I am one of those travelers that always tries to book a window or aisle seat in advance or I arrive early to request it. With the first flight it was no issue, but unfortunately the second was fully booked with the only seats remaining being the middle seat in the middle row.
My first flight from Bangkok to Tokyo was amazing; the gentleman who sat beside me was great and the service was really friendly. After a short layover, I boarded my second flight to YVR and was pleasantly surprised to find that I was sitting between a seemingly nice older man and a woman. I even held hope that I would be able to get a little sleep.
As soon as the plane finished boarding I noticed the man to my left was leaning into my seat by 4 inches and that he had a rather strong odor. I ignored it; honestly in the middle seat I don’t really expect an armrest never mind the full seat.
As soon as service started it got worse. The man ate with his elbows extended horizontally out, and though I don’t think he intended to, hit me repeatedly in the ribs, arm and head. I asked politely if he could stop doing that and received no response. After two more attempts I gave up and tried again to relax. Barely had the dinner trays been removed than he was back to bleeding into my seat complete with elbow pushing into my side as well as picking up anything I left on my tray to inspect.
When the FA came to help someone else I asked if they could just get him to move a bit, which they did. I don’t think he actually understood why they moved him; it didn’t matter anyways as 2 minutes go by and he is back to leaning on me.
My final straw was when he fell asleep and his head started to go towards my chest. I asked the FA to move him again and then spent the remainder of my flight nudging him each time he invaded too far into the seat. The FAs on all the JAL flights were great and this was no exception; they checked back several times on both of us.
By the end of the 9 hour flight I was exhausted and so was he. While I understand these flights are packing us in tight, I have reached the point where I refuse to give up more of the space that I paid for than is reasonable.