I loathe flying. The entire experience is miserable, but worst of all is the seatmate lottery.
Five years ago I lost the seatmate lottery in the most spectacular way possible. At first I thought I’d won. I had a window seat in a 2-seat row near the bulkhead on a smallish regional jet. My seatmate was a tiny old lady with a giant purse; she was adorably dressed in a chic and expensive looking suit. She seemed quiet, and had no BO, screaming children or fat rolls invading my space. I leaned on the window and prepared to doze. All was well.
Until the seatbelt sign went off. Within seconds, Quiet Old Lady opened her tray table and pulled a snack out of her giant purse. Well, it would’ve been a snack if you were a house cat. It was a giant can of tuna fish. She ate that entire can of tuna fish, smacking her lips the whole time. As the smell of cheap canned tuna filled the cabin, people began glaring at the oblivious old lady, who was happily slurping up that noxious pap for what seemed like an eternity.
When she finally finished, she reclined her seat, leaving the mostly empty can sitting on the tray table. She was asleep in about two seconds, blasting everyone in a four-row radius with her ghastly old lady tuna breath. The can sat on her tray table for the rest of the flight. The smell permeated everything and everyone on the plane.
Since it was only an hour and a half long flight, the drink trolley went by once, after she’d passed out. I asked them to please throw the can away as I couldn’t get past her, her tray table, or the trolley to get to the trash cans. The FAs refused to take it because they were serving drinks and didn’t have a trash bin on the trolley. Short flight, so they didn’t come back around to collect the trash from drink service. Old lady is still passed out with her tray table down, so any escape route is blocked.
So I sat next to a can of the world’s most inappropriate airplane food for an hour and a half, pinching my nose shut in a desperate attempt to escape this olfactory terrorist and preventing myself from vomiting all over that horrible, horrible woman. She was completely oblivious to all of the stares, grumblings and green faces of her fellow passengers when we finally escaped the smelly hell she’d single-handedly created.