Some of us look forward to flying the friendly skies, while others dread being stuck in a cramped cabin for hours – with total strangers, no less. Planning ahead can make the process smoother, but as one mother from Nevada learned, you can’t prepare for the rudeness of others.

Basic airplane etiquette

Obeying TSA attendants is a must when you’re traveling by plane, but there’s also a little thing called “airplane etiquette.” These are basic, common sense rules for how to behave when you’re 35,000 feet up in the air.

And if you break any of these rules? That’s asking for trouble, since people tend to get more testy when they’ve been sitting for hours in a tight seat with little to no leg room. Unfortunately, some folks have to learn things the hard way.

Momma bear mode

Parents are rightfully protective of their children, but one woman instantly went into momma bear mode when her son was put in an awkward situation. As for what triggered her outrage, it all began when a man noticed two newlyweds sitting apart from each other.

Being sympathetic, he wondered if the woman’s son would be kind enough to switch seats, so the couple could sit together. Sounds innocent enough, right? But there’s a lot more to this story.

Planning ahead

A lot can go wrong when you’re traveling with kids, which is why the mom in question planned ahead. This was actually a short flight from Las Vegas to Fresno, but her kids were only three, seven, and ten-years-old.

She was lucky to get tickets on this budget flight, since she needed four seats. But things seemed to be going well so far, and she was optimistic about a safe and uneventful flight with her children.

An unfriendly welcome

Even the shortest flight can feel like an unending nightmare when you’re next to a rude seatmate. That’s why most people dread the idea of sitting next to children, who have a tendency to cry, scream, or kick the seat in front of them.

But these kids had traveled often with their mother and knew how to behave on a plane. They were also prepared for the looks and grumblings from passengers who walked past them. Wisely, the mother faced forward and ignored these reactions.

All settled in

The mother and her sons got to their seats and quickly settled in. They were all seated in the same row, with her eldest son in the aisle seat. She sat next to him with the younger kids to her right, so that she could easily keep an eye on everyone.

It also allowed the little ones to amuse themselves by looking out the window. Things were going smoothly thus far, and she looked forward to an uneventful flight.

Here come the newlyweds

The mom leaned back and tried to get a few moments of rest while everyone else settled into their seats. Then, a newlywed couple boarded the plane. The bride sat in the seat across from her oldest son, while the groom sat down a couple of rows behind her.

This is a pretty common sight, since being seated next to each other normally requires booking in advance or paying an extra fee. For a short flight, it probably wasn’t a big deal to this couple.

The kindness of strangers

We’ve all benefited from the kindness of strangers, but sometimes, their interference does more bad than good. That’s what happened when a man sitting directly behind the mother decided to help the couple out.

But how he chose to go about it was totally unexpected. After finding out that the couple were newlyweds, he asked if they would like to sit side-by-side on the plane. It seemed like a nice gesture to the wife and husband, who said yes to the man’s offer.

Overstepping his boundaries

Of course, the mother overheard this exchange between the man and the couple. At first, she thought to herself what a nice man he was to volunteer his seat so the wife and husband could sit together.

Her thoughts about the man quickly changed when she heard him asking her oldest son if he would trade spots with the husband. Um, what? What was this total stranger thinking, putting her son in such a strange predicament?

Her son is confused

The son turned to his mom with a look of confusion on his face. Taking orders from his mother was one thing, but what do you do when a total stranger tells you to move your seat? Seeing the anxiety in her child’s face made the mom furious.

First, who was this guy to get involved in something that’s none of his business? Second, why should her 10-year-old sit two rows behind her, where she wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on him?

She puts him in his place

At this point, the wife and husband were just as uncomfortable as the boy. They had never imagined the man would ask someone else to give up their seat – especially a child.

The couple stayed silent, but the mother stood up and told him in no uncertain terms that her son was not going anywhere other than the seat she had booked for him. While she sympathized with the newlyweds, her main concern was the well-being of her child.

She paid extra, by the way

The mother’s explanation was perfectly justified, but there was another reason she spoke up. As you may be aware, many airlines charge you a premium to book multiple seats in a row. This is important for families with children, who are prepared to pay for the privilege.

However, paying extra for each seat didn’t come cheap for this mother of three. In short, she wasn’t going to redo her family’s seating arrangements to accommodate people who had paid the standard price.

Doesn’t know when to quit

Once the man heard about the premium fee, you’d think he would apologize and stay quiet for the rest of the flight. Instead, he kept insisting that the couple shouldn’t be kept apart when there was a very simple way to solve this problem.

Even worse, he turned to the boy and continued asking him to switch seats with the husband. The mother felt her anger rising as she realized this man didn’t know when to quit.

Pushed to her limit

The woman could feel herself losing it at this point, and even the wife was clearly upset by the man’s persistence. Both were asking themselves, why couldn’t he just drop it? It really wasn’t a big deal for them to sit two rows apart for an hour-long flight.

In any case, the mother had clearly given her reasons as to why her son shouldn’t give up his seat. This wasn’t a situation that she had to accommodate, and her son was staying put.

She lets him have it

By this point, the woman had enough. She brought out her momma bear claws and told the man to leave her and her family alone, adding, “Look, did you pay an extra $100 to get an allocated seat? No. Every one of us has the same opportunity to reserve their seats.”

While she didn’t want to mention numbers, doing so seemed to do the trick. After muttering a few choice words, the man finally dropped the subject.

Venting her frustration

The storm had passed, but the mother still needed a release for her anger. Since there wasn’t much else she could do, she went to an online forum and explained her situation. She finished her rant by asking, “Was I being unreasonable?”

Luckily, just about everyone agreed that she did the right thing, with one user commenting, “You were absolutely in the right. I would have told him to go away and never to bother my son or me again!”

Moral support from the community

Along with their support, members of the forum chimed in with their own in-flight experiences. One person wrote, “I once changed seats to allow a parent to sit with her child, but I’ve never heard of it being the other way around. Children are more important than Vegas newlyweds!”

People also agreed with the woman’s point about the additional cost, saying things like, “You’ve got to be selfish sometimes, especially when you’ve paid the extra fee.”

It’s not always the passengers

Based on the strong reactions from the online community, it’s clear that airplane etiquette is essential to a smooth flying experience. On the other hand, it’s not always the passengers that get on your last nerve. In some cases, the frustration stems from mistakes or carelessness by the airlines.

Mistakes are one thing when it comes to luggage or overbooked flights, but it’s a whole different story when a child is involved. Allow us to tell you about one family’s scary experience due to an airline’s negligence.

Flying solo for the first time

Anton Berg was excited about flying from Raleigh, North Carolina to Stockholm, Sweden to visit his grandparents. This would be his first trip by himself, but at 14 years of age, Anton was still a minor.

In a case like this, parents are expected to make arrangements with the airline ahead of time to ensure their child safely gets to their destination. However, Anton’s mother couldn’t have predicted the chaos that would unfold when she made his travel plans.

More than a little mistake

When Anton’s mother, Brenda, purchased his ticket, she paid an extra $150 for an airline escort. This staff member would make sure Anton got onto the correct flight during his layover at Newark International Airport.

However, she could never have imagined the massive mistake that would be made by the airline. Anton made it onto a connecting flight, alright. Except it was to Dusseldorf, Germany. That’s right; Anton was being sent to a totally different country!

A terrified mother

Luckily, Anton quickly realized he wasn’t heading to Sweden, and texted his mother to let her know what happened. Brenda immediately sprang into action when she realized her son was headed to Germany.

As any parent would, she got on the phone and called the airline to let them know how badly they had messed up. As the phone rang and rang with no answer, the terrified mother realized she would have to take more direct action.

Anton arrives in Germany

At that point, Brenda texted Anton back and told him exactly how to proceed once the plane landed. Then, she called the airline again, but she was still unable to get through to someone. Angry and frustrated, she posted a tweet on the airline’s social media account, hoping that would get their attention.

Fortunately, Anton arrived safely in Germany, but his escort was nowhere to be seen. Brenda was livid, considering she had paid $150, only for her son to be abandoned in a foreign country.