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The Street
The Street
Veronika Bondarenko

Video of airplane fight with kid over window shade goes viral

The debate on just how tolerant one should be of parents with young children, elderly people and other travelers who request that someone who paid for their seat "just be nice" rages on. 

Passengers who film their accounts of refusing requests to switch seats often go viral on social media, while a recent video of a misbehaving toddler that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intended as a funny way of reminding passengers of the rules sparked significant outcry.

Related: TSA post of misbehaving toddler ignites debate about kids on planes

The latest video to go viral captured a "battle of the window shade" that a traveler, going under the @umaymah user name, posted on TikTok. The eight-second video shows a tiny toddler hand pulling down the shade on a porthole, while a larger one pulls it back up again.


Its my window 😐 #windowseat #plane #foryou #viral #fy

♬ original sound - quis

Passenger hits a nerve: 'It's my window'

The situation repeats itself several times before the passenger catches the bottom of the shade and holds it to prevent it from moving.

More Travel:

"POV: the kid in front of me thinks he can close my window shade," the TikTok user wrote overtop the footage of a bright blue sky behind the glass.

The video, which also has "it's my window" as the caption, gathered more than 16 million views on the social media platform and ignited a debate around whether it is ever okay to put a window shade down on a day flight.

'If I sit next to a window, I want to look out of the window...'

"If I sit next to a window, I want to look out of the window," reads one comment that was upvoted more than 77,000 times. "Who closes the window blind on a day flight?"

A few others came to the defense of the child and argued over whose window it really was since both seats are close to it (although the smaller hand is seen reaching more while the larger one is closer to it.)

"Never understood why they don't just put the mirror directly next to the person," wrote another commenter named Ruby. 

"He's a child he probably just wants to sleep," reads another comment.

The preference for keeping the shade up or down on a day flight is another perennial debate around plane etiquette that crept up in the comment section. 

While FAA rules require that all shades be up during takeoff, landing and taxiing, one survey done in 2023 found that at least 60% of travelers believe that the shade should come down as soon as the plane reaches cruising altitude in order to avoid the glare it creates in the cabin. The other half, in turn, believed that keeping the shades down keeps the cabin dark and prevents travelers from enjoying looking out the window (which is what pushes some to choose the window seat to begin with.)

"I agree with him ... can't stand when people have the window open all flight," wrote another commenter named Hazel.

In response to the criticism, the original poster clarified that the young traveler "had his own window" by his seat but was reaching to bring down hers.

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