How To Sit On An Airplane

plane.jpgI feel like every time I board a plane my biggest fear isn’t the plane crashing or falling, but it’s the person I will be sitting next to. Anyone with me?! This morning was an early one, and I was hoping for a good neighbor that was hopefully smaller, with no carry-on baggage and a travel pillow so they weren’t bumping into my shoulders. Is that too much to ask for? yes. I know it is, but I was hopeful. Luckily, I met a guy in the security line that was kind enough to save me a window seat, but since he took the aisle we were going to get a middle seat neighbor at any moment.

My new friend said the key is making eye contact with a small person, which makes sense, but I have a thing about looking at people boarding the plane. I don’t exactly want to invite them in to chatting with me for the next 5 hours, so I would rather look out the window or read a book while they are boarding. Eventually all of the other seats filled up, and while I didn’t get a particularly small person next to me, I did get a totally understanding person when it came to me accidentally bumping into him. I don’t exactly think this is my fault though because he was easily 6’5 and probably either played football or was in the army because his arms were huge. Again, not a bad thing but he wasn’t small. This situation got me thinking, was I being a bad airplane neighbor even though it clearly wasn’t my fault that his arms were so bulked up.

As I thought about this I debated other ways to be a good rider on a plane. Here are a few of my ideas to be kind to your neighbors

You want to have as little baggage as possible. This is pretty obvious, but nobody wants to be the person hitting everyone as they walk down the aisle with you drag a wheeled bag and carry a huge oversized “purse”. Ya know the one that is actually as big if not bigger than the suitcase you are pulling.

Don’t fall asleep on your neighbor. This is a given, but really, justdon’t. I have had this happen a few times and I feel too bad to say anything to the napper.

If you’re wearing Toms, Vans or any type of closed shoe DO NOT take them off. There is a 99% chance your feet smell and it will cause everyone to give you death stares.

Wear headphones. If you are listening to music, watching a movie or anything else that produces noise don’t make everyone else listen to it along with you. 9 out of 10 times others don’t want to hear it.

Last but not least because I am sure there are tons of other airplane neighbor errors in judgement, don’t give your baby hard toys. I know parents want to keep their babies quiet on a plane, and I know it’s basically impossible to keep them calm for a long plane ride, but please don’t give them a rock solid toy that they will throw at my face. ย I am sure there are other options for toys, like a stuffed animal or a blanket.

Do you have any other airplane neighbor pet peeves?



12 thoughts on “How To Sit On An Airplane

  1. All so true! My belief is that air travel brings either the best or the worst out of people, that includes everyone, babies, teenagers, adults, (even flight attendants sometimes). I always try to be a good neighbour too. I always have my things prepared so I don’t stop the aisle traffic and so I don’t get up five times and annoy my neighbours. I also try not to make small talk too much. I just like to read and really want to relax before the plane takes off (I’m always stressed out at the take off). I’m a very introverted person, but I always end up making friends with the people sitting next to me – a man working for a hot air balloon festival in South America, a professor from Georgetown, a woman who attended the university I’m about to enter. I find it fascinating! But I usually wait a little bit for it to just happen naturally ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I also find myself talking to others and getting to know them, but not right at the start of a flight. The take off isn’t a big deal to me, I would just rather relax and distress before I start talking to my neighbors.

  2. I love this post so much! I always hate when I have to bring a rolling carry on because i have zero upper body strength and always have to enlist someone else to help me get it into the overhead bin. But checked bag fees are expensive! SO i don’t feel that bad…haha

    • hahah I am the SAME way!! I can never lift my bags, luckily I have already annoyed the person behind me once I start trying to lift it and they just do it for me. Itโ€™s not my fault I am weak! lol

  3. I love this! I was just in Alaska and I changed my seat on a nearly empty late-night flight just so I could have some NOT sitting next to me. Why the person that would have been next to me bought that ticket (because that plane had no one on it), I will never understand.

  4. Hahaha. I became a lot more understanding of airplane neighbors when I became a mom and started flying with kiddos. Totally understand the hard toy thing – and honestly, I try to keep toys to a minimum. The fewer projectiles in the hands of confined littles, the better. I love flying southwest, because I can gauge who we sit by when boarding, rather than having to say a prayer when we select seats at booking. I can’t help but have a lot of carryons, though, since I am traveling with littles, but I do try to be courteous. I wait for my neighbor to strike up conversation, because I never know if they’ll want to engage with my kids or not ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I try to limit the need for bathroom breaks as much as possible (though with a 4 year old, that’s a bit tricky). Then again – now that all 4 of us need plane tickets, we just drive everywhere ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • When I traveled with my family we always sat in different areas and each took a child. My brothers are now 6, 9 & 11 but when they were younger it was crazy hectic. Breaking them up was the only thing that somewhat helped. With prices these days though, we drive for family vacations lol

  5. I had a two hour flight a few weeks ago and the couple behind me fell asleep leaving their toddler to climb all over my chair and pull my hair.
    My anger levels were rising haha. If you have a little child, stay awake for the two hours and take responsibility for them!!

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