Australian Capital Territory
22 Jan 2017
Josie of Josie Wanders asked me to answer ten questions as part of the nomination process for the 2017 Liebster Award.
7. Who would you like to sit next to on a flight and why?
Mass murderer Martin Bryant had serious psychological problems and found it difficult to maintain meaningful relationships. He wasn’t a sparkling conversationalist, apparently. After he came into a bit of money, he would book long-distance air travel, just to have someone he could sit beside and talk to for hours on end.
The seatmate from hell.
I’ve not had anyone quite so bad, but I’ve had seatmates who leant against me while sleeping, waged power struggles over the armrest, grabbed my crotch in the middle of the night (we were both asleep, but still, it woke me up in a hurry), snored, and farted., and overflowed their bags into my minuscule foot room.
Once on an overnight train, I sat beside someone suffering some sort of respiratory illness. They wheezed and they gurgled and they snorted all night long and it was horrid. I felt for them, but my own discomfort was also significant.
On the whole, if I’m in Economy, I prefer not to have anybody sitting next to me. Having a little bit more room is gold. If I’m travelling with my wife, I’ll book the window, she’ll book the aisle, and we’ll hope that nobody wants the middle.
When I was at Platinum level, I’d often be allocated a “shadow”, a seat beside me that couldn’t be booked by passengers of lower status. That was handy.
If I have to have a seatmate, I’d prefer a friend or a family member. Someone I can talk with, someone who will coöperate with me, someone I can have a drink with. That’s always pleasant.
Sometimes, very rarely, I’ll run into someone genuinely gregarious. They’ll introduce themselves, chat, find my conversational hot points, and just make themselves a pleasure to sit beside. That’s even nicer because it’s unexpected.
So Lord, give me one of those seatmates.
And may I become more like them.
The Liebster Award: