Would You Swap Airplane Seats With Cam Newton for $1,500?

Jun 24, 2019

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So you missed your business-class flight, and you’re stuck in a cramped economy seat. Now what? Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers quarterback, recently found himself in that situation. The football star offered a fellow passenger $1,500 to give up his exit-row seat with more legroom. However, the traveler declined Newton’s offer, reports CNN.

In a video tweeted by fellow passenger Eli Edwards, Newton is seen talking to a passenger sitting in an emergency-exit aisle seat who’s shaking his head no. After what appears to be a failed attempt to swap seats, Newton defeatedly walks over to his economy aisle seat. Newton has yet to comment.

Newton reportedly had paid for a business-class seat from Paris to Charlotte on a Saturday American Airlines flight that departed earlier that day, but he had missed that flight. His only option was to fly through Dallas in a regular economy seat on a Boeing 787-8.

“The man asked Cam Newton how tall he was. Cam Newton said ‘about 6’6″.’ The man said he was about 6’4″ so it wouldn’t do him any justice to switch,” Eli Edwards told Business Insider.

When it comes to asking others to swap seats, there are some unspoken rules. Some responses from the tweet have noted that the man should’ve given up his seat simply because it was Cam Newton who was asking, but hey, maybe the guy is a Falcons fan.

Another aspect of the situation is that it appears the man was with at least one other person, as he briefly talks to the passenger in the middle seat. Again, for the passenger, he might not have wanted to leave his companion behind. Wanting to sit with your party is also another valid reason for either staying put or asking someone else to switch with you. In general, TPG’s seat-swap etiquette rule is to offer only better or equivalent exchanges. For instance, aisle-to-aisle swaps are generally acceptable. Asking to swap your middle seat for a window seat can make a lot less sense.

While it appears that Newton is in the wrong, as he wants to swap from less to more legroom, things get complicated when he allegedly offers $1,500. If the passenger was a foot shorter and flying solo, this would probably be a done deal. We don’t know all the circumstances that made the passenger say no, but we have to wonder.

It usually costs more than $100 to select an emergency exit row seat on an American Airlines flight between the US and Europe. But even if he paid for all three emergency row seats, he would still profit around $1,200, which is no small amount. Whether the passenger chose not to switch because he didn’t know who Newton was or really valued the extra legroom, it’s likely Newton will make his best effort to not miss future flights.

Featured image by JT Genter / The Points Guy.

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