A Vietnamese mother has sparked online uproar for insisting that she be given the exit-row seat so that her child “has some space to play” during the flight.
According to a video posted on Facebook on Friday, the woman, speaking northern Vietnamese accent, is seen aggressively protesting a man’s request that she leave the exit-row seat as she does not meet the passenger criteria to sit there.
The mother, holding a toddler on her lap, said she could not sit elsewhere but the seat right next to the emergency exit because “my kid needs some space to play,” according to the minute-long footage seen by Tuoi Tre News.
“I could not be given the last-row seat as there is no space [there] for my child,” she said.
Despite the man’s repeated explaining politely that children should never take the exit-row seats, the woman kept on saying noisily that she “has been flying numerous times and was always given the exit-row seat.”
“I have been flying places and I tell you what, every check-in employee should know which seats to give the kids,” she said.
The man remains calm and polite, excusing himself and trying to tell the noisy mother that as per the rule she is not supposed to sit there.
“Don’t talk rational things with me,” the woman snapped back.
“You are obviously wrong.
“Let me tell you this: anyone flying with a kid must be seated here.”
The video, fielding 822,000 views and 8,200 likes as of Saturday noon, ended with the woman remains seated with her son next to the emergency exit, when the ‘this is the non-smoking flight’ announcement is heard in the background.
The Facebook user who posted the video, Duc Vu Trong, said in the footage description that he filmed the scene on board a Hanoi-bound flight from Ho Chi Minh City.
Trong said prior to the row, the woman also “occupied other’s seat without their consent.”
“The flight was full of Japanese passengers, and the loud voice of the woman was a complete opposite of the quietness of these foreigners,” Trong wrote.
According to the Facebook post, the woman had also cursed at the check-in attendants, calling them “stupid and silly.”
As per common aviation practices, passengers seated in an exit row must be able and willing to assist the crew during an evacuation of the aircraft, so there are specific requirements for passengers seated there.
In his Facebook post, Trong also listed a number requirement for exit-row seats on Vietnamese flights.
Accordingly, passengers are not allowed to take the exit-row seats if they are below 15 years of age and do not have the ability to read the instruction for emergency response.
Most importantly, it states clearly in the rule that passengers who travel with anyone requiring special assistance in an emergency, such as an infant or person with a disability, or an animal, including service animals, are ineligible for exit-row seats.