Imagine, if you will. A betrothed couple just ended a great vacation and are getting ready to fly home. Her carry on bag is too big to fit in the overhead and she makes a stink about not being allowed to bring it onto the plane with her. She abruptly flees the argument and rushes onto the plane. Of course, this makes the situation even worse and she’s eventually thrown off the plane. His response was to pretend he didn’t know his fiancé. He flies home as scheduled, and she eventually gets home on the next flight, after checking the too-big bag. But now she’s REALLY mad at him.
Such was the story someone wrote on Reddit the other day, on their “AITA” section. The initials represent the term, “Am I The A-Hole.” The community is defined as, “A catharsis for the frustrated moral philosopher in all of us, and a place to finally find out if you were wrong in an argument that’s been bothering you. Tell us about any non-violent conflict you have experienced; give us both sides of the story, and find out if you’re right, or you’re the a-hole.” It’s kind of like a “jury of your peers” sort of thing and you may eventually be determined to YTA (You’re The A-Hole) or NTA (Not The A-Hole).
Here’s the original post (edited only for adult language):
AITA for pretending not to know my fiancé after she had a meltdown during boarding the plane and was eventually thrown off?
I imagine I’m gonna get raked over the coals for this one.
So, my fiancé (maybe not for much longer) and I were on our way back from a vacation recently. It was a great time and everything went off without an issue. That is until we started boarding the plane. Now, I know better, I only bring a small backpack with essentials incase I don’t get my checked bags. I can survive out of this backpack and it will always pass baggage check for size and weight (done a lot of traveling so why fight the system). My fiancé didn’t wanna listen to my advice and chose to bring basically a regular full-size bag that barely fits the standards of carry on, but generally speaking the airline worker doesn’t wanna deal with the trouble and allows it through. But this time the airline worker was not having it. It was a packed flight, we were boarding last in economy and it was just a s**t show. I got through just fine first with my little backpack, but I could hear the argument from the boarding tunnel thingy and it was getting heated. I was about to go back and try to smooth it out but my fiancé rushed pass and just boarded plane, I assumed not having heard it super clearly that the attended had given in and let her on. That was not the case!
So we found our seats and settled in. I was pretty tired and I could tell she was upset so I just kinda tucked into the window and put my hat down and tried to take a nap. But soon after the airline worker and a cop shows up and they are not effing around, and want her off the plane. She tries to plead and cry, etc. but they are not having it. And maybe in a moment of panic or just plain self preservation…the cop asks if we’re together, and I blurt out, “NO!” shaking my head emphatically. I got kill dagger eyes from her as she shot up and grabbed her bag and followed the cop out. She was also swearing and screaming the whole way out.
Now, obviously this is well after the event I’m posting this. But when she did eventually get home (she caught next flight out with the bag checked, lol), I was there to pick her up. She obviously thought I was the a-hole, and to be honest almost everyone I know thinks I’m an a-hole except my boss and co workers, who for context were very much relying on me to be back on time, which I gave my word I would, for a really important project that was time sensitive. They were all very happy I didn’t get thrown off too.
So, am I the a-hole for this self preservation?
It seemed that a lot of people related to this guy – there were over 2.4 thousand comments in just 5 days! The responses varied; here were a bunch of the replies:
“She’s nothing but trouble”
- NTA. Get out while you still can. This is how she’ll be forever. She’ll never learn from this experience. — BFIrrera
- People like OP’s fiancé bother me. They push limits fully knowing it might an issue, and then freak out when they can’t get away with it. People like that will cause unnecessary stress for themselves and everyone else around them. People like that are often like that in other areas of their lives, and are exhausting to be around. It’s childish to act like that and just generally disrespectful. I’ve known quite a few people like that in the past and couldn’t stand spending time with them because I knew there was always going to be some type of self-inflicted drama in their life. I’m curious if OP’s fiancé has had other situations like this one, because usually it’s their whole personality. — Anonynominous
- NTA and please seriously consider whether you want events like this to be a normal part of your life because someone who reacts like that when she knows she is in the wrong is not going to change! — Scarlettrose112
- NTA. When people behave so badly that the police get involved, my loyalty to them disappears. She effed up and found out. Frankly in your shoes, I’d just want to get home ASAP, and she can deal with the situation she created. Please don’t marry that nut job. — kittycuteikus
- NTA. With that being said, you really wanna sign up for this long term? I mean she illegally boarded the plane. That’s poor poor judgement right there. — Salamander_9
“This is a life lesson she’ll never forget”
- Nothing like the humiliation of a cop escorting you off a plane to learn that rules really are a thing. Loss of time, money and public humiliation are VERY powerful teachers. And now OP can reference this whenever she forgets her social decorum. Acting up in a restaurant? “Jeez, I hope they don’t escort you out of here like they did off that plane” — CatelinaBaylorfan
“She brought it on herself”
- Honesty, I was ready to rake you over the coals. But now I’m thinking NTA. This isn’t like your fiancée had an anxiety attack over fear of flying. It sounds to me like a full-on grown woman temper tantrum, which only happened because she didn’t listen to your travel advice. TBF, I don’t travel light, either, but I also don’t try to put my giant luggage in the overhead bins. She did this to herself. — goforbroke432
- I actually think NTA 🤣 I think it’s hilarious. I fly a lot both for work and with my family and 2 small kids and people like her make it hard for everyone. Air travel is so stressful already, she acted like a lunatic and made it so much worst.
I had friends get in big trouble once for trying to bring fresh fruit back from overseas, that’s a no no. I told them they couldn’t, they didn’t listen and when we went through security at customs they found it and made them throw it away. The wife argued and made a big stink and we just walked away.
You warned her. Plus her behavior would have negatively affected you had you missed your flight.
Now that’s not to say she won’t break up with you, but she should have learned a lesson. — ajarre1
- ESH (Everybody Sucks Here) but I don’t really blame you. She acted terribly. They probably would have checked her bag and let her on if she hadn’t made a run for it. — DiskoduckOfficial
“You should have done something else”
- If not for the work thing and if you wanted to save the relationship you prob should have gotten off with her. Not because she was anyway in the right but because she is going to hold this over your head and sulk for a very long time – Scarlettrose112
- (response to the above) Doing something because the alternative is being emotional abused by your partner isn’t a great reason to do something. — ilikedmatrixiv
- The fiancé’s behavior was totally out of line, with the continued screaming being extremely concerning. However, I do judge OP for not helping intervene and trying to defuse the situation. I flew with a friend a few years back who had had a drink before boarding and was getting nervous about missing his connecting flight as we were in the very back of the plane. The situation escalated with a further misunderstanding, and my friend was asked to leave the plane. I immediately jumped up to deplane with him, speaking softly to help him calm down as we moved up the plane. After talking a little more with staff and clarifying a few things, we were allowed to get back on the plane. My friend then turned around and said he wanted an apology. I immediately grabbed him, told him to let it go, and (gently) pushed him back on the plane. I was not going to let him start up again now that we had a second chance. The rest of the flight was fine, although he definitely missed his connection and got stuck for 8 hours.
I did this for a friend, not a romantic partner. I can’t imagine not trying to help diffuse the situation and try to calm my partner down. If I thought they were in the right, I’d do my best to advocate for them as well. OP immediately abandoned her. At the very least, he should have stepped in when the flight attendant made it clear the bag would need to be checked, rather stand by while the fiancé kicked off. — KayakerMel
- ESH. You and your fiancée aren’t on the same page, you do not know where her heads at. You are her partner and she is not ok. Abandonment on a whim is not a good look. — Jazzanthipus
This was one of the few times I saw such a variety of responses ranging from NTA (rather, she was the A-hole and he wasn’t), and ESH. A few people only pinned HIM as the A-hole, but those were few and far between.
I remember a trip that Joe and I took with a friend, several years before Joe and I started dating (we were friends for 4 or 5 years before we became a couple). It would’ve been around 1995 or so. We were leaving France and Joe didn’t want to put his bag of film (Remember film? And real-life, standalone cameras that used them?) through the X-ray, for fear of the X-ray ruining his photos. The airport people were insisting the film go through, but Joe’s stubborn side decided to come out. Not a good idea, when security guards were suddenly called over. Our friend and I essentially said, “Good luck with that, Joe! See you at the gate!” while he dealt with the French authorities.
True, there was a big difference between us and the Reddit poster. Joe and I were still years from being a couple, never mind fiancés. And he was clearly in the wrong (which was odd, because he’s usually SUCH a rule follower. So am I). But the post reminded me of that story LOLOL! (Note from Joe: I was not in the wrong as they could have easily hand-checked the film canisters which I kept in a separate bag for that reason. Instead, they refused and brought over the guards with semi-automatic rifles.) (Note from Sharon: You were wrong. Your parents never told you to not argue with the people who stand between you and a choice of getting on the plane and being arrested? Rookie move, Joe. Rookie move.)
Obviously, everyone thought the fiancé was in the wrong – she should have listened when she was told about how much her carry-on bag was. She also shouldn’t have argued with the gate attendant. Rushing the plane before the situation was settled was also a really bad move. So there’s no doubt she was in the wrong.
But what about the original poster? Was he wrong, too? Should he have tried to diffuse the situation? Or gotten off the plane with her (and therefore missed being back and work on time)?
What do you think?
Feature Photo: Public Domain Pictures
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