This past Memorial Day, I, your humble Winglet COO, was on a flight from LAX back home to Boston. I had purchased my ticket the night before, not because I had urgent business to attend to back home, but because I’m just the type of person who always makes plans at the last minute (hence why I’m not the CEO). Don’t judge. We all know someone like this – it just happens to be me. Fortunately, I read that pretty good deals can be found if you buy plane tickets last minute. I was happy to find something relatively cheap and got my credit card ready. Unfortunately, they don’t tell you that by buying a plane ticket last minute, you’ll most likely be stuck in the middle seat. I don’t think I’m being controversial by saying that the middle seat is the worst. Regardless of knowing that this ride home would be uncomfortable, I had to get home, and I purchased the ticket then and there.
The next day I boarded the plane and found my seat. I was sitting in the middle of two people who had hit it off during their wait in the terminal. They seemed in great spirits – mostly because they had been drinking spirits together at the nearby terminal bar for the past two hours. Rowdy and obnoxious, these two spent the entire time before take-off talking loudly across me. And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as the plane took off, both of them immediately reached for that small paper bag in the seat back pocket you hope you never have to use yourself. Needless to say, I’ll be buying my tickets in advance for now on.
Of course, this was an unpleasant ride for the three of us. But, nearly everyone has examples of sitting next to people you would rather not sit next to. Without further ado, here are the five people you don’t want to sit next to on your next flight.
1. Nauseous Nellie
Following up on my experience above, Nauseous Nellie is a scary traveler to sit next to. After taking that small pill that helps her cope with turbulence, Neliie doesn’t take any chances in making sure she is barely conscious for her flight. Ordering overpriced vodka drink after overpriced wine, Nellie soon realizes that maybe, just maybe, she should have just tried to fall asleep. Let’s just hope the fasten seatbelt light turns off before Nellie really needs to get to the bathroom.
2. Armrest Arnold
We all sat next to this guy before – he might even be a family member. Spreading himself across the seat like he bought two tickets, Arnold likes to think the entire row was made for him. While everyone knows armrest etiquette while flying, Arnold seems to not have received the memo. You can get into a futile arm wrestling battle with Arnold, but he’s a pro at taking what is his. Enjoy keeping those elbows close to your sides while flying next to him.
3. Talkative Terry
Usually heard flying with his close personal friend, Chatty Cathy, Talkative Terry can’t seem to stand silence. Before you even get off the ground, you know Terry’s full name, where he’s from, where he works, why his girlfriend dumped him, his social security number, and all about that time his childhood pet ran away (the dog was in the guest room the whole time, he’ll say, while letting out a belly laugh that even the pilots can hear). And you thought you were going to get a few hours of sleep on this red-eye…
4. Snoring Sarah
Remember that little pill Nauseous Nellie took to help her cope with turbulence? Well, Snoring Sarah had two of them. She falls asleep right away and you decide that you’ll try to do the same. Suddenly, as you begin to nod off, this horrible scraping sound rips through the cabin. Jolting awake, your mind starts to race as you think may be a problem with the plane! In fear, you look around only to find Sarah, mouth agape, drool pooling on her shirt, and letting out another loud snort. You start to miss your old pal, Talkative Terry.
5. Terrified Tom
Sure, your heart still skips a beat when the plane bumps a few times, but you know that you’ll be safe on the ground shortly. On the other hand, Terrified Tom doesn’t seem to realize that turbulence is a normal part of flying. In his mind, every noise the plane makes is the last sound before disaster. You only just met Tom, but he seems to know you well enough to grip your forearm in his sweaty vice. Maybe someday Tom will get used to flying, but today you get to be his reassuring friend. Your mantra for this flight – “Everything is going to be ok. Think of the bumps as a fun amusement park ride. Please let go, you’re hurting me”.
Hopefully, you haven’t had of sit next to any of these people. Sadly, I know that one or more will hit close to home for you. Unfortunately, we at Winglet can’t guarantee you won’t sit next to one of these terrible flyers in the future. But, if your flight is delayed by one minute or more, you’ll at least have some extra cash to upgrade to first class next time!