Bouncing Leg & B.O.

November 27, 2009

in Portly Stories

The worst planes these days are the Canadair and Embraer regional jets that are now used on longer and longer routes. “Worst” because of the 3/4 sized seats.

Just yesterday, I was on a Delta flight from Memphis to Oklahoma City and was seated next to a man 50% larger than his seat was intended to fit. I couldn’t help but notice his profuse sweating when he sat down — not to mention the smell of perspiration that accompanied him.

As soon as we took off, he put on his headphones to listen to music and started bouncing his legs to the beat. Unfortunately, he was sitting almost Indian-style and his leg was pressed against my knee. Moving my legs closer to the wall of the aircraft just created more room for him — and he took it all and then some. The whole time, his knees are bouncing up and down to the beat and crushing my right knee.

An hour into the flight, whatever deodorant he had used that morning gave up the ghost. Now, I had intense body odor to go with his bouncing leg, and invasion of my personal space. It was one of the longest 2 hours of my life.

I wish I could say that experience was unusual, but as any frequent flier who travels on RJs can tell you, it isn’t. Happens every week.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

DSD November 29, 2009 at 11:58 am

That doesn’t sound like any fun, but you got to try and help yourself. Make a joke of it. Tap the guy on the leg and say somethinng like “its nice to see someone so enjoying their music, but could you bounce the other foot. I have been on a business trip for the last week and I really don’t want to have to try and explain a friction burn, that wasn’t their when I left, to my wife this evening.” The guy probably didn’t even realise he was doing it.


Hugh November 30, 2009 at 12:25 am

DSD, I agree completely. Many times I read these stories and ownder why the poster didn't speak up. I don't mean yelling and creating a scene, but merely making the "offender" aware of the situation. Most people are reasonable and most likely would apologize, change the behavior, and the 'crisis" would be resolved.


Captain Art Griego November 30, 2009 at 11:45 am

I don't understand what is so difficult about being direct with people. For example, you could have just said, "hey, you with the knee, stop that. You're killing me here."

This isn't rocket science, people, this is aviation stuff.

GOD bless you-

Captain Art Griego


Helga December 1, 2009 at 9:41 am

Why don't people say anything? Because a significant portion of the population (maybe 5-10%) goes completely out of control if someone dare request anything that they feel might possibly infringe on their G-d given right to do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want. Often, a person will sit there, wanting to say something but not feeling it is worth risking violence over.


Kad December 15, 2009 at 5:41 pm

If I meet a leg or arm 'presser', I casually push back with increasing frequency. Almost always a reason for a dramatic page turn in a magazine or a book, or leaning too closely on ordering coffee or another beverage from the kind FA's. In giving up my personal space on purpose, and consciously, the offender usually realizes how important their own non-contact space is.

Most of the time, I find this works, and I don't have to risk getting into a shouting match with someone in an age where they will land a plane at a non-presribed airport for just about any reason.

If casual doesn't work, I can always start coughing or sneezing on purpose and rubbing my hands on my pants. you can't teach edicate in 2 hours, but you can give it up for 2 hours to get some peace.


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