1. The Sleeper:
Theoretically, the Sleeper is the ideal seatmate – quiet, still, not over-sharing their personal life while you try to read your magazine – but in reality they’re one of the worst passengers to be seated next to. If they’re not in the aisle seat blocking your path to the bathroom, they’re pulling the window shade down, blocking the view. If they’re not leaning or drooling on your shoulder, they’re over-sharing their personal life as they talk in their sleep. If they’re not actually asleep, they’re trying to fall asleep…wiggling and adjusting and re-rolling their sweatshirt to use as a pillow. Invest in a pencil and, for your own sake, poke them into consciousness.
2. The Talker:
There is a time and a place to speak to complete strangers. Take speed dating, for instance: it is expected that you will talk to strangers, and they will talk to you. But on an airplane? I’ve always thought that hours seated in a tin can whizzing through the air should be spent catching up on sleep, trashy magazines, and movies too annoying to justify the price of a movie ticket. So, mister I Need To Talk Constantly For The Entire SFO-to-Laguardia Flight: I don’t need what you’re selling. I don’t care about your wife’s genius business idea. Your son is NOT perfect for me. Your childhood does not interest me in the slightest. So instead of divulging far too much information to me, fill your mouth with some peanuts. Or at least a breath mint.
3. The Self-Groomer:
We get it, you’re a busy person, and sometimes you don’t have the time to really sit down, give yourself a once over and make sure you look your best. You’re constantly on the go, so what better time to pluck your eyebrows/clip your toenails/pick at those imperfections on your face/clean your ears than while stuck on an eight-hour flight? Please, for the sake of the rest of us, limit this behavior to the comforts of your own private bathroom. The airplane food is bad enough as it is, we don’t need flying toenail clippings to make the experience any more unappetizing.
4. The Lecherous Traveler or It’s-never-a-bad-time-to-find-a-date Person:
It’s the slightly older man who asks if you have a boyfriend. And then calls you “doll.” It’s the woman who wrestles her carry-on into the storage bin just a little too provocatively. It’s the person who suddenly leans across the aisle and says, “My friends and I are heading out to ____ bar tonight, and you should totally meet up with us. Here’s my number…” It’s the cleavage shot and a breathy “I brought you the whole can of soda” murmured by the flight attendant. It’s the person who hits on you just enough to make you feel uncomfortable for the entire flight.
5. The Politico:
We at NileGuide whole heartedly encourage everyone to be politically active in your free time, no matter what your cause. Vote, volunteer, canvass door-to-door, write a blog! But guess what – If you’re sitting next to us on a six-hour flight to Newark we don’t care. I am sure you’re a lovely, well-rounded and informed individual, but we won’t care. We don’t mean to offend you, as we’re sure your conspiracy theories about [insert opposite political mindest here] are trés incroyable and most likely make your family Thanksgiving the best EVER, but if I’m hunkering down in my seat after downing my Mini bottle of Merlot, Sky Rest Travel Pillow planted firmly beneath half of my face, I’d rather not debate you on the merits of Health Care, Communism, or how everyone but you is a fascist. I’d rather be snoozing my way to the next runway.
6. The Tobacco Enthusiast:
It goes without saying that sitting next to someone who just finished their final pre-flight Camel can be unpleasant at best – stale cigarette smoke in a closed environment at 35,000 feet is about as unpleasant as it gets. If you must smoke pre-flight, do it outside before security if you can, those endangered smoking lounges will only concentrate the stench in your pores. Please note: if you attempt to go the smokeless route in order to get your nicotine fix, please know you won’t go unnoticed. Someone tell Dante – getting stuck between the window and a very large man spitting dribbly chew into a battered Diet Coke Can is the 21st Century Ninth Circle of Hell.
7. The Fragrant Flier:
A whiff of a forgotten cologne of yore can make you weak in the knees, the familiar scent of a loved one can lull you into sleep. A gallon of Britney Spears’s latest olfactory odyssey, or someone who’s forgotten to take their monthly shower can ruin a plane flight and sometimes your vacation. One of the most powerful senses, scent can transport you, or make you want to run for the exits… mid flight. A note to anyone concerned about their nose presence, do the ol’ smell check before you get on board. If you can notice it, you can bet your seatmate, the Flight Attendant, even the Pilot can smell you across the tarmac.
8. The PDA Couple:
I have a few questions for you newlyweds snogging in Row 17, seats A, B, and spilling into C (which happens to be my assigned seat). Did you used to be the type of little kids who take off their clothes in public? Do your lips suffer from chafing to the point that you need prescription-strength chapstick? And when you were both in the same lavatory half an hour ago- and an hour ago- how did you fit in there? Do you go on special diets to make sure you both can fit in that tiny space? I don’t want to think about what happens in there, and how creative you have to be to make it work. Can you please just wait until we land and you get to your hotel?
9. The Phlegm Monster:
Few noises are more disgusting than the snorking and sniffling of mucus from the sinuses down through the nasal passage and the expulsion of said mucus from the mouth. Add in some hacking and sneezing, and no one wants to be within a ten-foot radius of the The Phlegm Monster, let alone in the seat two inches away. If you’re that sick, should you really be on the plane, expelling germs into the already recycled, stale air? At the very least, head to the lavatory to hock a loogie. And take some Sudafed!
10. The Space Hog:
The secret battle for the armrests is an age old flying challenge. Generally, it’s the early-bird-gets-the-worm scenario or the let’s-be-civilized-and-share instinct that keeps the battle at bay. But, every so often, you have the unfortunate experience of sitting next to the aggressive space hog – the person who jams their elbows back in the seat back and lays claim to both the left and right armrests AND extends their legs and feet into your meager seat and floor space. Throw in a pair of legs from behind stretching into your floor space, and you’re really in trouble. Please, for the rest of us, think about the teeny tiny boxes we’re all trying to fit our limbs into. Don’t make the process any harder!
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