There’s always going to be that one person on the plane you can’t stand sitting next to. We have all been there before — crammed like sardines against an annoying airline passenger who can make your life a living hell.
Even if you’re lucky enough to fly with an airline that lets you preselect your seat, you can’t escape the passenger lottery. There’s no way to guarantee who you will sit next to. Maybe it’ll be the man of your dreams, and a delightful rom-com plot will ensue. But more than likely, it will be one of these weirdos.
1. Chatty Cathy
We’ve all sat next to her before, and bless her heart, she can’t seem to help herself. “We’re in the air! Isn’t it scary? Let’s talk about all of our hopes and dreams!” she insists. This broad is hard to shake. Like a mid-2000s Pussycat Dolls song, she is going to “stickwitu” the whole flight long.
2. Debbie Downer
Debbie Downer doesn’t talk as much as her Chatty Cathy counterpart, but when she does, it’s a doozy. “Did you know that the odds of everyone on this plane getting Ebola are roughly 100 percent?” Pro tip: Bring earplugs and practice your sleep face.
3. Sneezy McSneezerton
I know you can’t help that you have a cold, and I can’t help who I’m seated next to. At the very least, for the love of God, please cover your mouth when you cough and go to the restroom to blow the foghorn that is your nose.
4. The smelly guy
I am in no way body-odor shaming because I know that many times it can’t be helped. But what can be helped is swimming in a sea of Axe body spray before boarding a plane. Call me crazy, but there’s something about the smell of Drakkar in a pressurized cabin at 30,000 feet that makes me want to yak.
5. The snuggler
Dude, seriously. Stop. That’s what the $40 airport gift shop neck pillows are for.
6. The part-time DJ
I like house music as much as the next girl (usually at two in the morning when I’ve had way too much to drink), but I have three words for you, Calvin Harris super-fan in seat B: noise canceling headphones.
7. The passive-aggressive armrester
This large-armed or pointy-elbowed person may apologize profusely for constantly bumping your arm on the armrest, but the message is clear: He or she owns this valuable piece of commercial real estate and doesn’t plan to vacate anytime soon.
8. The lady with the baby
I’m a parent now, so I try to stay compassionate — even when I’m seated next to a fussy baby or a cranky toddler who can’t be calmed throughout a two-hour flight. I get it. It sucks. But I’m still not that excited about sitting next to you.
9. The noisy eater
This airplane companion is perhaps the worst offender of all because noisy, messy eating is something you can help. Eat before you get on the plane. Munch quietly on chips like a baby deer nibbling on grass. Refrain from passing any bodily gases into the recycled air, and we’ll get along just fine.