Have you taken a flight recently? Air travel is increasing in the last few years. A total of 639 million passengers boarded domestic flights in the United States last year, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That’s roughly a 7 million increase in passengers from 2 years before. These numbers show no sign of slowing down either.
So chances are you or someone you know have traveled by plane in the last few years. While the flight itself is a quick and convenient way to travel, the reality of remaining in tight quarters with strangers over a set period of time is sometimes uncomfortable. Normal rules of airplane etiquette are easily forgotten or ignored.
While your chances seem favorable with the number of people flying today, you probably will never have the pleasure of sitting next to these four types of people on a plane.
The Generous Armrest Gifter
Image via Flickr by flossyflotsam
According to a report on CNN.com, the average airline seat pitch (the distance between the back of a seat and the back of the seat behind it) is between 31 to 35 inches. But that space seems to shrink in size the longer your flight lasts (even more so depending on your size). Instead of leaving you battling for that sliver of arm space in between the seats, this person would gladly relinquish the arm rest to you — for the entire flight.
The Old School Book Reader
Electronics such as laptops and tablets, provide great mobile entertainment. But the bulky 15-inch laptop is likely to slide into your chair space, or the wide tablet screen might awkwardly be hard to ignore. Lighting from these screens can also make it difficult to catch some rest during the flight. Instead of leaving you dodging contact with these gadgets, this person would divert himself/herself with a book.
The Cool, Calm, Sleeping Window Seater
Image via Flickr by matthewreid
Even if you’ve booked one of the best flight deals, remaining in tight quarters 30,000 feet above the ground can make even the most patient people anxious and antsy. Often, flyers feel the need to move about the cabin. When these people are seated in window or middle seats, this can quickly turn into a huge climbing expedition, one that leaves you stepped on. However, the cool, calm, collected window seater resists the urge to get up several times during the flight, and even better — sleeps the whole flight.
The Uninterested Silent Type
Noise is amplified in close spaces. There’s no escaping a chatterbox’s inquires of “where are you from?” and “where are you going?” But this person wouldn’t pry or disturb your silence. In fact, this person would remain mute for the duration of the flight, letting you peacefully enjoy the flight movie or a light nap.
If you’re in a hurry to get from Florida to Washington or California to Maine, taking a plane is your best bet of travel. It’s even a good idea to take a plane for shorter distances to beat spiking gas prices and highway traffic. But to make sure you’re in fact sitting with one of these favorable types of people, travel with those who you know. You can book as a group in advance and skip an uncomfortable experience of sitting with strangers next time you fly.