Flight attendant reveals her punishment for passengers who refuse to swap seats with parents

A flight attendant has revealed the method she uses to help young families when airline passengers refuse to swap seats to accommodate children.

Mitra Amirzadeh, a flight attendant based in Orlando, told The Wall Street Journal that when mediation efforts fail and a child is involved in the seat-swapping fiasco, she will speak to other passengers and ask for volunteers to help families.

Sometimes Ms Amirzadeh will assign stubborn passengers the responsibility for entertaining children sat alone as punishment: “I have said before, ‘OK, so you’re going to watch the toddler?’”

“You’ll want their snacks and their colouring books then, because they’re going to need that,” in effect making those who won’t swap with parents the babysitters for the duration of the journey.

However, the flight attendant said that she hardly intervenes when it is separated couples that want to sit together as she doesn’t want paying passengers to be “forced” to swap seats.

Ms Amirzadeh added: “The next time you feel yourself getting angry or getting frustrated that you’re not getting the seat you want, you need to remind yourself that you didn’t pay to pick your seat. Otherwise, you’d be in it.”

The member of cabin crew, also a union representative for an airline that charges for advanced seat selection, said she encounters the seat-swapping scenario on around 80 per cent of her monthly flights.

Divisive seat-swapping etiquette on flights has become a common debate as pre-booked seat fees skyrocket.

In February, a passenger was defended after refusing to give up a business-class plane seat for an economy.

The Reddit user shared an incident where a woman sitting next to him in business class asked him to voluntarily downgrade his seat so that she could sit next to her husband, who was seated in economy.

A woman was similarly praised last March for refusing to switch seats on a flight so a family could sit together.

Audrey Peters posted a TikTok after the interaction captioned: “No I’m not switching for a middle seat, book your flights earlier babes.”

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