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The move sparked debate online


A passenger who asked the overweight man sitting next to them on a flight to cough up money for taking up too much room has sparked a furious online debate.
Reddit user Bigbawluh submitted the story on the social news website as part of the subreddit “AmItheA*****e”, or AITA.
“This month I was flying across the country on a long five-hour flight, which I had booked and selected seats for,” they wrote. 
“I specifically chose an aisle seat in a row of two, so no middle seat – just the aisle and window.
“Well, a very obese man boards and I can tell instantly he is going to have a tough time fitting in any of the seats. 
“I assume maybe he bought two hence why he’s even attempting to board. 
“I’m mentally crossing my fingers he’s not next to me, but sure enough he ends up pointing to the window seat next to me to let him in.”
Bigbawluh goes on to describe the man as “seeping into about a third of my seat,” when he sat down.
“I sit down and am pressed up against him, making me uncomfortable.”
They confronted the passenger, saying that the situation was unworkable. The man allegedly tried to tuck his arms in, but “was overhanging over the armrest about a quarter into my seat even when squeezing his arms in.”
They eventually asked the flight attendant to help resolve the situation. 
“She instantly tells him that he is likely going to need to purchase another seat,” wrote Bigbawluh. 
As there weren’t any open seats left on the flight, the cabin crew member told the man he would need to book another flight unless someone agreed to let him take up part of their seat. 
“This causes a very awkward silence. The guy seemed embarrassed and didn’t want to get up.
“He mentioned how he can’t wait for a later flight.” 
Bigbawluh said they felt bad for the man but were also concerned about their comfort on the long journey.
“The guy seems really flustered by this ultimatum, and here’s where I made my offer,” said Bigbawluh.
“I told the guy, ‘Look, I’ll put up with this if you give me $150 (£113) – that’s half the cost of this flight and that would compensate me enough for the circumstances’.
“He instantly agrees, pulls out cash and pays me. He even told me he appreciated it.”


They added, “He wasn’t angry at all, if anything he seemed quite relieved we could work it out privately.”
However, Bigbawluh said that two passengers sitting behind the pair were making comments under their breath and glared at them after the flight.
“This leads me to beg the question, AITA?” they wrote at the end of the post.
There were strong reactions to the story on both sides of the argument, with some condemning Bigbawluh’s actions as “fatshaming” while others were convinced it was a good compromise.
“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,” wrote one user.
Another responded: “Guy knew he was fat, could have bought two seats but didn’t. [Bigbawluh] let the guy stay on the flight, have enough room to accommodate without paying for two seats and without the embarrassment and inconvenience of having to get off and wait for the next flight that wasn’t fully booked.”
The post has been upvoted 17,000 times since it was uploaded a week ago, with more than 1,500 comments.



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