thing.

Our flight is called and boarding commences. Little did I know that the seat the old woman would try to appropriate would be mine. So having been forewarned, I was in no mood for any shenanigans. She looked at me with vacant eyes and with what she considered her confused look and started fumbling in her purse for her boarding pass while mumbling to herself following my request for her to vacate my seat.

The door to the cabin is closed and the FA asks me to sit down and I said sure once the old woman moves to her window seat. The FA said to take the old woman’s seat and I declined stating that I had paid extra for the seat I had reserved and wanted what I paid for. The FA insisted and I politely declined. Then I stated to the FA what I had overheard in the gate area and the old woman gasped and said, “Well, I never……” Apparently her confusion was gone now that her little trick was blown. The FA told her to move over and the old woman grumbled angrily saying that the elderly were always being pushed around. I stated that she was correct but only because she deserved it. She glared at me the rest of the trip of which I happily ignored.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

mrsjamiecbaker May 14, 2013 at 6:38 am

I'm not really fond of higher prices in order to pick your seat (they can be expensive enough on their own) but if you have paid extra, you deserve the seat. When the plane is vacant enough to where a move isn't putting someone else out, I'm not opposed to someone swapping their assigned seat for another one. In your case, you were definitely deserving of the seat and I'm glad the older woman did not get her way. I've experienced something similar with a younger person and I didn't move either 🙂


I feel ya May 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm

I totally feel the OP – while young, able bodied, and small, I specifically book aisles on long flights because I get very uncomfortable sitting for very long and make frequent bathroom and bulkhead yoga breaks. While I try to accommodate families who wish to be seated together (I can understand that can be difficult to book even months in advance), I generally politely decline to switch seats with single passengers.

I think it should be socially okay to say "no" to accommodating seat changes. Airfare, even in coach, is expensive and flying is really a pain generally. When I get stuck in a middle seat, I accept my fate – c'est la vie.


Belafonte La Pootera May 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Good for you! No sarcasm.


Good for the OP May 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

OP — good for you! Even if the senior really were confused, I wouldn't have given up my seat. Her boarding pass will say what seat she *should* be in and the FA should stick by that. I think I'd have done the same thing you did, politely explained to the FA that I paid extra for that particular seat and wish to keep it. Seniors (and others) who play the "confusion/handicapped/whatever" game ruin it for those who genuinely are confused/handicapped.


Lucy May 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I agree with you — I am not very big,but always pay extra for the aisle seat –My preference, my money. When I am asked to move to the middle, I emphatically say NO.. I will not allow old ladies (of which I am) or young people to intimidate me… Thank God for People like you.


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: