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Man falls asleep on flight, repeatedly leans on passenger's partner, 'he accuses me of flirting.' AITA?

Man falls asleep on flight, repeatedly leans on passenger's partner, 'he accuses me of flirting.' AITA?


"AITAH for falling asleep on this guy’s gf on the plane?"

I 28M recently went on a flight. It was an emergency flight I had to book last minute, so my options for seats were limited as the flight was nearly full. Currently my arm is in a sling due to a shoulder injury.

I was also given some pain meds and a muscle relaxant. I’m 196cm in height. Planes get uncomfortable as it is.. so I get on this plane, find my seat, take my pills, cross my arms, and close my eyes. Sitting next to me was a couple.

I overheard them argue: him wanting to sit in the middle, which was her assigned seat and her saying no and sitting down. He sits down in his aisle seat, sounds frustrated and starts grumbling to her. They whisper argue. I stop listening.

I used to be military and usually have no problem sleeping in a sitting position. I don’t move either, but for some reason, combing the medications maybe, I end up falling asleep and waking up with my head on this woman.

I don’t know how it happened. But not once did she wake me, or nudge me to move. I woke up on my own maybe 20 minutes later, realized I was leaning on her and apologized. She smiled, told me not to worry about it, she was not upset, tried to offer me her sleeping pillow thing to share.

Hearing us talking, the man opens his eyes and takes out his earphones … he’s got anger flashing on his face. Starts arguing with me. Accuses me of flirting. I don’t engage much. She talks him down. I fall back asleep.

I end up doing it again. I still don’t know how it happened. I actively tried not to tilt my head that way. I wake up leaning on her, I’m thrown off by it, I apologize. She starts insisting it’s ok...then he wakes up.

It’s Groundhog Day.. he’s angry again, calls me an ahole. This nosy old lady in front of us turns around and gets involved. “Why do you keep doing this? Do you understand English?”

I apologize to the couple a final time, in a way as if to terminate the conversation altogether. I raise a brow at the old lady and apologize (I admit...somewhat passive aggressively) to her too.

This time I fight to stay awake the rest of the flight to avoid this. I keep my eyes closed but I don’t sleep. The woman next to me keeps trying to talk to me, ask about my injury, ask me if i’m Korean, offering me things and I wish she wouldn’t because it’s pissing off her partner, whose reactions are then pissing me off. The flight sucked. Who’s the ashole here?


I have it up in my post but it’s getting missed somehow, or maybe it’s unclear: after the first time, I tried to reposition myself to avoid leaning on her. My right arm is injured and in the sling i.e. the injured shoulder was against the window.

Here's what top commenters had to say here:

Trailsya said:

NTA. You didn't do it on purpose. That guy is a weirdo and that woman shouldn't have gotten involved. The girl you fell asleep against didn't have a problem, so I don't see why those other people do.

IShallNotCommentHoe said:

Nta - I had a kid - well I say kid, he was probably early 20’s, who kept falling asleep on me on the plane last year. I’m not big into people touching me so especially not strangers but after a few times of kind of shimmying to get him off me he’d wake up and apologize but then fall back asleep and land on my shoulder. I could tell he was exhausted so after the 3rd time I was just like screw it, sleep well kid and it was an awkward flight afterwards but it wasn’t the guy’s fault."

surgeryboy7 said:

NTA. I'm going to go ahead and assume the girl and guy were not in a good spot in their relationship. They were fighting over a seat to begin with. I think the guy was being a d to you and her for something pretty minor, where he would probably let it slide if they were in a good place, and I also think the GF was egging it on a little especially offering the pillow, she knew that would piss him off.

Cuthbert_Allgood19 said:

I mean, NTA I guess, but presumably you were in the window seat and could have easily just leaned that way, right?

G00d_Burg3r said:

NTA. You did everything right. Also, OP since you actively leaned away the second time and still needed up on her shoulder and she kept trying to talk to you after the second time, is it possible she MADE you lean on her shoulder?? Just a thought.

Both_Ad_6897 said:

NTA. That sounds like a really unhealthy relationship. He's super jealous and can't control his temper, and she goads him by talking to other guys knowing it bothers him. Not your problem in any case.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this plane passenger?

Sources: Reddit
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