What’s That Smell?

May 16, 2010

in Odor Stories

My flight originated in Phoenix, destination Dallas.  I had the window seat and was already in place when he walked up and placed his bag in the overhead bin.  As soon as he raised his arms I knew this would not be a pleasant flight. I made a quick “self check” just to validate that the stench didn’t  emanate from me and quickly reached up and turned the air vent on full to help deflect the odor.  Trying to observe him without being obvious, I could only guess that he had jogged to Phoenix from Yuma and was happy to have arrived in time without missing his flight.  I was grateful that he had the aisle seat and I had a buffer between us.  

Then it got interesting.  A pretty young woman appeared to claim the middle seat.  I observed her reaction.  She sat down,  quickly became alarmed and started looking left, then right, left, then right.  One of her seatmates was offensive and she seemed to be planning her escape maneuver.  When she looked into my eyes I saw a look of desperation and a silent plea for help.  What could she do?

Thinking quickly she lowered her seat tray and laid her head down.  She stayed in this position until the steward informed her that the tray must be restored for take off.  She complied and then leaned in as closely to me as possible, twisting sideways in her seat to position her back to the aisle.  

At this point I felt it would be an act of kindness to introduce myself and welcome her into my personal space.    As soon as the steward permitted she lowered her tray and placed the little blanket over her head to form an improvised oxygen tent.  She peeked out briefly and asked (pleaded?) if she could place her complimentary drink on my tray.  She remained in this position for 2 hours until the landing procedure mandated that she restore her tray into its upright position. 

The bond between was strengthened during the landing.  Neither of us was quick to jump up  in the usual jockeying  to  deplane.  Without it being said, we were both happy to see him disappear among the crowd of people leaving the plane.  As we parted she said “I have never been that close to running out of oxygen.” 

– StaggeringBear

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare May 16, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Boy, way to be oblivious to your B.O. Mr Stinky Passenger. Sounds like he either didn't know or perhaps didn't care that he was offending others.


Laura May 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Gross. How do people not realize/care that they smell? You're lucky middle seat chick didn't barf everywhere.


xxx April 19, 2013 at 12:52 am

i bring a clothespin and put it over my nose.

this outs the stink pig without me having to say a word and even better.. other people will laugh at the sight. The stinker will know exactly what is going on


Stories April 23, 2013 at 11:33 pm

On some flights, youcan't escape though when they plane is completely filled up with them


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