Changing to the middle seat


Rememember Yahoo? Japan still does; the original Yahoo logo is still everywhere over there as a telco. For the rest of us, its a search directory with a dwindling market share, and some questionable recent business decisions.

I went there on a lark this morning, and found this article by Sarah Carty:

If you’re a frequent flyer in economy class, you’ll know how important it is to check in online and pick your seat before you get to the airport. Otherwise, you’ll more than likely be left with the middle seat of a row, especially if you’re on your own and there are families and couples requesting seats beside each other.

But one woman has stirred a debate online, after she revealed that she refused to move from her aisle seat when a mother asked her to swap with her on a 14-hour flight.

I can emphatise. I booked an isle seat near a bulkhead on one of my monster work flights from Sydney to San Francisco. After we were all seated, a father came up and didn’t just ask, but demanded I move so he could sit next to his teenage son.

There are so many conflicting thoughts here. There are people who could use my marginally more desirable cattle class seat, for family, health, and legitimate other reasons. If I were a gentleman, I’d weigh up the pros and cons and offer my seat up, even if the person asking was a prick.

But then I remember it’s for a 20+ hour flight, and I specifically booked months in advance to secure a set that would make it less awful. I’m tall, which makes middle seats painful. And you don’t want to be an obstacle between my motion sickness and the bathroom, the location of which I also carefully planned for!

I appreciate not everyone has the luxury of booking in advance, and circumstances change. But just as they have their reasons, we have ours too. Does that make me a prick too? Maybe.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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