Traveling during a long flight is bad enough, but all it takes is for one person to make the trip excruciatingly painful. Whether they're a disgusting person or just plain rude, odds are they're sitting in the next seat over. There are only so many ways to get revenge on such a person during a plane trip, but the people in these stories still achieved some sweet, sweet revenge. This content has been edited for clarity.
People these days! Content has been edited for clarity.
Everybody Loves Puppets?
“I was flying back from Vegas after an exhausting weekend of late-night work building out a data center facility, and I was glad to be heading home. It was one of those smaller planes with only 2 seats next to the aisle. I plop myself into my window seat, heave a big sigh of relief, and try to relax. A lady quietly sits down next to me. We exchange smiles. Pretty normal so far. No signs of cray-cray.
Then suddenly I hear a voice. A voice not of an adult, but the fake voice of someone trying to talk in a high pitch tone, the sort of sound you do when you’re telling a story to a child while pretending to be the Wicked Witch of the East. I look over at the lady, but she is not looking at me. No eye contact. I look at her hands. There is a puppet, and she’s talking to me THROUGH THE PUPPET. A few minutes go by of me talking to the puppet and glancing between the puppet and her, hoping for her to give eye contact and explain to me how she does puppet shows for a living or something. No such luck. She keeps going for 20 minutes with no end in sight.
At this point, I pretend to be really tired, tell the puppet, ‘Oh boy, I’m totally exhausted from work, gonna get some rest,’ and pretend to go to sleep. For the entire flight! I was not going to engage a puppet in dialogue to ask if I can get by to use the bathroom. At that point, I’d rather pee in my pants. I simply thought she was messing with me as part of some social experiment. I was expecting her camera crew to come out and tell me I was part of some hidden camera show.”
That’d be Mr. Iraq.
My worst passenger I’ll call Mr. Iraq. He wasn’t Iraqi. No, there was another reason why he was Mr. Iraq. You see, he couldn’t stop saying it. And he talked out of his butt. It was a rammed-full flight from Stockholm to Oulu. I was in my window seat as usual. It was all okay, until we got to cruising altitude and levelled off.
The guy in the next seat loosened his seat-belt, leaned over toward the aisle, and ‘EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeRAK!’
The longest, squeakiest, loudest fart you can imagine, followed by the crack of two ample butt-cheeks snapping shut. Dude, really?! It was rancid. It was rank. Man, it was wrong. The seat-back in front of me disappeared in a choking green cloud of WMD. I pounded on the overhead panel, trying to get the oxygen mask to deploy.A minute later, the baby three rows back started screaming. After about quarter of an hour, calm had returned to the cabin when ‘EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeRAK!’ Oh, lord!
And a minute later, the baby three rows back started screaming. No, that’s not a coincidence.
After another quarter of an hour, calm had again returned to the cabin when ‘EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeRAK!’
I glared at him, but he couldn’t see it through the venomous fog. And a minute later, the baby three rows back started screaming. Only now, this baby was angry. I felt in front of me for the in-flight magazine, fanned away what I could. The baby was still griping when ‘EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeRAK!’
I was almost used to the stench by now, and I’d built up an immunity to nerve gas. But a minute later, that poor, poor baby got another dose. It screamed so loudly that it stunned itself into silence for a moment, then tried to turn itself inside out for the remainder of the flight. As did this guy’s butt.
There was no relief, even as we waited to get off the aircraft. ‘EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeRAK!’
Why wasn’t this an exit row?! I had no checked baggage, so I thought I’d beat him out of the terminal at least, but no, he didn’t have any either. Then I saw him heading for the bus to town. The bus to my street.
It cost me $50 for the taxi home, which, at a little over $1 per minute of not sitting in a tin box with that, definitely was well worth it.”
Horrific Flight Karma
“I was on an overnight direct flight from LAX to Moscow. I always ask for a window seat and was elated to have gotten one. I was also extremely happy to have a direct flight – this was my first time flying for business and I had actually never flown direct to Moscow before, because it’s so expensive. My plan was to sleep through the entire flight and wake up refreshed in the morning.
Yeah. That didn’t happen.
A few minutes after I am seated, a large, boisterous group boards the airplane. There are maybe 25 people altogether. They are all in their late fifties or mid-sixties, talking excitedly. I gather that they are flying to Israel by way of Moscow. As they are deciding where to sit, they guide one of the women to the seat right next to me. Then they take their seats a few rows up. This woman seems very nice. We greet each other and I settle in for the flight. I don’t remember who was sitting to her left.
She tells me she is nervous about flying. I try to soothe her and let her know I fly very often and that we will be okay. She smiles at me and begins to tell me about the relative she is visiting in Israel and about her children. I’m very receptive to strangers telling me their stories, so I listen. I do notice that she is often interrupted by violent coughing, so I am a bit concerned about her, but assure her that she will be fine and with her family soon.
After we take off, I fall asleep almost immediately. However, I’m only asleep for about 30 minutes when I feel someone tugging at my sleeve.
‘I haven’t told you about my son,’ the woman says, and launches into a monologue. I do my best to be polite, but at this point I’m a little grumpy. I also notice that she is continuing to cough, but isn’t bothering to cover it. A few flecks of spittle land on my face, since she is leaning in so close. After a particularly bad bout of coughing, I am pretty concerned about her.
‘I’m sorry, ma’am, but are you okay?’ I ask.
‘What? Oh, yes, I’m fine. I mean, I’m really sick. I have a terrible fever. My doctor said I shouldn’t fly, but here I am! I mean, what am I going to do? Change my flight?’
And so began the longest flight of my life.
I would never fault someone for being sick. Heck, I even understand the rationale behind flying sick. Airlines make it really hard to reschedule your flight, even if you’ve lost a limb or are at death’s door. But this woman’s doctor was right – she should have stayed home. She had a raging fever. She was coughing up phlegm uncontrollably. I was torn between compassion and frustration. I really felt bad for her, since she was so sick. But she also seemed to not care at all about how she was impacting others. The flight attendants brought her a mask to wear. She refused to put it on, saying it was uncomfortable. She would blow her nose into a tissue and then drop the mucus crusted mess onto my food tray – during meal service. She refused to take medicine brought over by her friends, who clearly sat her away from them because they didn’t want to take care of her. And she continued to talk to me throughout the flight, leaning into my seat, with her face mere centimeters away from mine.
I thought I could escape her without being rude by going to sleep. But this wasn’t a solution, either. She would wake me up every 20-30 minutes and tell me that she couldn’t sleep, or that she was bored. I helped her find a television show so that she could distract herself, but after a few minutes, she decided she didn’t like it and could not be convinced to watch TV. And most of her topics of conversation were pretty terrible – about how she disliked different ethnic minorities in Israel, about how poorly different passengers on the plane were dressed, etc. However, it is deeply ingrained in me to be polite to the elderly and this woman could have been my grandmother’s age. I could not bring myself to say anything to her, other than to politely disagree whenever she launched into a prejudiced tirade.
Finally, I went to the back of the plane and begged the flight attendants to move me. There were open seats in the back of the plane. The said they could not seat anyone there and offered me some earplugs and a mask. I tried wearing a mask, but the woman insisted that she would wear it instead. She did. For two minutes. The woman eventually fell asleep, snoring loudly. But this paradise did not last long – one of her buddies came over, shook her awake, told her a joke (which made her laugh and then cough uncontrollably, leaning on my shoulder to regain her breath), and moved on to the bathroom.
I arrived in Moscow thoroughly exhausted. Within a couple of days, I was dreadfully sick.
I’m lucky to say that since then, my flight karma has shifted and I have only been seated next to pleasant, wonderful people.”
Choking and Gagging
Dubai to Seattle, business class. The couple in front of me would get up every 30 minutes, get their bag down, pull out a bottle of perfume and a bottle of cologne, spray themselves, and then spray the cabin. Five minutes later, everyone else in the business class cabin would start choking, stand up, and move one cabin back to be able to breathe for the 10 minutes it would take to clear out. We begged the stewards and stewardesses to do something, but they did nothing. Finally, I walked up and asked the people directly, who had been speaking VERY clear English up to that point, ‘Excuse me, could you please stop using perfume. My seatmate has asthma and it keeps activating it.’
Suddenly they could only speak Hindi. No problem, my seatmate spoke Hindi, and she repeated the question. Suddenly they could only speak Urdu. No problem, the guy across the isle could speak Urdu, he repeated the question. Suddenly they could only speak Arabic. No problem. Finally, they yelled at all of us, ‘ALL OF YOU STINK! WE HAVE TO DO THIS TO KEEP FROM GETTING SICK! YOU PEOPLE ARE SO RUDE!’
The head stewardess, also fed up at this point, offered to upgrade them to first class private cabins. The couple refused, ‘THESE ARE OUR SEATS, EVERYONE ELSE CAN MOVE IF THEY HAVE PROBLEMS!’
Thank you Emirates for my ride in first class. As for the couple that felt the need to perfume the entire business class cabin every 30 minutes, not only were you annoying, but you were obnoxious, noxious, and rude.”
“I spent twelve days in Shanghai and surrounding cities in China. It was non-stop travel by car, train, bus, and walking in factories. I was physically and mentally done when my time to return home arrived. I got to Pudong airport with plenty of time to spare. The large homeward-bound flights tend to take extremely long to board in China, and we begin boarding about an hour before scheduled departure.
We were boarded, door closed, and backed out about five feet from the gate and sat in place for two hours. Luckily for me, I fell asleep almost as soon as we were moving and donned my noise-cancelling headphones. Unluckily for me, I woke up 65 minutes later to see we hadn’t moved an inch.
Everyone missed their connections. I asked the agent after customs if my flight was still there, and he told me I had 15 minutes to make it to my gate. I try to book my connections to allow for time. Two trains later and lots of running – no plane, door closed, no agent. I finally get on an Air Alaska flight to Salt Lake City and it is crammed. From there I catch a Delta flight home and I am in the 2nd to last row, in the middle seat of a 2–3–2 configuration. I really don’t care at this point. Delta is going to pay for what they did (and they did).
ENTER THE WORST PERSON.
This stumpy, little bulldog faced woman plops down in the isle seat, sighs loudly, throws her bag to the floor and immediately kicks off her shoes and socks and hoists her legs and feet up on the chair to sit “Indian style”. Whatever, I simply don’t care about anything at this point. I am blurry-eyed, have been awake for 27 hours minus the time I fell asleep at the gate in Shanghai. I fall asleep as soon as we take off. I am in a deep sleep. I feel this pushing on my leg and it sort of blended into my dream somehow. I didn’t open my eyes. I feel it again and this time it is real. I open my eyes, look at the woman doing it to me, lift my headphones and ask why she is poking me.
She commences to state in a very loud, stern voice, ‘I pay for my seat with good money and you shall not touch me and come into my area at all, as I pay for my seat with good money!’
People all around looking now.
I asked her what she was talking about.
She screamed, ‘You touch my leg with your leg! I pay for my seat with good money!’
The flight attendants see and hear this as they serve drinks. They both looked horrified.
I said, ‘Well, I apologize. I mean nothing by it.’
I am 6’3″, I fell asleep, and accidentally touched legs with her … big whoop. This is what she takes great offense by?
She starts opening up these plastic containers with her food, and while I like some Indian dishes, this was not a scent that should have been in a big, enclosed, tight-quartered, metal tube. It was strong, it was unpleasant to smell, and it was equally unpleasant to be in the presence of how she began to feed herself. Uncivilized to say the very least.
I fell back asleep amid the food scent.
Accidentally, the forbidden TLS (touching legs syndrome) happens again. She pokes me again. This time I am not so gracious.
I lost it. ‘Lady, you touch me one more time and I will strangle you with my headphone cord. I don’t care who you tell, I don’t even care if I go to jail. As long as you are dead and gone is all I will care about. Get it?’
The look in my eye said it all. In her eyes, I was dead serious. Of course, she could have called my bluff and I wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on, but I can sound and look really mean so, she took it for what it was worth. Thank goodness.
Just as a pay back, I made sure to get up quite a few times and only went her way making her get up. I actually got up, used the lavatory, sat down and got right back up as soon as she buckled her belt just to make she wasn’t getting to comfortable. I did this three times in a row. A few people around me were laughing as they caught on and heard the conversation from before. I think she got the point, as she started to try to have a conversation when we landed. I wasn’t having it. I said to her, ‘Lady, you were so rude and obnoxious to me just for bumping your leg, and now you want to ask me where I am from and carry a conversation? If you firstly apologized for how you acted I may have answered you.’
Nobody around her was having it either. She was just a nasty, rude person that needs to come down off her high horse.”
“I was flying from DC to San Francisco, a 6-hour flight. I had a window seat. I got to my row, and a nice looking man in his mid thirties was in the aisle seat. As I settled in to my window seat, I was hoping that the middle seat would remain empty, so that this attractive man and I could have a conversation. The flight crew makes the final boarding announcement, and I am happy with my good fortune- an empty seat and an attractive man to (hopefully) talk to!
Not so fast.
An older man, perhaps in his mid-seventies is walking towards us, grumbling. Sure enough, his seat was right next to me. The first thing he announces as he sits down is, ‘I’m just getting over a urinary tract and kidney infection, so I have to pee every half hour or so!’ Not quite sure how to respond to that one, so I didn’t. I think he was trying to get Mr. Good Looking to switch with him so that he could have the aisle seat.
He had that ‘old person’ smell, but stronger than I’ve ever experienced before, even though I’ve worked in a nursing home. He might not be able to help that though, so I can’t really hold it against him. He places his arms squarely on both armrests, leaving Mr. Good Looking and I with no room on the armrest. Again, I decide I can’t hold that against him. He’s in the worst seat, so he deserves both armrests.
Once we’re up in the air, he digs through his bag, and pulls out his meal. A sandwich, some kind of side, and a yogurt. I have never heard anyone eat yogurt so loud! He was slurping it, but then also trying to chew his yogurt? I’m not sure what he was doing, but it was driving me crazy. When he finished his meal, he (loudly) gathered his trash and waved it above our heads to get someone to take it away. I discreetly brushed crumbs off my shoulder, hair and chest, not saying anything because at least his meal was over.
I decided that sleeping would be the best way to make the flight go by faster. I lean my seat back, close my eyes, drift off, and am abruptly awakened by an elbow in my ribs, right below my chest. Now I know plane seats are small, but I’m not a big person. Neither was Old Guy. There was enough room between us that his elbow did not need to be jabbing me. I move closer to the window, start falling asleep and JAB. Again, an elbow in the ribs. He appears to be fast asleep, and his arm slipping off the armrest and hitting me. I turn and face the window, completely squished up to it as closely as I can, with my back to Old Guy. 3 hours left. At this point, I’m taking up maybe 1/3 of my seat. JAB goes his elbow into my lower back. But this time he doesn’t move it. I check, he’s still asleep. I move a bit, hoping that will wake him up. No such luck- his elbow is now resting on my butt. I turn around and gently push his arm away from my butt. He wakes up and asks Mr. Good Looking to let him out to use the bathroom. As he’s walking away, Mr. Good Looking and I share a look and he says, ‘On the bright side, only a few more hours?’ and we both laugh. I decide to use the restroom then too, so that I don’t have to bother both of them again in a bit when I do have to go. When I get back, Old Guy complains about having to get out of his seat for other people. I get back into my seat, face the window, position my purse on the half of the seat between me and Old Guy and close my eyes. A few minutes later, his elbow is resting on my purse (100 times better than my butt or my ribs), so I can sleep for the remainder of the flight.
Once we land he sits there, with his seat belt buckled, effectively trapping me in until everyone ahead of us is walking. Then he unbuckles, stands up, grabs his carry on and grumbles his way to the exit. I let people behind me go ahead, I did not want to be close to him again.
I really don’t think he was trying to be creepy or pervy with his elbow jabbing me in inappropriate places, I think he genuinely fell asleep and his arm slipped off the armrest, but it was still very obnoxious and probably the longest 6 hour flight I’ve ever been on.”
“This guy wasn’t just annoying, he was creepy. In fact, he was beyond creepy. I felt dirty just sitting next to him.
I flew a great deal before I retired, and I always flew First Class. About 20 years ago, I was on a flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco. I was sitting next to a man who was a little younger than me, maybe 40 or so. He struck up a conversation with me, the normal small talk – where are you headed, what kind of work do you do, etc. Then he started talking about his trip to California to see his girlfriend, who he was going to marry.
He proceeded to tell me that they could finally get married because his girlfriend had just turned 18. That was a big turn off, a 40-year-old man and an 18-year-old girl – yuck! Then he started telling me about how she kept herself looking young for him and started showing me pictures. She looked like a twelve-year-old.
I excused myself to go to the lavatory, and stopped in the galley to speak to a flight attendant. She found me a seat back in coach, and the rest of my flight was great.
When I was getting off the plane, she told me that the guy had shown her those same pictures. She was creeped out, too.”
Potty Humor Revenge
“The nastiest person I have ever encountered on a plane was a woman on a flight from Minneapolis to Detroit, on our way home from visiting my brother in Seattle. However, I am a little embarrassed that because her rage was directed toward my son, age 5, and then my parenting. I eventually enjoyed throwing it right back at her. Apparently the flight had originated in Phoenix, and this woman had made herself known to the flight crew before we boarded. We had the audacity to have booked seats this woman clearly thought were hers, so we had to ask the flight attendant to force her to allow my 5-year-old and I to take our seats. When I showed her our tickets, she tried to suggest that we find the only 2 other SEPARATE seats that were open, that we were not ticketed for, as if I was going to let my 5-year-old sit alone.
When we sat down, she glared at my son and said, ‘He better not have an accident,’ and to my son’s credit, he whispered to me that she must not know about kids, because he is 5, and almost all 5 year olds use the potty. He asked me if he could tell her that. I shook my head ‘no’ and hugged him, she glared at me and said, ‘I taught MY children just how RUDE it is to whisper,’ and went on to complain about children these days and younger parents (I was in my 30s at the time).
To avoid modeling a tantrum for my kid, I turned my back and went into his bag to set him up with activities for the flight. The bag was filled with junk; my brother had taken him shopping for the flight home. In Seattle, I was livid that he got my son the ENTIRE “Captain Underpants” lexicon, complete with a singing sound effect button. My son insisted on putting all 8 books in his bag, even though he couldn’t read them yet. Mean-lady-on-the-plane then told me to make sure to keep my son quiet and not to let him make a mess in the seat, and said something about how dirty little boys were.
At that moment, I was about to lose it because I could see tears forming in the corners of his eyes, but instead, I smiled and asked him if he wanted a story. I gleefully started to read Book 1 of this (admittedly gross, potty humor dense) series aloud, with expression and sound effects, for the duration of the flight just loud enough so she, but not everyone else, could hear. My son and I started to ignore the glares, sighs and gasps from the mean-lady-on-the-plane, and I went from being annoyed to grateful about the gift. The flight attendant gave me an extra soda without me asking, and the family in front of us giggled and looked back as I read.
Mean-lady-on-the-plane was horrified, tried to insist that I stop, couldn’t believe that anyone would write this and only a bad mother would read it. After ignoring her for a while, I turned around and politely explained that I told his school I would read to him for at least an hour a day, since he would be missing school, and that any good parent will go to great lengths to foster a love of books and reading. She was about to say something else, but stopped in shock when my son pushed the singing Captain Underpants button with impeccable comedic timing, causing a loud ‘TRA-LA-LA’ to drown her out and pointed to the song in the page. Mean-lady kept going with her disapproving non-verbals, but we ignored her until we reached Detroit. We started Book 2 a few minutes before we landed.
When he did his ‘What I did on my vacation’ writing for school, he actually called her mean-lady-on-the-plane, but he recounted his new favorite book in impressive detail.”
“My wife, kids, and I were flying from Goa to Bangalore. Both the boys wanted window seats only. So we had booked the seats in the same row such that the boys occupied either windows, and my wife and I occupied the either middles. The aisle seats were occupied by two young ladies flying together.
Now, the lady next to me, let’s call her Sally, went to sleep as soon as she sat and belted. Her friend, let’s call her Lara, had put on headphones and was reading all along. Kids made some noise and then had dinner served, and then things went quiet.
About 45 minutes into the flight and 15 minutes after dinner, my elder one sitting next to me says he wants to use the restroom. I say okay and gently try to tap the sleeping Sally to give us way to use the aisle. There’s no response. I say it a bit louder. No response. I say it LOUD now, enough for Lara to hear over her headphones. No response again. I gently prod Sally now along with a loud, ‘Excuse me, my kid needs to use the rest room.’ Nope, no movement. Her friend Lara joins in and calls her now. More of the same. She shakes Sally vigorously now. I’m worried now if Sally is alright. Lara just asks me not to worry and helpfully informs me that her friend is only sleeping. But sleeping like this!
So now I ask my kid if he can wait for sometime, or is it terribly urgent? He says he can manage for some time. So we get talking again, although I see that he is getting uncomfortable. After some 15 more minutes, the pilot announces the flight lands in about 25 minutes and the seat belt signs turn on. I make one final attempt and firmly nudge this lady again. She’s resolutely asleep and her friend is a bit embarrassed now.
Anyhow, the flight lands. Passengers have stood up as soon as the plane stopped. Sally is still sleeping. Finally, when the queue starts moving, Lara softly says, ‘Queue’s moving,’ and lo and behold, Sally wakes up just like that, picks up her stuff, and starts moving. I hear very soft conversation between them and pick up some words. Lara says something about the kid needing to use the rest room and Sally says something about not caring. I’m livid. I have a much bigger problem now of getting a 6-year-old to a restroom fast, as he has already held it in for close to an hour now.
By far, this person was the worst I sat with.”
“My flight was from New York to a city in Texas, and it was going to last three and a half hours. I had the aisle seat. Two women got into the window and middle seats who apparently knew each other; the one in the window seat immediately put on headphones and closed her eyes out of what I now realize was survival instinct. While I normally read a book during a flight, I’ll flip through in-fight magazines at the beginning. This must have been when SkyMall was still a thing, because the woman next to me said, ‘Looking for a Christmas present?’
I said something sort of pleasant and noncommittal. She then said, ‘I bet you’ll think I’m crazy when I tell you what I asked my husband for a Christmas gift.’
I said, ‘Oh, surely not.’
She then says, smiling and yet obviously not joking, ‘I asked for a vaginoplasty!’
Remember, I’ve never spoken to this person before. This is a three and a half hour flight. And we are not yet off the ground.
The next two and a half hours of my life were very, very long. One of the first things this woman chose to tell me about herself was that she has a horrible temper—so much so that she had been thrown out of their NYC hotel because she started a fistfight with the concierge. She explained that he hadn’t been listening to her, which indicated pretty strongly that I had better listen now. She went on to explain—unasked—how her husband was sterile and she thought she would ask her best friend’s husband to be a donor, because she thought that husband would be a great father, but wouldn’t that make her friend jealous? She told me about other people she’d had fistfights with. She explained many ‘horrible’ things about New York, every one of which sounded like perfectly normal rules she didn’t want to deal with, like ‘waiting for the concierge to finish with one guest before asking him your question’. The people in front of us had a toddler in their middle seat, who was mildly fussy—nothing that bad, really. But this woman kept sighing loudly and saying, ‘THIS is why you should sedate children on planes!’
The people would then turn and glare at me.
The high point (or low, depending on your perspective) came when she said that this trip had been the first for which she had to go through the new scanners. She said, ‘That’s how they find things up your butt. Good thing I didn’t have anything up there this time.’
I honestly thought this was a joke until she went on to explain different methods of transporting oxy and the relative sales prices in Houston versus San Antonio. While I have no independent experience to verify any of that, she didn’t seem to be making it up.
After two and a half hours, the headphone-wearing woman in the window seat, who turned out to be this person’s sister, did surface long enough to talk with her for a bit. Immediately I grabbed my book and began reading, hoping to come across as so engrossed that I was unavailable for conversation. This worked to stop her talking, but it obviously made her angry. She kept muttering things under her breath, and from the corner of my eye I could tell she sometimes glared at me. Thankfully I made it off the flight without being punched.
I still take many work trips and expect to for years to come, but I suspect this woman will remain my all-time record holder for ‘worst flight companion.’
“I had a long day at work and had an all-nighter (literally working until 6am), typing up court documents and organizing my files. I was hoping I’d catch some shut-eye on the flight. WRONG!
It’s about a 3-hour flight from Port Moresby to Brisbane. We boarded an hour late, and the airline shifted us from the usual 767 to the 737, which was awful for my claustrophobia, because the seats were jammed close to each other. Anyway I boarded, got the window seat, and was hoping I’d get entire row to myself. Wrong again.
Along comes waltzing this Sheila, who’s no doubt a few years older than me in her late 20s, all wrapped up around this European guy who looked like he was in his 60s. They get settled sitting in the seats in my row and then BOOM! They get on tongue and hand for the entire duration of the safety demo, and then the 3 hours that follow. I have nothing against public display of affection But when you’re trapped in a window seat next to a pervy old bugger who has no problems groping and grabbing at his girlfriend who’s old enough to be his own daughter, you won’t get any sleep at all.
The flight attendants were kind enough to give me pillows and a sleeping mask, but this woman kept elbowing me and kicking my foot, and her innate giggles made me want to elbow her in the face. By the time we got to Brisbane, I had not slept in almost 20 hours and couldn’t drive, so I had to stay in the city for a day then drive to the Gold Coast. Got sick for a few days after.”
Horrifying Secret Screen
“This happened on a flight from Delhi to Kochi this year. He wasn’t sitting ‘next to’ me, thank heavens. But he was sitting diagonally opposite to me on the row in front of me, which was bad enough. It was a 3–3 configuration flight. I was on an aisle seat, and the gentleman I’m talking about was in the middle seat in front of me. So basically, I had full view of this guy and everything that he was doing.
He was wearing a safari suit. He looked like he was in his late 50s, with thinning hair and spectacles. He looked old enough to be one of my friends’ dads. I mean, my natural instinct would be to respect such a person. We were on a morning flight. We hadn’t taken off, and the flight instructions were being announced. I don’t remember why my eyes wandered to the slit between the seats in front of me. Maybe it was the bright light from his phone. But when I looked, I saw the photograph of an Asian girl. I couldn’t read the name (that part was hidden). It was some app I’d never seen before. And this guy was texting her. What I read (I’m embarrassed that I looked into another person’s phone) was something that made my jaw drop.
‘Hi Baby. You look so hottie. Don’t make me sad. Please. I am waiting for you. I am alone now. What are you doing? This dress is too hot.’
I was like… blink blink What?!
Then he closed that screen and opened a long list of names: Julie, Marie, Steffi, Nancy, the list went on. And he opened each one and sent similar messages to all of them.
It was not just one ‘girlfriend’. No. This was what perversion looked like from the ‘giving end’. I have been at the ‘receiving end’ from many such guys. This was the first time I saw how they do it. Probably he had lied to these girls about his age as well. And all through this, he held a straight face and looked like he was sending messages to one of his business clients. Some of the messages he wrote were borderline obscenities. It was 7:30 in the morning, folks. Too early to be in that mood. Anyway, to each his own.
Thankfully, the flight took off soon afterwards. It was a 3-hour flight. From the moment they switched off the seat-belt sign, he started to call the flight attendants for one thing or the other. ‘Water. Pillow. Blanket. Can you close the AC outlet? Do you have newspaper? You don’t have Malayalam newspaper?’ He just wouldn’t stop pressing that darn call button! After receiving more than normal number of calls from one particular seat, I guess they understood. Finally, a male flight attendant came when he pressed the button. After that, his ‘wants’ magically ended!
Breakfast was served. It was just a cheese omelet with some boiled vegetables and a couple of sausages. The guy sat back, took the aluminum container in his hand, took the omelet in his right hand, held it like he was holding a baton and started to eat it, just like that. Full on caveman mode! The cheese was dripping along his hand and he didn’t seem to be bothered. All this occurred while I was sitting behind with my fork and knife, totally unable to eat. Finally, he was done, licked his hand clean, took a handkerchief from his pocket, wiped his hand and mouth, and put the soiled handkerchief back into his pocket!
After about 10 minutes, he took the same kerchief out and tied it on his head. He went to sleep, snoring loudly like a locomotive was stuck in his throat or something. Thank God I had my headphones with me. I played some music and went back to my reading.
When we got down at Kochi, I wanted to see who had come to pick him. It was his driver in a slick uniform. He zipped away in an expensive car, leaving me wondering. No matter how much money people acquire, there are some things that can never be acquired… class being one of them. I wondered if he had grown-up daughters like those girls he was texting, and whether he’ll find it cute if some random middle-aged man were to text them the way he did. I wonder if men who do such things even think like that.”