Traveling with a friend, companion, spouse or child allows one to select seats together on a plane or train. When flying, you may be faced with the dilemma of three seats! The dreaded center seat that most wives, and girlfriends take. Nevertheless, you do know one person to your left or right to talk to if you like. Traveling alone presents a few more challenges.
As one who travels alone most of the time, I have one or two unknowns as I board the plane. Oh,the thoughts that run through my head…”will I be faced with someone with body oder; could the person next to me need a belt extender and encroach into my space; will I be faced with a cranky baby or exuberant toddler; what if someone with bizarre mannerisms makes me feel uncomfortable or the man who decides I am a catch and won’t stop talking to me”…I come by the list honestly as they have all happened at one time or another.
This past weekend, I traveled with friends by train to a wedding…(actually 2 couples I have known since college)….we had planned to board the train and sit together enjoying our 7 hour ride catching up or lunch and a little wine! (I live in another state and don’t see them often) They had done this often but this trip we discovered sitting together didn’t work.
The seating tickets we were given spread us all over the car we were in. Of course, my friends were in pairs and I was the fifth wheel….so I sat by myself waiting for the train to leave with box lunch in hand. Soon seats were changed and the 2 couples were together…I must say I was a tad disappointed not to be with them, but decide to make the best of the situation and listen to my iPod while eating my lunch. Suddenly, a shadow came over me…a man with crazy eyes peered down asking if I was in the correct seat. I said that I was, hoping he would move on…instead he stepped over me and proceeded to sit in the seat next to mine. Within thirty seconds he informed me that he had sweaty palms…(was that because of me or some anxiety?) Now, I was getting sweating palms! Luckily one of my friends passed and must have seen the panic in my eyes. Thank goodness for being able to keep cell phones on while on a train…not a minute later I was invited back to the Club Car so I quickly retreated to join my friends.
Finally relaxing on the train, laughing and enjoying good friends I was informed that I was missed by the man sitting next to me. He had been looking back and asked one of my friends if I would be returning… right then and there plans were made for me to sit elsewhere!
Tip: What is a good plan of action when hit with seating challenges…
1. Be reading a good book or magazine once you are settled in your seat, or be listening to your ipod with head phones to send a message “Don’t Disturb”
2. Let a flight attendant know if something seem unusual. They may be able to reseat you if other seats are available.
3. Be sure your armrest is down to set your boundary
4. When taking your seat simply smiles cordially, but don’t begin a conversation…(if he is or she is good-looking rethink this strategy)
5. When it comes to cranky babies there isn’t much you can do, but possibly make funny faces to distract the baby (the negative effect may be that you have to continue this for the entire flight)
6. Whenever flying a small plane get the single seat on the left side of the plane!