These days there’s a whole lot of traveling going on. You’ve either recently been on a plane, are currently on a plane, or will be on a plane in the near future. So, you’re more than familiar with the “seating lottery.” You know, those horrible few minutes when you’re sitting in your assigned seat praying you end up next to a Kate Upton look-alike who smells like a vanilla bean, when in reality, you’ll end up next to one of the following people on this list.
Photo credit: Casey Serin, Flickr
This one doesn’t look so bad. But from the minute they sit next you, they decide to tell you their entire life story. Which, no matter where you’re going, happens to last the entire flight and doesn’t contain a single bit of interesting information. Oh, thank you for that 90-minute anecdote about how you used to catch crawfish in the creek behind your house with your Pappy when you were a kid. I guess on the bright side, it beats having to sit through the in-flight showing of Arthur.
Photo credit: eyeliam, Flickr
This jerk also seems harmless when he first sits down. That is until he falls asleep within seconds and stays asleep throughout the duration of the flight. And now you’re trapped... in the window seat. Have to go to the bathroom? Too bad! Unless you feel like playing a game of leapfrog to get there. Hope you have some sort of fetish with complete strangers sleeping next to you with their mouths open and their heads resting on your shoulder. Otherwise, it’s going to be a miserable flight.
Photo credit: BVStarr, Flickr
So you made it safely through the seating lottery. You have two people next to you who really don’t seem to be all that bad. For once, you’re going to have a pleasant flight. That’s when the Battle at Little Armrest begins. This person comes in all shapes and sizes, yet they all feel that their elbow is more deserving of armrest space than yours. Worst case scenario is ending up in a middle seat between two of these pricks and having to spend the flight feeling like you're trapped in a flying coffin.
Photo credit: qmnonic, Flickr
Ready to relax? Too bad. You’ve got a seat next to the most nervous person on the plane. If the sweat dripping off her brow wasn’t a good enough indicator, the multiple pills she throws back as soon as she sits down should do the trick. She’s gripping the armrests with the kind of confidence that says, “This plane is going down for sure.” In fact, the only time she lets go is to cross herself right before takeoff. You better hope the in flight movie isn’t Castaway, otherwise you might have a nervous breakdown on your hands.
Photo credit: epSos.de, Flickr
Alright, so technically this little bastard doesn’t sit next to you. But you’ll find yourself wishing he did since he has chosen the seat in front of him (yours) as a vertical trampoline. His mom is dead asleep, so you try to calm the kid down yourself, but a lack of discipline in his household has made him immune to these attempts. My suggestion? Close your eyes and just pretend you’re in one of those The Sharper Image shiatsu chairs. You know, if those things came with an ADHD setting.
Photo credit: therealbrute, Flickr
You can pretend to focus on that issue of Sky Mall all you want. The Hawaiian print shirt this guy is sporting will grab your attention from the moment he steps on the plane. If that doesn’t do the trick, the obnoxious flip-flopping of his sandals will. When he sits next to you, you’ll notice a pair of the filthiest feet on the planet connected to a pair of hairy legs that single-handedly serve as proof that we are related to primates. The worst part of all is that he has a pair of short shorts on that would make Richard Simmons squeamish. Hope you enjoy climbing over that to get to the bathroom.
Photo credit: patrickwoodward, Flickr
You see this guy coming all the way from the front of the plane. He can barely make his way down the aisle. He’s clipping elbows left and right with his belly and extra arm fat. You begin to rock back and forth in your seat praying he doesn’t cram into the seat directly next to you for the next five hours. But, alas... you get to spend the rest of the flight feeling like a toothpick at the bottom of a bag of marshmallows.
Photo credit: Alex E. Proimos, Flickr
She seems harmless enough. That baby is passed out comfortably on her shoulder. She sits down next to you and all is well. The minute the plane takes off, however, is when the little brat starts bawling its eyes out. The kid sounds like a goat being choked underwater. Good luck getting some shuteye. The crying continues until the minute the plane pulls into the terminal when the kid ultimately passes out again. You would’ve had a more peaceful flight sitting next to Rosemary’s baby.
Photo credit: Christian Haugen, Flickr
This person is way too easy to spot. She’s the one that looks like she should be in an emergency room, not on an airplane. There’s more snot dripping down her nose then a kindergarten boy’s. Her eyes are puffy and resemble Steve Buscemi’s. This is the worst possible person to sit next to because you’re taking this experience off the plane with you. There is no way you’re going to spend an entire flight next to her and not catch whatever it is that she has. Better take a look around and see if there’s an open seat next to a fat guy in short-shorts who is passed out with his mouth open due to his overuse of Xanax, while his wife talks your ear off and hogs the armrest instead of controlling their kid who is kicking your seat from behind you. You’ll hate human beings afterwards, but at least you’ll have your health.
Photo credit: kyle simourd, Flickr
(Previously published on August 8, 2011.)