Readers, last night on a flight from Dallas I witnessed an interesting etiquette situation, and I want to get your take on it. A petite woman had found her seat and was looking for a place to stow her large backpack. Two rows in front of her, a tall guy was muscling his rollaboard into the overhead bin. There was plenty of room next to his bag, so she very politely asked him for a hand. “Excuse me,” she said. “Could you please help me?” He started to say yes, but then stopped. “Oh, my buddy is going to put his bag there. Sorry.” He then sat down. The three or four of us that witnessed this kind of gaped at him. The man behind him said, “Friend, that might come back to haunt you.” The woman was forced to go to the back of the plane to find a spot for her bag.
Honestly, I go back and forth with this. In the moment, it felt incredibly rude. But thinking about it later, I wonder: does it make sense to save a spot for your friend’s bag, even from someone who was on the plane first? Or does the person on the plane first deserve the spot? The ironic thing was that the buddy, who did indeed place his rollaboard in that spot, was sitting next to the woman who had asked for help.
Readers, what do you think?