You never know who you’ll be seated next to. Picture: Unsplash
You never know who you’ll be seated next to. Picture: Unsplash

What do you do when you’re stuck next to a passenger from hell on a flight

By Gerry Cupido Time of article published May 14, 2021

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Whether you’re on the red-eye flight and all you want to do is catch 40 winks before you land or boarding and gearing up for a long flight, the last thing you need is to have to deal with the annoying passenger seated next to you.

Even though you carefully selected you seat, you just never know who your seatmate will be.

It’s like playing the lotto and hoping that you’ve chosen the winning number.

If you’re lucky, you may get a well behaved seatmate who minds his/her own business and doesn’t hog the armrests or take up the entire space.

You’re lucky if you find a good seatmate. Picture: Unsplash

Sadly those are few and far between.

We’ve all encountered passengers who are simply a nightmare to share a seat with.

The ones who just don’t get the fact that you’re in a small space and sharing it with other people who all want the same thing: To get to your destination in one piece - physically and mentally!

Other than taking deep breathes and remaining calm, here’s how to deal with different offenders.

The chatter box

There are times that you might be in the mood to chat to the person next to you. Especially if they are interesting (or hot) and conversation flows naturally. That, however, is rare. Most of the time you find a chatter box who won’t stop talking about his/her medical problems!

The best way to nip that in the bud is to politely greet, make the usual small talk, and make it clear (in a nice way of course) that you have work to do or need to catch some sleep.

Ear plugs and eye masks are your best defence. They are the solution to pretty much any on board issues.

The chatter box. Picture: Pixabay

The inconsiderate recliner

Everybody understands the need for comfort on a flight but reclining your seat all the way back with no consideration for the person sitting behind you, is downright rude.

It’s especially annoying when you have your tray table down for whatever reason, whether it be for eating, working or simply watching a movie.

The best way to deal with these inconsiderate recliners is to politely ask them to move their seat up. Most of the time the person will oblige...with a grumble of course.

The back kicker/unruly kid/crying baby

Back kicker kids are probably the most annoying passengers to have behind you and the only way to get them off your back is to approach the parent.

Whatever you do, do NOT interact with the child.

Turn to the parent and make them aware of the situation and ask that the child be stopped from doing so.

Most of they time you’ll hear the parent reprimand the kid. There are a few little ones who might need to be reminded a couple of times.

If the parent is however not able to get through to the child, ask the flight attend if it’s possible for you to be moved.

This is something that can resolve many other issues with pesky little passengers.

Especially when it comes to crying babies.

If all else fails, move. Picture: Unsplash

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