Cabin Fever: 12 People Who Can Ruin Your Long Flight Experience
Long flights are already a test of patience for some, but sitting next to the right person can make all the difference. Recently, an online forum discussed the types of people who can ruin a long flight experience.
From the armrest hog to the family with the crying child, these are the testing passengers we’ve all encountered at some point. How many of these characters have you confronted while traveling?
1. The Frequent Bathroom-Goer
This is especially annoying if you’re an aisle sitter, as every time your neighbor needs the bathroom, you have to get up too. It gets worse on a long flight if you’ve already fallen asleep. Granted, anyone having to wake a fellow passenger up to pass is probably desperate. But either way, this is one type of company we hope we don’t have to keep.
2. The Honeymoon Couple
Congratulations on getting married, but please don’t be that couple! You know, the pair who are all over each other for the duration of the flight and completely unaware (or careless) of making others uncomfortable. I once encountered a couple where the woman kept putting her tongue in her husband’s ear. No, thank you!
3. The Smelly Person
Personal hygiene is paramount on long flights. Unfortunately, only some know this. “I once sat next to a man who smelled terrible – like a zoo animal,” one unlucky traveler reveals. “He was wearing a suit and tie, was visibly nervous, and had sweat dripping down his face.”
“The only item he was carrying was a Bible that he occasionally looked at during the 4-5 hour flight.” Apparently, not even a good book can keep evil smells away. I guess he was really nervous.
4. The Large Person
There are few things worse than somebody encroaching on your personal space – odds are, you’ve been sat next to an extra-large-sized person on at least one flight. “One of my best friends is 6’6,” 250 pounds, not fat, and about three feet wide at the shoulders,” says one man. “Sitting next to him sucks. It’s like sitting beside Rob Gronkowski.”
Don’t worry, I’m sure he feels the same. He has no space!
5. The Chatty Person
I appreciate a good conversation as much as anyone, but during a long flight, I’d instead catch up on some sleep – or at the very least, get some work done. An overly talkative person is a nightmare for somebody who isn’t using the flight as an excuse to extend their social circle.
Always bring headphones so you have a way to escape!
6. The Sick Person
In today’s day and age, it’s understandable that anyone will second-guess sitting net to a sick person during a long flight. “Sat next to a woman who coughed the entire flight and wouldn’t wear a mask. Fast forward three days later, and I find out I contracted Covid-19. Of course.”
7. The Accidental Snuggler
Invading your personal space and assuming control of the shared armrest is one thing, but straight-up snuggling with a stranger is entirely different. Some people have no sense of control. “I woke up three times during that flight with him dead asleep on my shoulder and ‘snuggling’ with my arm – as in, his hand in my armpit.
The fact that he was a heavy sleeper (I pushed him off me all three times, and it didn’t even impact his sleep in the least) probably made things even worse for me.” This is a nightmare scenario for many travelers.
Has this happened to you?
8. The Armrest Hog
Although there are no written rules on airplane armrest etiquette, sitting next to somebody who commandeers every armrest in sight can be unnerving. But sharing is caring, after all; a little communication goes a long way in this situation.
Excuse me, can we share?
9. The Crying Child
While nobody is envious of the parents who frantically try to subdue a crying child, sitting next to the crying child is a colossal pain. A feeling of general helplessness overcomes countless travelers as they are left at the mercy of a tiny human who cannot stop making noise.
Good luck out there, parents.
10. The Headphone-Less Person
Although this seems like a trait exclusively owned by millennials, sitting next to somebody who doesn’t understand what headphones are is frustrating. Newsflash, travelers: nobody wants to hear the music you’re listening to. “Once I was on a flight where the guy in the row next to me was playing music out loud from his phone,” one woman confesses. “It wasn’t that loud, but still highly annoying. It took the flight attendants an hour to say anything to him.”
11. The Nail Clipper
The nail clipper may be the most offensive on this list. I don’t know what it is about long flights, but on multiple occasions, I’ve witnessed my neighbor brazenly take out nail clippers and go to town on their fingers. It was disgusting, and I’m thankful their feet never became involved.
12. The Seat Switcher
Although seat switchers mean well, sitting next to somebody who wants to swap seats with you is understandably frustrating. After all, you most likely paid extra to sit in your specific aisle or window seat, and the poor sap in the middle seat is grasping at straws, often with a sob story attached about how he wants to sit closer to his significant other. To put it plainly: nobody likes sitting next to this person!
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Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.