Dear Airplane Seatmate,
Remember when we used to be cordial? You’d show me a photo of your kid, I’d show you my dachshund, and we’d giggle while munching pretzels. I’m loath to admit it, but I don’t miss those days. Like a couple who’ve been together for decades, we’re way beyond chitchat. That’s why I brought my iPad.
Yet there are still a few simple rules of engagement that will keep us both happy. For starters, don’t order bottle after teensy bottle until you fall asleep on my shoulder. Don’t ask if your spouse/partner/mother-in-law can switch seats with me. I booked this spot for a reason (and won’t you see plenty of them on vacation?). If I offer you a mint, take it—please. And by all means, lay off the perfume! We’re sitting in an airtight container, after all.
Sorry to be so blunt. Even if this feels like public transportation, it really isn’t. But there’s no reason we can’t be civil. I’ll happily give you the armrest and lower the shade so you can watch your movie. We may never be Facebook friends, but you’re still my high-flying compadre, taking in the world with me from an awe-inspiring 36,000 feet, and if we hit some unexpected turbulence, you can bet I’ll be grabbing your arm.
The T+L Editors
Kathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @ThePluckyOne.