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You Shall Not Boarding Pass!

, , , , , | Right | September 29, 2021

I board a plane and take my seat by the window. There are two empty seats beside me and two more across the aisle. The seats are labeled by row number and then by letter, so each row has ABC on one side and DE on the other. A woman with three girls boards. The mother looks at my row, her ticket, and the girls, and sighs heavily.

Mother: “That’s my seat.”

Me: *Standing* “Oh, I’m sorry, I—”

I look at the seat assignment and see that I am, in fact, in my own seat.

Me: “Oh, no, this is my seat.”

I sit down again.

Mother: *Loudly* “Can I get some help here? This girl won’t move out of my seat!”

Attendant: “Let’s see what we have here. Can I see everyone’s boarding pass?”

I hand over my boarding pass but the woman crosses her arms.

Mother: “I paid for a window seat. That’s my seat.”

Attendant: “Can I see?”

Mother: “She’s in my seat.”

Attendant: “Ma’am, if you would show me your boarding pass—”

Mother: “No! That is my window seat!”

The oldest girl speaks up.

Oldest Girl: “Mom, just show her so we can sit down.”

Mother: *To me* “You’re going to be sorry.”

She hands her boarding pass over with a flourish.

Attendant: “Yes, ma’am, you did pay for a window seat.”

Mother: “Ha!”

Attendant: “Over there.”

She points across the aisle.

Attendant: “You’re in E, not A.”

Mother: “What?”

She grabs the boarding pass and looks at the assignments again.

Mother: “Oh, A, E, big deal!”

Attendant: “Please take your seat, ma’am.”

Mother: “Fine!”

She pushes two of the girls into the opposite aisle and scoots in beside me.

Attendant: “Ma’am?”

Mother: “What?!”

Attendant: “Your window seat is over there. You’ll have to move.”

Mother: “Oh, my God!”

The woman got up and switched with the girl at the other window. I sent a silent thanks to the flight attendant, who gave me a subtle nod. I put my headphones in, so I don’t know if the woman caused more trouble, but as soon as we landed, she grabbed her daughters and pushed through the other waiting passengers to be one of the first people off the plane.

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