Who is The Worst Person to Whom You Have Sat Next on an Airplane?

“I figured the humming must be coming from the plane when I happened to glance over and discover the stinky lady sitting next to me very obviously giving herself the mile high treatment. I’m still mortified.”

That statement is from one of the comments of this article from BuzzFeed asking who is the worst person to whom you have sat next on an airplane; and amidst the stories of loud neighbors, drunkards, invasion of personal space, debates over whether window shades should be opened or closed and whether or not seats should be reclined, here are some more snippets from the comments:

“What I COULDN’T POSSIBLY IMAGINE was that the boy would be MASTURBATING the whole time, under a blanket!”

“Right next to me sat a guy with two toddlers, who didn’t stop screaming FOR A SECOND throughout the entire ride.”

“The guy next to me had awful B.O., which would have been fine all on its own, but he also had a cold. Not a little one either. He refused tissues from myself, the people next to and in front of us and the flight attendants. And as we landed, he was asked to turn off his laptop, and just wouldn’t. Thankfully, I was in between him and the flight attendant, so when she had to wrestle it away from him, I was smacked in the face with his disgusting, snot covered hand.”

“About ten minutes later the husband is CRAWLING over me, jolting me awake. But then the worst part was when he came back…I had stood up to let him back in the seat, but apparently he didn’t like where I was standing? He grabbed me and moved me to where he wanted me to stand in the aisle…totally grabbing my boob in the process.”

“I was seated in the aisle, and the eager engineering couple seated next to me decided to hug each other the entire flight, with the girl’s hand intermittently placed on her boyfriends crotch.”

“A man stumbles onto the plane, takes the empty middle seat next to me, and once allowed promptly orders 5 whiskeys (on top of god knows how much he drank at the bar). He was so drunk, he was either asleep on top of me or singing the entire plane ride. Baltimore to Phoenix.”

“As it was a full flight, either side of my seatmates, (or anyone around me) couldn’t help but be stuck with a guy who literally emitted a stench that would make Satan cry in agony.”

“Highlight of the flight, however, was that the lady was wearing a small flat blade around her neck and used it TO CLEAN HER EARS OUT AND WIPE THE EAR WAX ON THE ARMREST.”

“I boarded the plane for a nine hour flight, and just after takeoff, the man seated next to me turned to me and asked, ‘Are you saved? Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ?’”


You are a frequent flier. You read articles at BoardingArea. Surely you could top those stories. I know you can.

To get things started, I have a couple of stories which are far from the only ones I have experienced:

  • The passenger who was sitting next to me spent most of the seven hours and forty minutes of the duration of a recent 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
  • Although they were sitting across the aisle and one row forward of where I was sitting and not directly next to me — thank goodness — there was the mother and father who let their young son who was completely out of control do whatever he wanted; and to the chagrin of fellow passengers and members of the flight crew


Please share who is the worst person to whom you have sat next on an airplane by posting your experience in the Comments section below; and let’s show those BuzzFeed readers some real horror stories — just in time for Halloween, I might add…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

6 thoughts on “Who is The Worst Person to Whom You Have Sat Next on an Airplane?”

  1. Captain Kirk says:

    I have been relatively lucky over the years with not having horrendous seatmates on planes for the most part, but there was one time it was pretty bad. I was visiting my girlfriend (now wife) and flying EWR-ORD on an 8:00 Friday night flight. The seat was free, as my father had given me a voucher he received from UA due to an emergency landing in Montana he experienced a month or so earlier. So the seat was the last row but at least it was the aisle (yes near the bathroom and carts going by but still better than being stuck in the window with no recline too.) So the two sitting next to me were a couple who absolutely stunk of B.O. The husband was next to me and when I went to look out the window during taxi to the runway, I noticed he had the most ear and nose hair I have ever seen on a person in my life. It was unbelievable. It was as if one of those little trolls from the 1980s was poking out each nostril and both ears. You would have needed pruning sheers to cut them. I knew at that point he had no idea what personal hygiene was. My stomach wasn’t 100% at takeoff with my usual Crohn’s issues, but luckily my stomach did cooperate that flight but the smell of the guy next to me sure didn’t help.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I continuously ask this question, Captain Kirk: Why is it so difficult for many men to keep the hair on top of their heads and prevent themselves from becoming bald — but they have no problem growing hair out of their ears and noses to the point where weed whackers are needed just to keep them under control?!?

      Thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. Sammy Young says:

    OK, so not the worst thing but I was flying PHL-LAS on America West back when they gave out chocolate chip cookies. I was seated at the window and on the aisle was a middle-aged professionally dressed woman, the middle seat was empty. When they were handing out the cookies, I was trying to sleep. Out of the corner of my half-closed eye, I saw the FA leave my cookie on a napkin on the middle seat near me and thought that was nice of her.

    When I awoke an hour or two later, I saw my cookie was gone, obviously taken by the woman on the aisle. I thought that was rude but wasn’t going to make a stink over a cookie. I got up later to use the lavatory and as I was waiting the FA in the galley asked me how I was doing and I jokingly mentioned that someone had taken my cookie while I slept. She rolled her eyes as she couldn’t believe someone would be so petty. When she asked who, I said it was probably my row mate and she signaled that the woman was behind me. A little later, the FA kindly brought me a fresh cookie (or two).

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      How literally sweet of that flight attendant to bring you another cookie — or two — Sammy Young.

      It reminds me of the time where I arguably had the best mushroom soup I ever had during a flight — and I do not care to eat mushrooms.

      When the flight attendant asked me how was the soup, I let her know…

      …and before I knew it, she gave me another bowl, which I graciously and thankfully accepted. It was that good.

      I guess it was a good thing that I did not have the person sitting next to me steal it from me…

  3. Denise says:


    Orange Juice Bottle Spittoon.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Now that is just plain gross, Denise — but I suppose it could have been far more disgusting.

      I will spare you on the specific ways how…

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