Awesome Etiquette: Stuck In Your Seat At 30,000 Feet

Sep 8, 2017

You're at crusing altitude on a flight home when, suddenly, nature calls. Not a problem since there's a restroom a few rows away; however, the person in the aisle seat won't get up to let you out!

A listener who recently shared this experience also informed us that, to be respectful when flying, she and her fiance only exit their seats when the person on the aisle is awake. But, in this case, the aisle passenger would not get up, and forced the couple to climb over. So is it rude to ask a row mate to stand up so you can get out of your seat on a plane?

No doubt, standing up and moving out of the way is the easiest way to allow others to exit their seats, but asking someone to get up could could prove to be tricky. You can't always tell what someone's situation is or how difficult it might be for the person to stand up. It would be most helpful, of course, if the person on the outside of the row informed those on the inside that s/he has a reason to stay seated. But not everyone is comfortable sharing that kind of information with strangers.

So if you have a need to use the restroom at 30,000 feet or just walk the aisle to stretch your legs, try to plan ahead. Get up when the others in your row are out of their seats. Or, before your flight begins, let those around you know that you may need to get up frequently and have trouble climbing over others.

To hear more discussion on dealing with the situation, listen to this podcast of Awesome Etiquette.