My New Friend From Amsterdam

June 26, 2009

in Passenger Stories

So it was about 530am in Amsterdam when I left my hotel to the airport, drowsy, hung over, and seriously exhausted from a 4 day conference spent on my feet trying to sell people who only probably heard 1/3 of what I actually send. Needless to say I was in no mood for any in-flight shenanigans. Also, I should note that I hate flying, so I have a solution, a sleeping pill, which was perfect for this 9 hour flight back to Boston.

As we board the plane, I pop the sleeping pill, and am pleased to see that the plane is virtually empty (Boeing 737 with about 15 people). I took my window seat about halfway down the fuselage of the plane, and waited, nay, hoped, that no one would sit next to me. Everyone boarded, and the only people near me were an older Indian couple (Late 50’s – Early 60’s), who jabbered on in their native tongue. They were seated directly behind me, which is no problem.

We take off, achieved cruising attitude, then I lay out across all the seats in my row to sleep, which I did for about 3 hours. I became sore, so I woke up to hear the couple arguing, no biggie, so I move into my window seat and rest against the bulkhead to sleep again with an eye cover. After about 30 minutes of sleeping, I woke to notice a smell, and shuffling, when I pulled off my eye cover, I was dumbfounded to notice the elderly Indian man sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME, in the middle seat, not the isle, but the seat right snug up against me. He looked back at me with a perplexed look, like “What is this a problem”, I gave him a “what the F**** are you doing look” then tried to sleep again, pretending that it was nothing, until I awoke again when he started talking to his wife who was in the seat behind him, mind you the row he was in was only occupied by his wife, and all the other seats within a 12 row radius were unoccupied.

I asked him politely to move, to which he looked back as if I was speaking gibberish (he clearly did not understand), I had about had it, and climbed over him (he didn’t bother to get up for me) and asked the FA to intervene, which they did not, and they said I could just move to another seat. But I was having none of that, I went back to my seat, and waited for the gentleman to get up to use the restroom, or anything. Which he did 20 minutes later, leaving behind his jacket and a foreign newspaper, which I immediately tossed into the adjacent row, and proceeded to assume my original 3 seat lay-out for the remainder of the flight. Problem solved.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Demotage June 2, 2009 at 8:04 pm

It reminds me of the scene from Harold and Kumar where the guy comes to pee on the same bush as Kumar, even though all the other bushes are free for (at least) a twelve bush radius.

"What! Do you love this bush?"

I guess you made your point with the guy, which is worth something, but you also missed out on 20 minutes of sleep by being stubborn and not just moving to another seat.

But I understand. Once I was on a half empty SWA flight. I had an A boarding pass so I was able to snag an exit row window. Someone else came and sat on the aisle. No big. The plane was half empty, but this guy gets on and sits in the middle seat right next to me, even though there were at least ten completely empty rows.

"These exit rows sure are great, aren't they!" he asked me. I told him "used to be".

I'm sure he sat there to get me to move so he could have the exit window to himself, but there was no way I was letting him win. Even tjough I proly would have been more comfortable in a row of my own.


Nacho June 3, 2009 at 4:28 am

Um, so… if there were so many empty seats, why didn't *you* move?


Iloveflying February 16, 2016 at 11:06 am

Because they wanted their seat!


SAW June 3, 2009 at 10:21 am

Not for nothing, but you're a jerk for not just moving. You're behavior (though I'm not defending the behavior of the other) was nothing short of a stubborn dog pissing on the seats to mark his territory. You're the kind of people we frequent fliers hope never to meet – 'cause there's no telling what other stupid things you'll do on another flight.


Anonymous June 25, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Don't pay attention to the others. You did the right thing by throwing his crap somewhere else. He should have went somewhere else.


Laura Cardwell June 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm

It just seems like more work to be stubborn…but I guess I'm the type who'd rather not get in a fight on a plane


Hack September 4, 2012 at 7:59 am

B…but that Indian guy had so much space.


Iloveflying February 16, 2016 at 11:08 am

If he wants to talk to his wife why didn't he movie back to where she was sitting?


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