I 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, just don’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. 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?