Woman battles child over airplane window, sparking debate

A woman has sparked a debate about airplane etiquette after a child in the seat in front of her attempted to close her window.

In a viral video posted to TikTok, a passenger on a Qatar Airways flight showed herself sitting in the window seat with the shade open, looking out at the sky. As she filmed the seat directly in front of her, a little boy’s hand reached from behind the seat and closed the window shade belonging to her.

As soon as the boy closed the window shade, the woman immediately lifted it back up. The boy once again attempted to close her window shade, but she stopped him halfway through. He finally moved his hand back to his seat, and the woman was able to leave the window shade open.

“POV: The kid in front of me thinks he can close MY window shade,” TikTok user @vmaymah wrote over her viral video. In the caption, she added: “It’s my window.”

Since her video was posted on 17 February, it’s been viewed 15.2m times. In the comments section, many viewers came to the woman’s defense and stressed that the window belonged to her seat.

“Why are people saying it’s his window, it’s not!! Your window seat is never behind you,” one person pointed out.

“My anger issues could never,” another said, while someone else wrote: “I would be so annoyed - I choose a window seat because I love looking out the window on a flight.”

Others applauded the woman for “the direct confrontation” and shared that they would’ve reacted the same.

“I LOVE the direct confrontation” said one person.

“Nah I’d grab his hand,” another commented.

A third person wrote: “I’d just flick his hand.”

However, there were others who were divided over which passenger was in the right. Although the window belonged to the woman sitting in the window seat, some people sympathised with the little boy and wondered if he was simply trying to get some sleep.

“I agree with him,” said one user. “[I] can’t stand when people have the window open all flight lmao.”

“Maybe he wanted to sleep and the window [was] bothering him?” asked someone else.

Meanwhile, one person suggested that plane windows should only be open “for take off and landing,” writing: “It’s too bright for all that during the flight.”

“Personal preference,” the woman replied.

This isn’t the first time a viral debate about airplane etiquette has been sparked online. Most recently, chef Anthony Thomas went viral when he shared a photo of an almost empty plane with another passenger sitting right behind him.

“Imagine having the luxury of boarding a flight with only two passengers on it. Of all the seats on the flight, look where he decided to sit,” he wrote in a post shared to X, formerly Twitter.

Many people agreed with Thomas, and wondered why the passenger decided to sit right behind him. One user said that the other passenger, whose head could be seen in a row near the back of the plane, “got the memo.”

However, others were on the side of the anonymous passenger. One user said that he may have just been waiting to take off, adding: “I go to my assigned seat before I start looking for an empty one that might be more comfortable.”