Man Triggers Debate After Charging Obese Passenger $150 to Sit Next to Him on Flight

March 3, 2019 Updated: March 4, 2019

A passenger sparked an online debate after he claimed to have charged an obese passenger $150 to sit next to him.

A Reddit user, posting on a forum “Am I The [expletive],” said he spent a five-hour-long journey “pressed up against” the severely overweight man and wanted to be “compensated.”

“So this month I was flying across the country on a long 5-hour flight, which I had booked and seats selected for. I specifically chose an aisle seat in a row of two, so no middle seat—just the aisle and window,” the user wrote.

“I get up and let him in politely, wanting to at least give him a chance. Well, he sits down and is easily seeping into about 1/3 of my seat. I sit down and am pressed up against him, making me uncomfortable. After a minute, I decided to be upfront and tell him: ‘Sir, I’m sorry but this situation is not working for me, you’re taking up quite a bit of my seat,’” the person claimed in the post.

The Reddit user described the other passenger as “very obese.”

“This is ridiculous. You made a scene and embarrassed the man and then made him pay you for a fraction of your seat. You are the epitome of an a*****e.”

Posted by on Saturday, 2 March 2019

The overweight man next to him “tried to be narrower,” the Reddit user said, adding that he then told a flight attendant about the situation.

“She instantly tells him that he is likely going to need to purchase another seat. She goes to the front and comes back saying that there aren’t any open seats on this flight, so there wasn’t a way to move people so he could have two,” the Reddit user said.

“The guy seemed embarrassed and didn’t want to get up. He mentioned how he can’t wait for a later flight. I felt bad for him but I was also thinking about my own comfort on the long flight—the comfort I paid for,” he continued, adding that there was an “awkward silence” following the incident.

He then made the man an offer.

“I told the guy, ‘Look, I’ll put up with this if you give me $150—that’s half the cost of this flight and that would compensate me enough for the circumstances,’” he added.

A man walks past the Southwest Airlines counter at Baltimore-Washington International Airport June 20, 2002 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/ Getty Images)

The man “instantly” agreed and “[pulled] out cash, and pays” him.

Some Disagree

But those on the anonymous forum weren’t happy with the move, using curse words to describe the move.

“This is ridiculous. You made a scene and embarrassed the man and then made him pay you for a fraction of your seat. You are the epitome of an [expletive],” said one.

“The problem here was that this large dude stuck you with being uncomfortable on your flight, right? Well, the $150 didn’t make you any less squished in your seat, so it really feels like you just blackmailed this guy for being fat,” one added.

Some Agree

Some other people agreed with the original poster.

“You compromised. He compromised. It was an awkward situation of nobody’s making. I think half the cost of the flight was maybe a bit steep though, if he was only in a third of your seat. Having said that, five hours is a long time,” one person commented.

The overweight passenger “could have bought two seats but didn’t,” said another person. “[Original poster] let the guy stay on the flight, have enough room to accommodate without paying for two seats and without the embarresment[sic] and inconvenience of having to get off and wait for the next flight that wasn’t fully booked.”

Another person agreed: “You had every right to ask the flight attendant for a solution, and between the man and you, a solution was agreed upon. Everyone else can relax, because it wasn’t their seat being overtaken on a flight.”

The Reddit user offered no details about where he was traveling or what airliner he used.

In the post, he said that “the people sitting behind me (who keep in mind didn’t volunteer to sit by him) were making under their breath comments about” his offer to the man.

“I just ignored them and put the cash in my wallet,” he said.