Was This Passenger Inconsiderate and Rude — Or…
I just endured a flight where the passenger who was sitting next to me spent most of the seven hours and forty minutes of the duration of the flight — not including the time the aircraft was on the ground — fidgeting; tapping his hand on the window; shaking his legs to the point where the row of seats were consistently vibrating where it felt like non-stop turbulence; bumping his elbow into me while attempting to straighten himself out; and slapping his hand on one leg every time he tapped on the screen of the in-flight entertainment system, which he tapped so hard that the person seated in front of him would turn around and glare at him.
At the conclusion of the flight, I was minding my own business standing in the aisle when suddenly whomp! His bag had fallen on my head because it was a row ahead of him and he could barely reach it; so he apparently decided to try to get it anyway.
I think he murmured “Sorry”; but I could be mistaken.
The whole experience was rather irritating; and I was unable to sleep for much of the flight as a result. The person seated in front of me did not help matters by reclining his seat as fast as possible just before the meal service — only to walk away from his seat afterwards. Fortunately, the flight attendant who served my meal to me adjusted the seat so that it was not reclining anymore. He then returned later and played loud music out of his earphones which he apparently was not wearing; and when he would recline again, his hands would reach out behind the seat and block my view of the screen in front of me.
I suppose that with all of the pleasant flights I have had seated in the economy class cabin of an airplane, I was bound to have a bad experience on what could have otherwise been a decent flight…
…and as much as I wanted to tell the person seated next to me that there must be something wrong with him — or tie his hands and legs so that he would stop vibrating my seat — I then realized that perhaps there really was something wrong. Maybe he was a nervous passenger who was afraid of flying aboard an aircraft. He never did use the lavatory, which I thought was strange for greater than eight hours.
He could have been in a hurry to get off the airplane as soon as possible when his bag fell on me. Fortunately, it was soft — but it was still annoying.
I decided not to exacerbate the situation, as it would have not done me or him any good.
Still, what would you have done if you were in my situation? Changing seats might have been an option; but the airplane was fairly close to full — and many of the open seats were either in the middle section or in the back of the aircraft. I was seated in an aisle seat. Would you have said anything?
Was this passenger inconsiderate and rude; or do you believe that perhaps he was experiencing a phobia or a form of anxiety?
My seat is the empty seat, with the passenger in question seated on the left. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.