Karma’s a bitch, and so was this passenger

Apparently the weather in New York City was pretty bad today, or close enough that lots of flights were delayed, including mine into Newark. It happens some times and I wasn’t too worried about it. I was relaxing in the Singapore Airlines lounge waiting for my delayed flight and noticed that there was another option into JFK that was listed as on-time. A quick jaunt over to the gate to see if maybe I could get home a bit closer to on-time than not. And that was when I ran into the bitch.

That’s truly about the nicest thing I can say about this woman. As I approached the gate she was giving the agents an earful about the fact that she was stuck in a middle seat in the back rather than receiving an upgrade and how that was completely unacceptable. “You should be more empowered to fix things like this,” was her most compelling argument. Apparently the fact that she had purchased a ticket in the coach cabin was not particularly relevant to her. The agents were trying their best to be polite, suggesting that perhaps if another passenger no-showed an aisle seat might open up.

And then there was me and another woman, both just trying to grab any available seat to get home. Polite deference to the agents and a comment about being willing to take whatever they have apparently worked quite well. A few minutes later the agent paged all three of us. The other Newark passenger and I headed down the ramp with the agents while the bitch was now fighting with a supervisor at the desk. “I fly this route monthly and I might just have to take my business elsewhere,” was her choice comment at that point.

Ultimately all three of us got seats on the flight. I’m happily relaxing in 16D, an aisle seat, while the other Newark-bound passenger is in 17C, also an aisle. The bitchy woman? Enjoying a glass of white w(h)ine in 15B, her original middle seat.

Indeed, karma is a bitch. The agents were going to give her the aisle seat but that wasn’t enough for her and in the end she didn’t even get that. They gave it to me instead, mostly because I was nice.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. There is a right way to kvetch (politely), and a wrong way to kvetch (giving the airline agents a really bad time). Obviously, this woman never heard the old saw: “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”!
    Moral of the story: Karma can be sweet!

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