Passenger Turns Down $1500 (from Cam Newton) to Swap Airline Seats

How much money would it take for you to switch economy seats with someone that was also sitting in economy? Apparently, $1500 cash was not enough for one passenger.


If you’re not familiar with Cam Newton, he’s a NFL star quarterback that makes $20 million per year. Last week, he was flying from Paris to the US and according to reports, he was supposed to fly from Paris to Charlotte in American Airlines business class but missed his flight. Apparently, the only available option to get him home that day was to fly American from Paris to Dallas in economy (and I assume, Dallas to Charlotte from there).

I think this is a good time to say that, with 5 minutes of research, I could’ve definitely found him a better way to cross the Atlantic IN BUSINESS CLASS on his way home. But it doesn’t surprise me that American Airlines claimed that this was “the only way” to get him home.

Regardless, the 6’5″ Cam boarded the flight from Paris to Dallas. As you will see in the video, Cam is sitting in a regular economy seat but he, allegedly, offers a gentleman in the exit row $1500 to switch seats with him.

Take a look at this video that a fellow passenger captured…


It goes without saying that the fellow passenger had all the right in the world to reject the offer but I trust a lot of us are saying “WHAT!? I would’ve moved, no questions asked and had $1500 in my pocket.”

It also goes without saying that we don’t know the full context. We do not know what happened before the video started and we’re unable to hear all of the conversation but Cam’s reaction does say a lot.


I find this story extremely fascinating. It has sparked some great conversations with friends and family over the last few days because there are so many scenarios and questions to be asked. For example…

  • If you were Cam, would you have offered more money for the seat? Say, $2000 or $2500?
  • If you were approached by Cam and he said “I’ll give you $1500…$500 in cash right now and I’ll withdraw the remaining $1000 from the ATM when we arrive at the airport. Would you take the deal?
  • We all know that the exit row has a bit more space than regular economy but how much would it take for you to switch seats?
  • Does the price that you would request vary on the length of the flight? Note: Paris to Dallas is a 10+ hour flight.
  • Obviously, the passenger that denied the request was not swayed by $1500. But to put this into perspective, that would be $3000 roundtrip. Would you sit in the worst seat on the plane for $3000 roundtrip?
  • If you were in business class and Cam approached you with the $1500 request to take his economy seat, would you do it?

What do you make of this situation?

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