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Your Oddest Airplane Seatmate

Amie H

Angel Diva
Since many of us travel, I thought I'd start a thread on kooky/infuriating/hilarious/scary airplane seatmates. I have a FEW:

1) Thursday night, flying to Reno, a young man (early 20s) popped into my row, middle seat, next to me (window seat) toward the end of boarding.
Midway through the flight he started talking to me, and I didn't mind because he seemed very sweet.
And then...

He started VAPING ON THE PLANE ! :eek:
He had a vape pen attached to the inside of his t-shirt, and he was sucking on the thing for the last three hours of the 4 hour flight!
I turned around and a flight attendant was glaring in our direction. *I* didn't want to be implicated with HIM. I said to him, "Dude you better watch it!"

This was a good kid, recent college grad, somewhat naive. He was European, recruited to work in the US on a visa, and he had no idea how to do things like how to get a state ID, get an account with our electric provider, etc. I don't think he understood that he could end up with a huge fine or on a no-fly list for the vaping.That will be a hard lesson to learn.

2) On my way home Saturday night/Sunday morning, our flight was significantly delayed. I tried my best to catch a few winks in the airport. Sitting next to me was an older couple. Again I booked a window seat so I could lean my pillow against the wall to sleep some more. At boarding time, it was snowing wildly, so we had to have a full de-icing. I was in group one, stowed my bag, got in my seat, buckled up, closed the blinds, and pulled my jacket hood over my eyes and nodded off again.
At some point, the older man who was sitting near me in the airport boarded and was in the aisle seat (no one in middle.) It felt like at least 30-40 minutes passed while I was napping, when suddenly someone is POKING my arm trying to wake me up.
As I sprung awake, the older man said, "Can you open the window shade, I want to see.":scared::scared::scared::scared:

I nearly lost it. "I HAVE to sleep!" No "sorry" from him, and he never said "please" either.

I was fuming the rest of the flight but thankfully eventually fell asleep again.
 

Eera

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I was flying from Rabaul to Lae in Papua New Guinea a while back: I shared my footspace with this large, white fluffy thing that could have been a goat, a sheep or a dog: to this day I have no idea.

I don't actually know if it belonged to anyone on board or it was just there for a ride - there was no-one sitting next to me who might have owned it.

And one time I was on the FIFO aeroplane from Lihir (PNG again) to Cairns. I was the only passenger on board. The steward let me pick what move I wanted to watch on the big screen and then we spent a couple of hours sitting together while he taught me to swear in Tok Pisin.
 

Knitjenious

Angel Diva
Once when I was 23 years old I sat on a flight from Houston to NYC next to a trombone player from Wynton Marsalis's band. Perhaps equally interesting was that I myself was going to New York to audition as a carpenter on HGTV's Trading Space. (Alas, I was not cast, but I did make it pretty far in the process! LOL)

Another time when I was 22, I sat near this very adorable young golf pro on a flight from my hometown in Illinois to Atlanta. And when we all got stranded in Atlanta for the night, he and I hit it off and went to the Waffle House for late night dinner. I was a good girl and didn't let it go further than that! But fun memories. A year or two later, he published a book about golf and sent me a copy. Lol

Ah to be young.
 

VickiK

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Not oddest, but most intriguing. On the flight home from Dublin, a VGL (very good looking) man and I chatted about this & that. He was from New Zealand, owned a winery, lived on it... made it sound like the wine in NZ was really up & coming. This was 20 years ago, so you know he left an impression!

Still need to get myself to NZ.
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Back when Virgin America existed, I flew it across the country, at night going east to west. The decor, if you never had the privilege of flying with them, was kind of club-ish, and the seat-back entertainment system had all the usual things for the 2000s as well as instant messaging between seats. It's a very Austin Powers vibe.

All the normal humans on this flight board and try to sleep. But I have two guys sitting behind me that are laughing up a storm about something and loud, to the point where at times they get so much of a kick out of whatever is going on that they are clapping their hands, etc. At some point, I walked past them to go to the lav, and when I got back, one of them had IM'd me. I am cordial but boring, and so it doesn't go beyond that. And also, dude, just talk to me.

We finally landed, and we're all walking down the plane aisle. And this woman is standing in a row ahead of us, looking back, and from behind, I hear one of the guys say, "Hey, it was great meeting you..." And it dawns on me that 1) they had just met and 2) they all spent the entire flight IM'ing each other.
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Years ago-----Overnight flight from HNL to SFO. Seated next to a guy who kept talking to me and dropping that he was a 1K on United. He was quite proud of himself. I rarely sleep on planes unless the seats are lie flat which these were not, so no big deal to me that he talked but I just thought it was funny that he wanted me and likely everyone to know he was a 1K. I have zero status on any airline, but due to work, I know quite a few Global Services members--and none are as over the top about it as this guy. Maybe he had just gotten to that status level and was pleased with his "accomplishment"?
 

skinnyfootskis

Angel Diva
Years ago-----Overnight flight from HNL to SFO. Seated next to a guy who kept talking to me and dropping that he was a 1K on United. He was quite proud of himself. I rarely sleep on planes unless the seats are lie flat which these were not, so no big deal to me that he talked but I just thought it was funny that he wanted me and likely everyone to know he was a 1K. I have zero status on any airline, but due to work, I know quite a few Global Services members--and none are as over the top about it as this guy. Maybe he had just gotten to that status level and was pleased with his "accomplishment"?
Or there is a new club? Aka mile high…lol
 

Iwannaski

Angel Diva
I was 25 and had won a trip from work to do whatever I wanted, so I bought myself a golf camp in Scottsdale. Flew SWA on the way down, and was in a middle. The guy next to me kept talking to me about scorpions, even with my headphones on. So I had to pretend to sleep all the way there. Creepy.

Otherwise my most bizarre seat mate was the 1 year old child I brought on board. YOWZA.
 

BlizzardBabe

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Not really a "seat-mate" story, but I was flying on the inaugural People Express Airline flight from Dulles to Montreal. We were headed, ultimately, to Gray Rocks and Tremblant and there were four of us on the plane. I mean there were only four passengers on the entire plane! The three flight attendants busted out the champagne and one of my group fired up his portable cassette player. The pilot or co-pilot offered up a couple of dirty jokes over the comms system. We literally danced in the aisle while in flight. Were the rules that slack in the 80's?? I don't recall much after that . . . I might be lucky to be alive.
 

Amie H

Angel Diva
@BlizzardBabe I'm truly jealous, that sounds amazing.

I was on a very sparsely-booked Northwest Airlines (now part of Delta) flight from Midway to Minneapolis circa 1996. My first "business" flight! It was a 90s tech startup that was kinda broke, thus I had to truck down to MDW to get the cheaper flight. All I recall was:
-The plane was absolutely FREEZING the whole ride and the woman across the row from me was in running shorts, a tank top, and flip flops! :eek:
- The cockpit door latch was broken so the door swung back and for the the whole ride.
- One of our our pilots was female.
- No champagne or dirty jokes or cassette-based jams for us:wink:
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
These are great stories! I've flown a fair amount, although not since 2019! But don't have any funny stories per se. I did get sick during very bad turbulence one time, which was mortifying to me.
I'm flying to Pittsburgh later this month and am not looking forward to it. I've grown to strongly dislike flying. Worst is we have a layover both directions.
 

Amie H

Angel Diva
@contesstant the only negative thing about flying into Pittsburgh is that it's not very close to downtown (if that is your final destination.) It's a pleasant town, and the view driving into town from the airport (if going over the Ft. Pitt bridge) is really delightful. I hope you have a nice visit!

Not unlike skiing, I used to have a lot of anxiety flying. I had an Rx for Xanax specifically for flying.
In the distant past, I'd have my Walkman on, with a cassette cued up to a specific song so when we began to taxi, I'd push play. It was a ritual for me, and took my mind off all the various noises and sensations of a speeding aircraft. This was in my college days, and the aircraft from Chicago (where I went to school) and Philadelphia (home) was usually a gigantic DC-10.

Now I'm on a plane about once a month, it seems, and I have little anxiety no matter the destination or aircraft. I have my little routine of settling in my seat and then doing a crossword puzzle or two before and during takeoff.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, the more you fly, the more comfortable you become with it. That said, travel is still often stressful, especially making connections. In that department, patience is the the thing to be cultivated.
 

Trailside Trixie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I probably have had interesting seatmates. However, I take my xanax, have my bloody mary and spend my flights with my head tucked back in my neck pillow either sleeping, listening to music or watching whatever I've dowloaded on my tablet.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@contesstant the only negative thing about flying into Pittsburgh is that it's not very close to downtown (if that is your final destination.) It's a pleasant town, and the view driving into town from the airport (if going over the Ft. Pitt bridge) is really delightful. I hope you have a nice visit!

Not unlike skiing, I used to have a lot of anxiety flying. I had an Rx for Xanax specifically for flying.
In the distant past, I'd have my Walkman on, with a cassette cued up to a specific song so when we began to taxi, I'd push play. It was a ritual for me, and took my mind off all the various noises and sensations of a speeding aircraft. This was in my college days, and the aircraft from Chicago (where I went to school) and Philadelphia (home) was usually a gigantic DC-10.

Now I'm on a plane about once a month, it seems, and I have little anxiety no matter the destination or aircraft. I have my little routine of settling in my seat and then doing a crossword puzzle or two before and during takeoff.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, the more you fly, the more comfortable you become with it. That said, travel is still often stressful, especially making connections. In that department, patience is the the thing to be cultivated.
We are staying right downtown--traveling there for my daughter's academic decathlon national championship! Hoping to utilize mass transit a bunch since we won't have a car (traveling with 12 kids.)

I don't get nervous about flying, I just think it's a major ass pain! :laughter: I've always gotten grossed out about being crammed into a flying tube with 100s of other people, and since COVID am even more grossed out about the idea. I love sitting by the window seat and watching the passing landscape, especially at take off and landing. But with no seat assignments, I'll probably luck out with a middle seat which will really drive me crazy. Not even sure if I'll get to sit by my daughter. Flying used to be somewhat enjoyable, now it's just them asking for money for stuff that used to be included in the fare, and it is a bit maddening.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
We are staying right downtown--traveling there for my daughter's academic decathlon national championship! Hoping to utilize mass transit a bunch since we won't have a car (traveling with 12 kids.)

I don't get nervous about flying, I just think it's a major ass pain! :laughter: I've always gotten grossed out about being crammed into a flying tube with 100s of other people, and since COVID am even more grossed out about the idea. I love sitting by the window seat and watching the passing landscape, especially at take off and landing. But with no seat assignments, I'll probably luck out with a middle seat which will really drive me crazy. Not even sure if I'll get to sit by my daughter. Flying used to be somewhat enjoyable, now it's just them asking for money for stuff that used to be included in the fare, and it is a bit maddening.
If you're on Southwest, you can pay an extra $20 for early bird and chances are you will get a window seat. I always do that each way as do a bit of flying for travel in the winter on Southwest.
 

Amie H

Angel Diva
@contesstant congratulations to your daughter!

My husband & I still wear masks (and I wipe down my tray table) on planes bc people are gross.

Pittsburgh has a robust bus system. My daughter went to Pitt and lived/worked there a year after graduation. She loved using the busses.

Maybe you'll be seated next to a quirky character you can report about here.:becky:
 

Sheena

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@contesstant congratulations to your daughter!

My husband & I still wear masks (and I wipe down my tray table) on planes bc people are gross.

Pittsburgh has a robust bus system. My daughter went to Pitt and lived/worked there a year after graduation. She loved using the busses.

Maybe you'll be seated next to a quirky character you can report about here.:becky:
I went to Pitt too! The bus system is pretty great! It gets you pretty much wherever you need to go. I lived in Squirrel Hill, so the 61C bus was my friend.
 

Ski Sine Fine

Angel Diva
I used to get airsickness and had to take Dramamine. Then the Air Force decided it just wouldn’t do for an officer to have trouble flying, and sent me on 13+ trips to California and Boston, and capped it off by sticking me in the back of a C-130 Hercules in my Battle Dress Uniform. Goodness, that was loud. Somewhere between time zones, my body decided flying wasn’t so bad after all. I still wear Sea Bands, but turbulence rarely bothers me nowadays.
 

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