As far as parenting goes, we all want the best for our children—but sometimes there are things that are out of our control. Case in point: Airplane etiquette. The rows are tight and there’s literally nowhere to go—so, is it ever OK to ask a stranger to turn off their program because you find it offensive to your child?
Reddit user SCM2323 posted to the SubReddit AmITheAsshole (AITA) about his experience on a flight with a mom who told him to turn off Game of Thrones immediately because her son was behind him. He had been watching the show—with headphones in—for over an hour on his tablet, was in an aisle seat while the family was a full two rows behind him.
The mom said that the sex and violence were too graphic for her son, which he agreed with. When he told her he wouldn’t turn off the show, she essentially said that he was an asshole for being inconsiderate to those around him.
Airplane etiquette is a thorny subject, but for the most part, you let strangers watch, read and listen to whatever they want because most people are just trying to get to their destination. The user added that there were many other programs available on the airline’s in-flight movie program that weren’t appropriate for kids, either. It was a long flight and he was excited to sit down and finally binge-watch the first season of the HBO medieval fantasy series.
Was this mom out of line for asking him to turn off his program? Well, it’s complicated. Reddit users definitely fell on both sides of the fence in their responses.
Some users agreed with the mom, that he shouldn’t watch something so graphic in a public setting.
“They’re on an airplane, not in a bar. It’s not an adult space it’s a public space. Most flights aren’t 18+. Public space should be reasonably appropriate for all ages. If he wants to watch got he needs a way to block the screen, privacy screens are pretty cheap and convenient.” Reddit user khay3088 wrote in response.
And many agreed that the child’s protection was not the OP’s responsibility.
“Have you ever actually told a child not to look at something? You will only make them try to look even more!” user InterestingPoint6 wrote.
“Certainly, GoT is not appropriate for a child but this is a rather unreasonable request. She is two rows behind you it is not like it is just playing in the kid’s face. She could have swapped seats with the kid or distracted him. If all else failed she could have politely asked if you would mind angling your tablet so he couldn’t see it. Instead she jumped straight to telling you that you had to turn it off. That is entitlement right there. The world does not revolve around her child.” Lord_Void_Of_Evil wrote.
While there’s no clear cut answer here, one thing is for sure—we absolutely don’t need another reason to add to the list of why airplane travel can be so stressful.