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Awkward! I'm on a Plane and Person Next to Me Wants to Talk

Awkward! I'm on a Plane and Person Next to Me Wants to Talk

We've all been there. You're on a plane. You have a long flight ahead of you with some choice reading material and hopefully a few movies to keep you occupied. And then it happens. The person in the adjoining seat starts giving you that vibe that they want to talk . . . and maybe talk and talk and talk. found one such complaint on a site I can't wait to visit: How would you respond to the following awkward situation?

"As soon as the guy beside me sat down in the aisle, I knew he was itching to strike up a conversation. I avoided eye contact like the plague, but he wasn't a master of social cues. I grabbed my book and made the mistake of turning my light on, an action that inspired him to break the ice. Immediately, he was completely facing me, leaning into my seat and asking me questions."

If you have some awkward tales of your own, join our Awkward! group to share etiquette questions and stories with other readers.


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starofsorrow starofsorrow 7 years
That's usually when I put on a completely blank look, and go "Sorry...I'm deaf!" Never failed me yet so far....people tend to go "oh, sorry, sorry" and leave me alone. :)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Lissy, that sounds like a different situation (to me). It sounds kind of like street harassment, which, in my eyes, is even more annoying!
imLissy imLissy 7 years
Why do people think that sharing an elevator or plane means they get to talk to you. We're not going to be life long friends, leave me alone! I was waiting for the train a couple weeks ago and this teenager comes up to me and starts talking to me in Spanish. I told him I don't speak Spanish, but that doesn't stop him. I figured out he wanted to know when the train was going to come (I think) and that he wanted candy and though the gum on the bench was mine. Other than that, four years of Spanish, the only thing I could understand was como se llama followed by a word that sounded like penequin. Anyone have any idea what that means? lol. A bunch of other people came too, but he didn't bother them. Not until a pretty blond sat down at the other bench. She didn't speak Spanish either.
mix-tape mix-tape 7 years
I'm not much of a talker on flights, but it's not really all that bad, is it? You just might learn something new talking to a stranger!
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 7 years
I've met some very nice people on flights. I've also had a lot of flights where I get the screaming kid directly behind me. Yes, it sucks, but they're little and they just don't get it so i really just try to focus on a wordsearch or something. I try to keep in mind a lot of people are nervous about flying and so they get a little chatty. It doesn't really bother me too much. I always bring a warm hoodie, sunglasses and an ipod to block everyone out when I choose to.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I always get the business guy next to me who hits on me and tries to tell me how successful he is...blah, blah, blah - I'm not interested. I try and read or do puzzles but they even talk about that. One guy asked me to race him to see who could finish sudoku faster? Really? Do I need to flash the wedding ring yet another time and say how I'm on my way home to my husband? The Ipod is such a life save - it's those darn first few minutes of taking off when electronics have to be off that the pesky neighbor usually tries to start a conversation.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I don't mind someone who talks for a few minutes. I usually find myself talking to the people around me before taking off and after landing. Not always, but that seems to be the general trend, especially after landing, when most people have their things put away and aren't concentrating on something else.
Studio16 Studio16 7 years
I read in an advice column that the best thing to do is pretend you're on a flight for business and act like everything you do is for business. Kind of hard to explain, but if you wanted to read the book, you could have waited for a lull in the conversation and said, "Well, it was nice talking to you! It's just that I own a bookstore and I need to read this new release by the end of this flight," or find a way to incorporate whatever you want to do into work. Most people are polite enough to equate work with quiet. Just don't say you're an air marshall, because my father's friend tried that years ago and it turned out the guy he was talking to actually was an air marshall. Yeah...he was arrested upon landing.
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
I've been so grateful for the people who talked to me to get my mind off any and all turbulence. (I'm a meteorologist. Some of us are REALLY bad flyers.)
skigurl skigurl 7 years
sometimes i don't mind a little chatter (like 5 minutes) but overall it's like, leave me alone buddy i was on a flight the other day and the guy behind me totally had his seat-partner in a chokehold of conversation about his job and didn't shut up once for about an was RIDICULOUS...the other guy barely said 2 words and wasn't at all egging him on like in what world is it okay to talk non-stop about your own life, unsolicited to strangers?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Just wear a mask like I do. noone will bother you.
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