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Airplanes: where the happiness of your life for the next few hours is determined by some algorithm on an airport computer. Who you randomly end up next to on the plane makes for your flight experience, and we have all had some good times and some bad times with our neighbors in the sky. Here are some stereotypical people you sit next to on the plane that we have all ended up next to at one point or another:
The Kid Whose Headphones are So Loud You Can Literally Sing Along to Them
And he always seems to fall asleep with the music on that loud. I REALLY don’t want to hear your shitty hip hop. Please. Dirty looks will be useless, so the only thing you can do is stick your headphones in too and deal with it.
The Crying Baby/Desperate Parent
You want to do something to help, but you end up with a look on your face that is half sympathetic and half flat out frightened of their screaming child. You’re not sure whether to do something or pretend it isn’t happening and let them deal with it. You feel bad but you also just want to get some damn sleep. Not on this flight, unfortunately.
- Read More: Best Airplane Snacks for Toddlers
The Wide Eyed Young Teenager Traveling Alone for the First Time
They are traveling alone and are usually eager to talk, too. They want to tell you about their life and have a real conversation like an adult. They’re scared but excited, and are about to go buck wild at summer camp without their parents.
The Foreigner Who Doesn’t Speak English
Maybe you make a few attempts to converse, but after being met with a smile and a nod each time, you understand.
The High School Sports Team
SUCH a damn performance to get these kids on the plane. They’re wearing matching sweatshirts and they’re all goofing off and are never paying attention to the desperate attempts of their coach/teacher to control them. They will likely be loud and try to play pranks on friends at the other end of the plane. Good luck.
Should I hit him? I really want to hit him. Maybe I’ll accidentally drop something on him or brush his arm so he wakes up. Is it socially acceptable to wake him up? Surely everyone else is annoyed too… Right?
The Older Person Full of Stories and Advice
They’re older. This person has been through it all, and wants to make sure that you know it. They want to know all about you and your life, and they also want to put their two cents in about the direction you are going with it. They usually try to continue conversation through multiple blatant attempts on your part to end it, such as putting headphones in or looking out the window. Lets just hope your flight isn’t too long… They just might be able to talk the ENTIRE time.
The Young Professional
Briefcase in land, this well groomed young man or woman is on an important business trip and doesn’t have a minute to spare. They are probably on their laptop or tablet the whole time doing some type of important spreadsheets, emails, or other computer stuff, and may have even purchased the inflight wifi. In between squaring away plans for their trip and dealing with clients, you may be able to talk to them a bit about their interesting and busy life.
-This ambitious young adult is usually wearing clothes that some may classify as hippie, and may or may not have showered in the last 24 hours. They’re accumulating stamps on their passport and will definitely have interesting stories, a tight budget, and an inflatable neck pillow.
The Frantic Big Family Who Almost Missed the Flight
Stop crying, Adam. Christopher, do NOT talk to me like that. These parents are juggling multiple children, their bags, their demands regarding food and drink, and also bickering with each other. Nothing like a good old family vacation, right?
If you can relate to these people you sit next to on the plane, pin this to your Pinterest boards!
The Smelly Person
This is one of the worst kinds of people you sit next to on the plane, and there’s not much you can do to fix it. This person’s odor periodically finds a way to waft into your nostrils and make your nose hairs recoil in fright. Hopefully you have a window seat so you can lean away! It usually gets better with time because you get used to the smell, which is debatably a good or bad thing. Isn’t it common courtesy to shower before a long plane ride?
Excluding some really famous people who take private jets, there is always the possibility of getting a famous person on your flight. Some are down to earth and fly coach, and others will be doing their own thing in first class. Depending again on their level of self-obsession, celebrities may have a great conversation with you, or ignore your existence completely.
The Person Who Uses the Reading Light the Whole Red Eye
You’ve tried covering your eyes with a scarf, shirt, and finally a thick jacket to block out this person’s selfish light. It’s literally going on 3:30am. Can’t you take a hint that I want to sleep? This person has no regard for your beauty sleep simply because they want to read. Thanks.
The First Time Flyer/Anxious Flyer
First-time flyers are another stressful kind of people you sit next to on the plane. Whether really flying for the first time or just terrified of airplanes, these people will somehow be able to involve you in the stressful ordeal they make of flying. Needing the windows to be shut, having frantic anxiety episodes, and practicing strange meditation routines are just a few things flight-o-phobes may do.
The One Who Legitimately Does Not Shut Up
Do you have an off button? This person will tell you their entire life story and ask you questions about yours… kinda like the advice-giving older person, but worse. Each time you try to settle down the conversation and open a book or turn on your computer, the rambler does’t get it and will simply keep asking more questions to keep the convo going. Hopefully your flight is short next to this person, because sometimes its impossible to get a moment of silence.
If you weren’t aware of your single-ness, you are now. Being in a three seat row with these two is a slightly awkward situation, whether they are a newly married couple (hope not) or just some love birds heading off on vacation together. Just bury your face in your book or fall asleep, and it shouldn’t be as depressing.
Nooooooo! Get your germs away from me! This person cannot seem to stop sniffling, and may also sneeze, cough, or have other unfortunate signs of illness. And you were lucky enough to sit next to them for hours on end! Keep your distance as much as you can, and pray that they are considerate as well.
It looks like most people have settled in; there are a few more people boarding… And, oh my god, could it be true?! You have an empty seat next to you!! Hell yeah! Armrest up, legs up, head back, and time to enjoy your extra room.