Recently, Maresa Friedman shared a story on TikTok about refusing to give up her first-class seat so a family could sit together on a plane. Now, another woman has penned her similar experience.

In an article for Well + Good, Amelia McBride wrote that she’s a solo, childless flyer who is very particular about where she sits on an airplane. Like many other passengers, she prefers the window seat, as it affords her some semblance of privacy. While she was walking down the aisle looking for the seat she purchased, she discovered another passenger had stolen it.

McBride wrote, “I pay extra for my seat for special reasons. I’m 5’9” and over 200 pounds, and sitting in the window seat gives me a few extra inches to lean away from my neighbor, providing some extra freedom to move around. If anything, paying for a window seat is a kind courtesy to other passengers.”

The seat thief didn’t care about any of this and refused to move.

It begs the question that has been lighting up social media, especially in the COVID era. What happened to basic manners and consideration for others on public transport? And where did the surge in entitlement and audacity come from?

What Happened Next?

With as much diplomacy as possible, McBride let the woman know that she was sitting in her seat. The woman kept harping on the fact that she was traveling with her kids, as though this somehow made her special.

She also had the nerve to tell McBride that she should sit someplace else. McBride wrote that the kids were “two oblivious preteens totally engrossed in their phones.”

Did McBride Speak Up?

As irritated as she rightly was, she decided not to speak up and managed to inject a bit of dry humor into the situation.

“I decided against starting an argument or calling over the busy flight attendant to resolve the issue, instead opting to roll my eyes and sit down in the aisle seat,” McBride explained.

“I could have said ‘no’ and advocated for myself, but I didn’t want to sit next to an angry mom for the flight. Getting my ankle slammed by the beverage cart seemed preferable.”

Where Does Planning Come Into Play?

On TikTok, Marisa Friedman insisted that she wasn’t a villain for refusing to give up the seat she paid for.

She also said that families should be more proactive in planning their seating on flights. Expecting others to inconvenience themselves because you dropped the ball, smacks of entitlement.

Even though she gave up her seat without argument, McBride would likely agree.

Child-free Passengers Also Deserve Consideration

The idea that travelers without children should always be willing to give up their seats is problematic. McBride said that this wasn’t her first experience with “non-consensual seat switching.”

She wrote, “Three times this year alone I’ve paid extra money to reserve a window seat in advance, and three times either a parent or child has taken it upon themselves to steal it. Since when did this become acceptable behavior?”

McBride said she “gets easily overwhelmed by loud noises and cramped spaces.” This is another reason she prefers to be by the window.

Have Airline Passengers Become Ruder?

The pandemic impacted social interaction, and etiquette has suffered.

One clinical psychologist, Dr. Aimee Daramus, said, “We were conditioned to get distant from other people during the pandemic. A lot of us were separated from our social support.”

McBride suspects that “revenge travel” could also contribute to the rudeness. People are so eager to make up for the two years of lost globetrotting, that they’ve forgotten their manners.

Related: Couple On Southwest Airlines Flight Blocked A Seat Until They Found The “Ideal” Passenger