Husband Asks Passenger To Switch Seats So His Wife Could Juggle 3 Kids By Herself

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!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This whole seat switching game has gotten out of hand. If you need special seating arrangements, pay for the seats accordingly. Sure, there are exceptions, such as a change in aircraft, but normally it should be expected that people will sit where their ticket says, and maybe they can learn from their mistake and do it right the next time. That said, if you offer me an equivalent or better seat, I will probably go along with it. If not, no.

  2. Somebody give that poor woman the number of a good divorce lawyer.

    (Of course, there may have been a good reason, but…)

  3. Sometimes the husband is the primary care giver of the three children; and if so, maybe the husband could be of the opinion that it’s time for the other parent to step up and be the primary care giver for this flight.

  4. I don’t judge people. Everybody has their reasons. I have sympathy for people and will switch as long as it’s not a downgrade because I’ve been in that situation. We had a mechanical and got rerouted from MSP to LAX. Wife, daughter and I ended up scattered and the Delta flight attendants just said good luck. Got my wife and daughter in the same row widow and aisle. I was further up front in an aisle seat. I asked the guy in the middle seat if he would switch for my aisle seat. He moved quicker than Usain Bolt. Made the 12 1/2 flight better seated with my family.

  5. Actually, judgmental Karen inserted herself into the situation. The guy didn’t ask to change she seats – she offered to exchange hers. Why would the guy want to leave his kid sitting next to someone who had just abandoned her own? Maybe she was the one trying to get away from her kids or, more likely, they were begging her to move so they didn’t have to endure her criticism the entire flight. I doubt it is a coincidence that she is traveling with kids and no man in sight.

    In the end, it didn’t work out exactly as she envisioned and now she feels the need to defend and explain her actions. Why can’t some people just mind their own damn business?

  6. Maybe the child wanted to with Mommy and the other kids. A ten year old is capable of helping with the younger kids and capable of wanting to.

  7. On a recent transatlantic flight I had a single window seat, very private, and a man asked me to switch so he could sit with his wife. Huh? I had a good location. He wanted it.
    P.S. I have no trouble saying no. Ever.

  8. Start minding your own Ps and Qs, esp you “modern” and “liberated” woman.

    There are women out there who are good with seeing their man happy.
    You couldn’t tell that by watching the junk from Hollywood and the news, but its true.

  9. If someone proposes a seat change, ask yourself if it will work for you, because the person proposing it will only be looking out for themselves. Do it too hastily and you could be punked as was almost my experience before I said no a few months ago.

  10. She decided to have 3 kids with this man, that’s her choice.
    Stop judging other people’ marriage.

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