Travel Fails: The Worst People to Sit Next to on a Flight

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Stephanie is a cherished member of the Sampling America writing team, dedicated to crafting captivating narratives that transport readers to thrilling adventures across the country and beyond.

For many people, traveling and flying can be a particularly anxiety-inducing experience. From the turbulence in the air to bumpy descents and tight seating quarters, flying can be a downright miserable experience. However, if you’re extra unlucky, you’ll wind up next to one of these annoying seatmates that’s sure to ruin your entire flying experience.

The Crying Baby

Crying Baby in an Airport
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We all know the feeling: you get settled into your seat with a book or a movie in your headphones, and then a young family sits directly in front or behind you.

Of course, flying is miserable for babies; they don’t understand the feeling of their ears popping, and sitting in a tiny seat with nowhere to move feels restricting.

We can all sympathize with parents with screaming children, but it doesn’t make the experience any less annoying for the rest of the passengers on the plane.

The Toe Nail Clipper

Toe Nail Clipping
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Nothing is more disgusting than seeing someone whip off their shoe and take a nail clipper out of their bag.

An airplane seat is the last place to address those overgrown toes. Finally, personal grooming should be kept in private.

Frequent flyers have reported coming in contact with someone who thinks this behavior is appropriate, but if they’re willing to take out their smelly feet in public, you don’t want to find out what else they might think is okay!

The Drunk Person

Woman Drinking on a Flight
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Many people enjoy a cocktail or a glass of beer at the airport bar before boarding their flight; it can take away the anxiety or help you fall asleep quicker.

However, many people know the annoyance of sitting next to someone without knowing how to hold their liquor; they can be loud or aggressive and even touch you without consent.

Since you’re essentially trapped in your seat, it can feel like a hostage situation when your seatmate has clearly had too much to drink and won’t stop talking or invading your personal space.

The Person Throwing Up

Air Sickness Bag
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No one likes getting sick in public; it’s a nightmare experience and usually winds up being everyone’s most embarrassing moment.

But being next to a person throwing up into a little bag or constantly getting up to use the washroom can also be an extremely annoying experience. The constant smells and disruptions can put a severe cramp in your flying experience.

In this situation, you’re most likely going to be begging for a quick landing. 

The Snoring Man

Man Sleeping on a Plane
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It must be a pleasure to fall asleep instantly on a plane without a care in the world. But when that sleep comes at the expense of all the other passengers, it becomes a huge problem.

Being on a flight, especially an overnight or red-eye flight, and listening to a large man snoring throughout the trip can seriously disrupt your rest and relaxation.

Plane seats are small enough, and sleeping while sitting upright can be a miserable experience; the snoring man just adds an extra level of discomfort.

The Chatty Kathy

People Talking on a Plane
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Polite small talk and asking some quick questions during take-off and landing is considered polite behavior.

However, when your seatmate won’t let you rest, it can be an irritating experience. Many people in this situation will try to pick up a book or put headphones in, but a person who is determined to keep talking with you no matter what will disregard these basic social cues.

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