Mum blasted for being ‘rude’ in asking TUI passenger to swap seats with her child

A mother who asked a passenger to swap seats with her young daughter has been blasted for “trying it on” and being “rude”.

Though traveling with a budget airline often costs significantly cheaper, bookings usually come with hidden costs for things like luggage and seat choice.

One mum flying to Gran Canaria – who had forked out an extra £22 so she could sit with her partner – feels she was put in a difficult situation when a nearby mum asked her to swap seats.

The mum wanted the woman to move so her child, who claimed she was afraid of flying, could sit next to her, Edinburgh Live reports.

The woman asked whether refusing to move for a child on a flight was wrong

The mum was upset and “wasn’t happy” about the couple refusing to move.

Taking to Mumsnet, the woman asked fellow mums who was in the wrong, Mirror Online reports.

The woman explained on the Mumsnet chat called ‘Am I being unreasonable’ [AIBU]: “Last week I was traveling to Gran Canaria with TUI.

“I had booked mine and boyfriend’s seats, when we booked and paid £22 for both. I had the window and he had the middle.

“A lady sat on the end and her daughter was in front. She asked could they have our two seats and we have hers / daughters or my boyfriend switch with her daughter de ella.

“I politely said no, which she wasn’t happy about.

“We got: ‘What difference does it make? You’re adults, my daughter is scared of flying and she is a minor.’ Anyway we wouldn’t move.”

She asked: “Was I wrong? Surely if she was that bothered her she could have paid like us.”

Many hit back at the mum who had asked for the seat swap agreeing that she was rude to ask.

“You are completely in the right in my opinion! I wouldn’t have moved either. She was just trying it on”, one replied.

A second person said: “TUI has never seated me separately to my kids and I never pay extra.

“But then they’re also under 10 so I expect that is their policy. If her child was presumably older, she should have paid.”

A third interjected: “I wouldn’t have asked but I would have swapped if I had been asked.

“This really bugs me – I have lost count of the number of times there have been parents on flights with small children who haven’t paid to sit together and expect people who have to move!”

Another pointed out: “Airlines need to make it clear they can’t guarantee that children will be sat directly next to their accompanying adults. Would make the whole scenario a lot less common.”

But one piped up: “I would have quite happily moved. This thread is making me think I’m nicer than I thought I was and that’s saying something!”

Some could see both sides of the argument as one commented: “She wasn’t unreasonable to ask and you weren’t unreasonable to say no.”

The woman was going on holiday to Gran Canaria with TUI
The woman was going on holiday to Gran Canaria with TUI

And one argued: “Not unreasonable. Just uncharitable. Personally I would have swapped for the sake of a child.

“My partner is an adult and can survive a whole flight without me holding his hand.

“You value money and the entitlements it gives you more than a stranger’s child’s feelings.”

In TUI’s terms and conditions regarding seats, they say: “Seats are assigned separately for outbound and inbound flights, and you’ll need to make each seat reservation by looking at a digital aircraft seat plan for your flight.

“Remember to make sure seats are assigned for each leg of your journey.

“Please note, if you leave empty seats between the ones you’ve chosen, or you leave a single window seat unoccupied, we won’t be able to confirm your seating request and you will be asked to re-select.”

They add: “We’ll attempt to accommodate your party together wherever possible, although this can’t be guaranteed.

“Seats together means seats that are alongside each other, immediately in front and behind each other. Parties may be separated by an isolate.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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