The age-old argument about whether it is ever appropriate to request a stranger shift seats for you has been rekindled by a woman’s tirade against doing so on airplanes.
Cristina Yang used her YouTube account to share a tale about standing up for a stranger who was asked to shift farther back so that two friends could sit together after being asked to do so.
She was reacting to a fan called Monica who had stated, “I never give up my seat,” in a comment on an earlier video. Flying is an organized activity. It’s not my problem if someone doesn’t make a strategy.
In reaction to this, @Not.CristinaYang (actual name Arleen) shared a story of how she was upset by demands to move seats on a recent trip.
The video has received 2.8 million views as of this writing. Arleen begins it with, “Let me tell you another anecdote about seat switching.”
She claims that while she was on the more than four-hour flight from Hawaii to Seattle, sitting in premium economy row eight, a woman from about 20 rows behind her approached and requested that they switch seats.
@not.cristinayang Replying to @mixedchick132 the audacity of some people #flying #assignedseats ♬ original sound – Not it
The woman who was questioned, according to Arleen, was “a small Asian woman… I assume she’s Japanese.” She remembers the woman approaching their row and requesting to sit next to her buddy, who was on the aisle seat next to them.
Let’s trade seats, she says as she turns to face the Asian woman sitting next to me. I’ve moved back to row 26.
We’re in premium economy, remember? We have limitless drinks and snacks, and we’re in like row eight, she says.
The TikToker reported that the “soft spoken” woman seated next to her initially appeared uncertain before beginning to stand up in order to switch seats with the adamant woman.
Arleen can be heard in the video saying, “She begins getting up, and I’m like, NO!” She claims that the woman on the aisle then attempted to persuade the lady that switching to a window seat would be preferable to her center seat.
Determining to intervene, Arleen did. She told the Asian woman, “Sit down, Connie,” and added, “except that we are traveling together” (despite not knowing her name). She said, “And she sat down.” I suppose I was more cruel than the other woman.
Arleen, a Chinese American, made a joke about how they knew each other because they were both Asian.
She even finalized the bargain by conversing in Cantonese with the Asian stranger in the hopes that she would play along. She was thrilled when the stranger responded in a different tongue (Japanese, Arleen assumed).
She said Arleen made up their connection and claimed the woman from the back of the plane was “sort of unhappy she couldn’t sit next to her friend.” But she and the outsider remained steadfast.
The TikToker in the video yelled, “Row 26 is not premium economy… it’s like, you can smell the toilet back there.”
Therefore, why not return to row 26, where you belong. Because you should have purchased a ticket next to your friend if you wanted to sit with her, she said. Not twenty rows back.
One of Arleen’s admirers wrote: “May your coffee always be hot, green lights on your drives, and close parking spots in the parking lot.” Others commended her defense of the hesitant stranger.
Another follower remarked, “When someone says it’s practically the same seat, I answer, ‘If that’s true, take your original seat then.'”
Or, her companion may have sat down next to her after moving back. A third individual remarked, “You don’t ask someone to downgrade for your convenience.