Seat Becomes A Punching Bag

November 5, 2007

in Seat Stories

I was flying back to the U.S. after a vacation in Germany. I knew I was in trouble from the very start when I found my seat and realized that the seat pocket in front of me had six magazines in it. I look over and the elderly man sitting next to me and his wife sitting next to him have no magazines whatsoever and are studiously avoiding looking at me. OK, whatever, I just stashed all the magazines in the overhead bins.

Then the flight attendant comes on to make announcements. Of course, this is an international flight so after making her announcements in English, she proceeds to repeat them in German. The guy starts huffing and complaining that he’s sick of hearing that damn German gibberish already! Uh-oh, I’m thinking. But the fun had only just begun. He proceeds to order two double scotches as soon as humanly possible and downs them in nothing flat. Then the woman in front of him tries to recline her seat. He plants his feet and presses with his fists against her seat with all of his might (of course he had HIS seat reclined as far back as possible). She looks back to see if something is wrong and he pretends that nothing happened! Shortly, he fails to remain vigilant and she manages to recline her seat a little…so he starts punching the seat! As hard as he could, he punched the seat in front of him. The poor woman was going to get whiplash.

I’m watching this in total disbelief. His wife is just sitting there reading. Finally I could take no more. I said to him “You know, that’s really RUDE!” He looks at me and says, “Wha-?,” and I said, “What you’re doing is REALLY RUDE!” Well that took the wind out of his sails. He kind of stammered and then sat quietly for the rest of the flight. I looked over and I swear his wife was smirking into her magazine. Did I mention that this guy was about 50 years older than me? He was the worst child I have ever had to sit next to during a flight!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

paul July 8, 2008 at 12:04 pm

laugh.. i just posted the same story that happend to me.. classic.

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GenXer July 16, 2008 at 8:42 am

Worst child… LOL

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Kiki April 2, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Finally! A terrible flight story here. That guy was a horrid bully. I hope the woman in front of his thanked you. What a jerk!

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blinkingblythe April 3, 2009 at 12:48 am

I wonder if the seatbanger could be charged with assault?

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jose April 3, 2009 at 8:27 am

what's with the first paragraph about the magazines? were they yours? were you afraid they would ask to borrow your magazines? is it bad to have six magazines in the seat pocket? i don't get it…

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Kiri the Can Opener January 27, 2011 at 12:12 am

He's saying that the old guy emptied the magazines from the seat in front of him to give himself more room.

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GearHead April 3, 2009 at 10:56 am

I swear I was on that same flight, sitting a row or two back. I witnessed the same event years ago — some old drunk guy was literally losing it on the plane and attacking the front seat after he'd tried to prevent the person in front from reclining. The passenger next to him told him it was the rudest, most childish thing they'd ever seen and his excuse was something like "I didn't fight in WWII to be squished in an airplane." Odd.

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Reclinator April 3, 2009 at 4:01 pm

The following technique is most helpful when one feels the need to recline whilst in coach. A passenger that brutishly slams his/her seat back immediately after takeoff is bound to inculcate negativity in the fellow passenger seated directly aft. That said, wait a few minutes, until FL100 or so, and then slowly, even stealthily, ease the seat back an inch or less. Wait 4 to 5 minutes and ease the seat back another inch or less. Repeat process until desired level of recline is achieved. When food/drink carts are deployed begin this process in reverse and consume victuals in the full upright position. When victuals are consumed, packaging debris is removed, and food/drink carts are corralled, repeat aforementioned reclination technique with equal care.

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Anonymous April 6, 2009 at 5:39 am

jose, the point about the magazines was that the couple had removed the couple magazines in their pockets, in order to have that extra half-inch of leg room. They put those magazines in the writer's pocket, which then meant he had triple the space taken up (which is actually maybe significant, though the original two mags is not).

Since these people thought having a couple magazines took up too much space for them, it was quite rude of them to burden someone else with six of the magazines. This was a rude precursor to the rest of the rude behavior exhibited in the story.

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Spilled Water November 6, 2009 at 9:00 am

The idiot lady behind me kicked, punched, and shoved my seat during a 9 hour flight. She thought that I couldn't recline if she left her tray table down after dinner. Oh how sorely wrong she was, because I reclined with lightening speed and spilled her cup of water all over her lap. Hahahaha…..good times.

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Kyle March 31, 2011 at 5:37 am

I vote good for those people deserve it, i would normally say it was childish, for what does water count for? Try doing it when they have something that stains like coke, or something expensive that can be destroyed, laptop, ipad, etc. 😉

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