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'I refused to move plane seat for a wheelchair user - my disability matters too'

A passenger has been left seething after an air steward insisted that they gave up her seat onboard an airplane for a wheelchair user.

While the attendant assured them that they need to be "respectful" to the passenger in need, the person felt no remorse for refusing their seat after claiming that they had a valid reason for doing so.

Taking to popular forum site Reddit, the anonymous user admitted that they had their own healthcare concerns, which meant that they felt inclined to keep the seat for themselves.

Explaining the awkward predicament, they explained: "I recently had an early morning return flight where I paid extra money for a seat that was the 2nd from the front and 1 of about 5 different seats that were the only seat in their row."

The passenger was completely 'shocked' when she was asked to move for the wheelchair user (stock photo) (


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The anonymous passenger went on: "At boarding, the agent called me there, there were two of them. The first agent just said that she was going to give my seat to someone else who needed wheelchair assistance. I fly pretty often and see people needing wheelchair assistance all the time and are seated through various parts of the plane.

"I was immediately shocked because the agent didn't ask IF I would give up my seat but just matter-of-factly explained that she will be assigning me another seat. I probably would have if they had asked instead of telling me. I asked if I would get a comparable seat and was told no.

"I then stated that I had paid for that seat, agent two then jumped in and said snarkily 'you paid for A seat'. I corrected him and told him I paid for THAT seat (as picking it out online and paying the appropriate fee). Agent one began reciting the 800 number for me to be reimbursed when agent two said never mind and went into the plane I guess to make other arrangements."

The Reddit user claimed that the agent approached them with an "attitude" and stated that they need to be more "respectful" to the wheelchair user.

They explained further: "In the end, I kept my seat and the person requiring wheelchair assistance was given the seat directly in front of me.

"I am a disabled veteran but do not require wheelchair assistance. I bought that seat because of some issues with my knees (both have been scoped and I have to get frequent cortisol shots for pain and swelling). I have been needing a knee replacement since ten years ago but the orthopaedic doc won't do it because I am too young."

Seeking advice over the ordeal, the passenger added: "I also have a heart condition where the medication makes my feet and lower legs swell if they're bent too long. So, am I the a**hole for not giving up my seat?"

One person wrote: "Not the a**hole. To me, your medical and ability status is completely irrelevant. You paid for that specific seat so they absolutely should be asking rather than telling."

A second person agreed: "Not the a**hole even without your own disability.

"If the airline wants to have the seat available as a convenience/courtesy for passengers in wheelchairs, they can certainly keep it available as such," they added.

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