Woman stirs huge debate after refusing to give up her first-class seat on a plane

When it comes to flight etiquette, not everyone sees eye to eye.

Picture this: you've saved your hard-earned pennies to get a seat at the pointy end of the plane. You're treated like a VIP as you step on-board the flight and you're guided to a seat fit for an A-list celebrity.

A flight attendant comes over to you and offers you a glass of champagne. All is right in the world... until you're asked to give up your first-class seat for a child.

This is exactly what happened to a passenger who landed herself at the centre of a huge debate over flight etiquette after sharing a video about her experience on TikTok.

TikTok user in first-class plane seat on international flight
Would you give up the best seat on your long-haul flight? Photo: TikTok/@lifewithdrsabra

The woman, who goes by Dr Sabra, can be seen smiling from her seat with the message, "POV: Flight agent asks me if I want to give up my 1A seat so a child sits with her family".


In the caption she added, "That's a 'no' from me dawg. Would you have given up your seat? Also, they ended up finding a solution so no, I am not a terrible human being. Also, the child was like 13."

TikToker slammed

Some viewers blasted Sabra for not vacating her seat, saying she should've shown some compassion for the girl and her family. "I will always switch with a family if I am approached kindly," one person wrote.

"I gave up a seat so a newlywed couple could sit together. Kindness is free," someone else commented.

"As a parent, I'd be sad," a third wrote, while another agreed: "It costs nothing to be kind. It's a child!"

Parents to blame?

Meanwhile others defended Sabra and blamed the girl's parents for the predicament in which they found themselves. "Why isn't their first instinct to just switch the child with one of her parents so they could be with a guardian?" one viewer asked.

"'No' is a complete sentence. I don't care what their reason is, I'm not giving up my seat – unless it's an upgrade," another commented.

"Good for you! If they wanted their kid next to them, they should've booked adjacent seats," a third said.

Passenger weighs in

Sabra later entered the debate to explain herself and praise the airline staff for the way they handled the situation. "To clarify, the gate agent asked me, I asked to see the seat map, I didn't like the alternative. They were kind and found a solution right away," she said.

"The family never addressed me. I think it was even the airline's rule, not them asking to sit together," she added.

According to later posts, Sabra was travelling from her US home in Seattle to Tunisia, Africa, which takes around 15 hours. Anyone who's taken such a long-haul flight would surely think twice about giving up the best seat on the plane.

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle's daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at