Recently I was on a long-haul flight with a neighbour from hell. Let me sketch the situation for you. I was parked on an aisle seat in a middle row of three seats. It was 6 o’clock in the afternoon and we’d be on the plane for eight hours. My neighbours were two Asian guys. I greeted them, settled in, and started a movie. Turns out that it was an airplane neighbour from hell.
5 minutes later, I learned that my neighbour felt like he was much taller and broader-shouldered than he looked. Why else would he continuously poke his elbows in between my ribs and have his knee in my leg room?
I get that the middle seat deserves the use of both armrests, but this was a little excessive.
An hour later, he thought that the movie I was watching looked so interesting, he asked me what it was so he could watch it too. Then tried to have small talk. Seriously, I’m trying to watch Batman vs. Superman over here, leave me alone.
Two hours later, he needed to visit the bathroom. Too bad he waited until I got back, put my blanket back, my seatbelt on, and was engrossed in movie number two, until deciding he wanted to get up as well.
Obviously it would have been rude to ask his movie-watching friend on the other side to get up. So he asked me.
2 minutes later his friend gets up too. *@#^!
Around 22:30 I finished my first two movies and decided it was time to try to take a nap. When I came back to my seat after brushing my teeth, my blanket had magically disappeared. I asked my neighbour about it, but obviously the blanket that appeared under the seat in front of him couldn’t be mine…
After begging a flight attendant for a new blanket, I fished my eye mask, ear plugs, and neck pillow out of my hand luggage and settled in. After a short night the night before and a 3-hour drive to the airport, I fell asleep surprisingly quick.
Sadly, it didn’t last long.
My dear neighbour decided that 2 o’clock in the morning was the perfect time to sing a song. Loud enough to wake me straight through my ear plugs. I took off my eye mask and unplugged my earplugs, looked at him threateningly and angrily asked if he minded not singing so loudly in the middle of the night.
That was obviously the perfect time to make some more small talk and ask all about where I was from.
It’s a good thing the doors don’t open, because I was ready to throw him out of the airplane right then.
If you think this was the end of it, it wasn’t. I gave up on trying to sleep and started watching Me Before You. Then he reached a whole new level of hell. Once again, he thought I had excellent taste in in-flight entertainment. Which is probably why he watched it over my shoulder and laughed. After which he turned around to his friend to explain why it was funny. How he understood the joke without subtitles is still beyond me.
After his declining of my polite request of him looking to his own damn screen, I completely had it. I fiddled around with the screen and went on a nice long walk through the plane, just to get him to do anything else. It worked for a while, because when I came back he was asleep.
Sadly, he wasn’t asleep long enough to miss my tears at the end of the movie. Which he responded to by laughing at me. And poking his elbow in between my ribs. Again.
By that time, I was ready to punch him. Luckily my mother raised me better than that.
Although it wasn’t the longest flight of my life, it certainly felt like it.
Qatar airways, if you read this, please next time find me a better airplane neighbour. Next time there might be casualties.
P.S. The entire flight was booked solid, otherwise I would have moved seats asap.