Best Seat Mate?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by CharlesG, Feb 22, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    I hope this is the right forum section for this...

    A thread in this section discussed how to avoid/deal with smelly/loud/large etc. seat mates-- basically anyone unpleasant to sit next to. I think we've all had good seat mates at times-- people who were considerate, kept to themselves, had a good sense of flight etiquette, but has anyone had a really great seatmate? Someone you didn't know prior to that flight, whose company you really enjoyed, and whose presence enhanced your trip? I don't think I ever have, although I did once sit next to a guy who was starting a frequent flyer site for Australian business travelers, and we had a very interesting conversation during our flight. My sister-in-law had the best seat mate-- they hit it off so well, they're now married! Just wondering if there are any good/fun stories to balance out the all-too-common 9it seems) bad ones (my apologies if there is a thread like this already!).
     
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  2. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    bit of a disconnect here, one can't know if their seatmate is worthwhile if they keep to themselves.;)
     
  3. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    I do remember one guy fondly from maybe 25 years ago. Not that we became friends, but his story was entertaining.

    Transcon - I think I had been visiting colleges, or maybe flying home from college during a break. So we had a while to talk.

    We were about the same age, but with totally different life stories. I was basically a penniless college student, and he was a high school grad who had some basic job earning a pretty small hourly wage. Lived at home, and spent ALL of his money on cars. And then some.

    He would trade out his customized Honda Accord each year for the next. He fully described the finances in the situation - how little it cost him relatively to trade-up each time. And those numbers seemed nuts to me then, and still seem nuts to me now. He had credit card debt already at a pretty young age.

    But he was SO enthusiastic about his cars. He just glowed talking about them. Financially, I knew he was a disaster, but I admired his passion.
     
  4. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    One more - a Chinese woman on her first trip to the US. Another transcon. She sat in a row with me and my (then) pre-teen daughter. She thought my daughter was my wife, and couldn't believe that my daughter was, in fact, much younger than she herself was. Beyond that, she taught us a few card games, and in the end, it felt like a quick flight for all three of us. Of course, my daughter was supremely flattered. The time will come where she'll want to look younger . . .
     
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  5. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    Point taken! :) What I was trying to say is that a 'good' seat mate is one who is generally polite, quiet, considerate... they are worthwhile in and of themselves in that they do not detract from your flight experience, but perhaps don't add anything extra to it. I am trying to find out what makes a seat mate 'great'.
     
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  6. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    unless in some sort of negative mood, I'd say a good seatmate is one that mirrors your own mood at the time, if I'm chatty, they'd be chatty, if I feel like drinking, they'd be drinking, I'm in a business mode, they are in a business mode, etc.

    I'm not sure I've had a 'great' seatmate w/the exception of Mrs Sweet Willie and even then......

    JUST KIDDING HONEY !!
     
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  7. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    LOL! I don't know Mrs. Sweet Willie, but I'd watch that kind of talk! ;)
     
  8. platinumTA

    platinumTA Member

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    The best seat mates I had were on the two segments for smd3. I had a center seat in the back between two men and it was one of the most pleasant experiences sitting between well seasoned fliers. Nobody was hogging up the arm rests. The overhead bins from row 1 all the way to the last row were a picture of perfection with every single roller board in the correct direction. The flight was a blast and sitting in that center seat didn't feel like being in the middle seat one would normally experience .
     
  9. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    I'm sure a flight filled with attendees for a mega do would yield some truly awesome seat mates!
     
  10. platinumTA

    platinumTA Member

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    I just got off the UA bkk-nrt flight in the back and lucked out with two great women in the emergency row. Connected onto the CO flight from nrt-ewr flight in BF and lucked out with a ver nice, quiet Japanese woman. Sitting on an Amtrak train en route to DC right now with nobody next to me.
     
  11. nova

    nova Silver Member

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    the closest ive had to a good seatmate was the five year old who sat next to me on a northwest flight from memphis to lax about 6 years ago. kid must have been tired cuz he zonked out before we left the gate and stayed that way so that he was carried off the plane at arrival. nice and quiet and more room to spread out...
     
  12. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    sounds like our obsession with miles!
     
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  13. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Yeah - I guess so. Except that ours would hopefully be profitable, or at least money saving.
     
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  14. javacodeguy

    javacodeguy Gold Member

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    A good seatmate is a person that fits in their seat and doesn't bother too much to get out, since I'm 99% of the time in the aisle.

    My favorite seatmates are those that are socially aware though. Too many times I sit by someone who starts talking and just won't stop. I feel rude just throwing my headphones on and stopping the conversation. So, my favorite are the people who want to talk some, but then let me go do my own thing. Some chatter during the meal is nice and then being aware enough to let us both go watch our movie, read or sleep is what my best seatmate will do.
     
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  15. upgrade

    upgrade Gold Member

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    This. Unlike the bore/boor who can be avoided in the workplace or at a party, the socially inept seatmate is there for the long haul.:rolleyes:
     
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  16. southender
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    southender Silver Member

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    are the walls in the rearmost J seats on AC long haul- my own 'ghetto suite in the sky'!
    Given the cabin noise, wealth of entertainment options (on board, brought on board) and lack of BBerry urgent messages, I have come to view my seat on board as an oasis away from contact. except the FA...
    Now, lounge/boarding gate conversations and interesting folks- that is a thread that would offer some eye openers!
     
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  17. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    Start that thread up! I'd love to hear some of those stories! ;)
     
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  18. katstarr

    katstarr Gold Member

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    I was the best seatmate on SMD3 (well- the guy next to me was the best seatmate - I was second best!)
     
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  19. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    One thing I always do, in the interest of being a good seat mate is offer the other person some of my gum as we take off and prepare for landing, if they don't have any of their own.

    Also, I find that if I am seated next to an attractive woman, I tend not to interact at all, as I do not want her to think I am hitting on her (I am happily married, thank you very much!). I'm not rude, just not demonstratively friendly. And when I honestly think about it, I am that way with most women I sit next to-- just hyper-aware that they don't feel uncomfortable. Is that weird? Anyone else act that way? Do any women have an opinion?

    The exception are women my Grandma's age. Then I always try openly to be my friendliest, most charming self.
     
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  20. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    some would say the best seatmate:D
     
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  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Same here. Of course, I'd probably otherwise get an elbow from the other side where my wife's sitting. :D

    I tend to be quiet. I say hi when I take my seat or when the neighbor arrives, and if he/she wants to make a bit of small talk, I am okay with that. If I am in the aisle and it's a long haul coach flight, I tend to also tell the person(s) next to me to not hesitate to wake me up or let me know when they need to get up.

    Rarely have I encountered people who talked too much, and certainly you're not at risk if you sit next to me.
     
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  22. jwsky
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    jwsky Silver Member

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    I once had a ten year old boy sit next to me. His family was elswhere on the plane. My first thought was Oh NO! But it was great. We played cards and some games. He was a very well mannered and friendly kid. It was a bonus for both of us, I think.
     
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  23. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    Wow! Two posts about great sitting next to kids experiences! That is one of my greatest fears, so I'm glad to know it sometimes works out!
     
  24. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    or we think 'the experience' is profitable! Just like, your seat mate thought.. The only difference is, he accrued credit card debt, which we don't :)
     

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