Getting up and down from the window seat

middle seatOn a flight a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get my favorite seat (after being upgraded): the exit row aisle. I knew I could get up if I needed to, plus I had plenty of room in front of me. Or so I thought. When I arrived, the gentleman who had the window seat (a big guy, maybe 6’5 with a frame to match) was standing in front of the row, getting something out of his suitcase. I stowed my suitcase and let him know where I was sitting. He zipped up his bag and sat down by the window, and I sat in my aisle seat. But about five minutes later, when there was a break in boarding, he jumped up, slid past me (which was super awkward) and started getting stuff out of his suitcase again. When people needed to pass him, he sat back down, and I figured he was done. Nope! He got up no less than three more times, including once when the middle seat passenger had sat down. Each time he slid out in front of us.

Now, in a normal row this would have been excruciating. In an exit row it was, well, still pretty awkward. Once was fine. Twice was okay. But four times? I get that you’re trying to get your stuff without slowing down boarding. But a better option would have been for the guy to wait until everyone was done, and then go and spend the five minutes he needed digging through his bag. Or the best option would have been for everything to be ready before he got on the plane. I think part of the problem was that since he was so tall, he didn’t want to have a bag by his feet, which I can kind of understand (although then I wonder—did he have two bags up in the overhead bin??).  Oh and another thing—he was grabbing the seats in front of him to use as leverage while moving back and forth, which I always try to avoid.

Readers, what do you think? I mean, we all forget stuff and have to get up sometimes—that’s not a big deal. However, IMO this time it was excessive.

What’s your preferred way to get to your stuff while on a plane?

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  1. Very disgusting and super inconsiderate. I also can not stand it when people grab onto the seat in front of them for leverage.

  2. Very very inconsiderate. I hate it when people slide out instead of asking me to stand up. Its like an unwanted lap dance.

  3. I prefer to organize everything I might need inflight, before boarding. I might even go so far as putting it in a small bag that I can quickly remove from my carryon and stow under my seat, then placing my carryon above. Get out and stay out of the aisle!
    On the rare occasion I am in a middle or window seat, I wouldn’t dream of using the seats in front of me to grab on. I also do not recline my seat except on overnight long-hauls. Courtesy trumps comfort in my book!

  4. For tall people grabbing the seat back is often a necessity as one must lean over so far to fit underneath the “overhead” bins as to be severely off balance. By doing so the tall passenger is avoiding landing in your lap.

  5. What do you expect when airlines either charge more for, or give as a perk to status laden flyers, those lovely aisle seats?

  6. Well… I think he expects courtesy from someone regardless of where they are sitting. Even if someone is in an aisle seat, it is inconsiderate to keep in the aisle while people are passing.

  7. I agree with Meredith. Get your act together before you board. Be polite to everyone, including the flight attendants.

  8. I agree with all of the above. Get organized, be mindful of others and don’t block the aisles when people are boarding. I Never grab the backs of the seats in front of me and I’m careful to quietly undo the tray table and replace it gently when I’m done. I try not to drink much so I don’t have to visit the bathroom 5 times during the flight. I don’t hog arm rests and I keep my stuff that I need with me. Be considerate folks!

  9. I hate when the person behind me grbs my chair and yanks it back because they are either too fat or uncoordinated to get up without doing so.

    It’s also a bit thoughtless (and clueless) to keep getting up and down in short order. A good way to either put an end to it, hopefully show the ignorant person what an inconvenience they are causing or even throwing some inconvenience their way is to get camped out in your seat, putting the tray table down and setting up some stuff. Then, when he wants to get up , he has to ask, and you can make it obvious what an inconvenience it is.

    After that, setup shop again, and if he asks again, you can say, quite clearly and with appropriate irritation in your voice, “Again?!”

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