A jewelry industry executive told how an eligible mother took her pre-reserved window seat on an airplane – then burst out in anger when she refused to give it up for a middle seat in another row.
Tammy Nelson, CEO of global jewelry brand CONQUERing, has garnered over 6,000 comments on a TikTok video she posted this month describing the June 19 incident on a Delta Airlines flight from Cincinnati to San Jose, California.
She says she got into her row and found the unknown mother in the window seat. When told the seat was reserved, the mother said she wanted to sit next to her children, who Nelson estimated were 11 and 15 years old.
The mother offered to swap places with Nelson, but Nelson refused when she learned she was being offered a dreaded middle seat in a different row. Nelson said the mother was annoyed at the refusal and mumbled angrily at the refusal for the rest of the flight.
“Having only slept 90 minutes the night before and knowing I had to give a presentation in front of 500 people, I was in dire need of some sleep, so I didn’t agree to change seats,” Nelson captioned her video, which has been viewed nearly three million times.
Nelson asked her followers, “What would you do?”
Nelson was stunned when she saw someone sitting in the seat she had reserved. Assuming it was a mistake, she politely informed the woman of the mix-up.
Tammy Nelson, CEO of a jewelry brand, refused to give up her window seat to a mother who wanted to sit next to her two children, sparking debate online
The TikTok video has nearly 3 million views and is filled with tons of positive comments praising her for not giving up her place to the “entitled mother”.
“When I got to the seat I thought I had reserved, there was someone sitting there,” Nelson told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“I just assumed that the woman sitting there made a mistake as well.” And so I said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry.’ It looks like you’re sitting in my seat.’ And she said, “Oh, do you want to sit here?” And I was like, “Well, that’s such a weird question.”
However, things changed when the eligible woman assumed Nelson would take her middle seat so she could sit alongside her two children, aged around 11 and 15.
Nelson considered the request and informed the woman that if she had a window seat, which Nelson had deliberately reserved for the flight, she would be happy to switch places with her.
“I always choose a window seat because I get motion sickness on takeoff and landing if I can’t look out the window,” Nelson told Good Morning America.
Nelson’s TikTok has sparked debate online, with countless positive comments praising her for not giving up her seat
Nelson, who had only slept 90 minutes the night before and had to prepare a presentation in front of 500 people when she landed, explained that she had deliberately booked a window seat
“And the second reason is that I don’t sleep much, so I usually like to sleep on planes, and of course sitting by the window is easiest,” she added.
Nelson then politely declined her request and the passenger reluctantly returned to her assigned seat while “huffing and puffing,” as Nelson described it.
“She wasn’t happy.” “It wasn’t a fight, but she kind of reluctantly picked up her stuff, puffed and puffed, and went back to her seat,” Nelson recalls. “Then she continued to complain loudly to the person next to her.”
Nelson said the mother “complained to the person next to her for at least 15 minutes, loud enough for me to hear.”
“But the woman actually defended me — multiple times.” “It was so nice and I really appreciated it because I felt really guilty,” she added.
Nelson’s TikTok has sparked debate online, with countless positive comments praising her for not giving up her seat.
But while most people supported her for declining the mother’s request, a smaller minority argued that she could have been more empathetic and understanding.
“Before anyone chases me… the kids looked like they were about 11 and 15 years old.” And the mom was within easy reach of both of them from the middle seat in the row behind us,” Nelson wrote in her caption.
Many users argued that people wishing to sit together on flights should take precautions when booking their tickets rather than hassle fellow passengers.
“The number of families not paying for shared seating is overwhelming!” “You were 100 percent right not to give up your seat,” reads another comment.
‘Nope. “If it’s not an upgrade, it’s a sacrifice,” said another.
“People choose shared seating when they want to sit together,” added another user.
“Even if I wanted to switch, the second someone behaves legitimately by sitting there before they even ask… That doesn’t happen,” said one commenter.
“Mum of 3 here and I wouldn’t have switched either,” one person wrote in the comments. “I pay more to book my family together.”
Seat swapping is a hotly debated topic in the frequent flyer community and a news story on the subject fueled the debate.
In recent months, a resurfaced Reddit post described an airline passenger who shared his frustration at a mother who had “the audacity” to expect them to switch seats so she could sit next to her child.
The anonymous traveler explained that they were on a transpacific flight from Japan and had a widow’s seat, with the “little daughter sitting in the middle next to me” and the mother also sitting in the middle but in the row behind.
Explaining the chain of events, the Reddit user, who has since deleted his account, wrote: “[The mom] asked me – and only me – to switch places with her so that she could get my window seat (next to her daughter) and I would take her middle seat one row back.
“Hell no. “It’s not my problem that they didn’t book together,” the post reads.