Asking passengers to switch seats with parents so they can sit with their children is fraught. No one wants to sit next to your child! If they’re a teenager surely they’re fine sitting alone! And please don’t ask me to take a middle seat in standard coach in exchange for my extra legroom aisle seat!
Here’s a twist that I haven’t heard before, though: a father who asked a passenger to switch seats so that a mother, who was caring for two children (a toddler next to her and a lap infant) could sit with her third child also… so that her husband could sit alone in peace.
The passenger watching this all unfold thought she was switching seats so that the dad could move back to help his wife. Nope. The dad was with their third child – and he sent the third child back.
The father accepted the generous offer, seemingly eager to be with his loved ones mid-flight, however, what transpired next left the passenger fuming. Instead of occupying the newly vacated seat next to his wife and children, the father dispatched yet another young child to sit with them, opting for a child-free journey himself.
@one_toughmother A little sunday rage for ya #momsoftiktok #deadbeatdad ♬ female rage – ☾
Now, it wouldn’t necessarily have been better if the dad moved back to help with the toddler and baby, leaving the third child alone. He should have declined to switch seats, and looked after his kid already seated beside him.
Later, the passenger who changed seats offered a deeper dive into the logistics.
@one_toughmother Replying to @Timmy Hope this clears up all the willful confusion. Most of the men in these comments making themselves KNOWN. #momsoftiktok #parenting #feminist ♬ original sound – One Tough Mother
You might even think that the dad would switch places with the mom at some point during the flight, relieving her for a spell! Although certainly every relationship is different. Every parental division of labor is different. Maybe the dad looks after all the kids at their destination, we do not know!
Or you could imagine a flight during the business day where one parent needs to work, the other watches the kids, and getting work done on the flight is what makes the whole trip possible. Every relationship and circumstance is different.
Still, to the passenger giving up their seat to make this switch possible, it’s understandable to feel like you’ve been had. You thought you were making it possible for a family to be together, and to make each other’s lives easier, and it doesn’t look like that’s what happened.
I was once asked to change seats so that a couple could sit together, only to learn that they were already seated together, they just didn’t like the bulkhead, and they stuck me with the bulkhead (I don’t like the bulkhead either!).
A reader once gave up his premium seat so that a family could sit together only to have the family sell that seat to another passenger and not actually sit together. You don’t know what someone is going to do with the seat once you’ve given it to them!