Why Do People Come Up Right Next to Me?
W arning: if you are looking to read an article whose topic is of a significant issue, then — pardon my poor grammar — this article ain’t it.
One thing I did not mention while I was waiting outside approximately one hour and 45 minutes for the shuttle to take me from the airport in Madrid to the hotel at which I was staying is that one person decided to sidle right up to where I was sitting before lighting up a cigarette and smoking it — despite there being many other places he could have stood…
…and this was not the first airport at which this has happened to me, as I have experienced this similar phenomenon at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and other airports around the world — even in areas where smoking is not permitted.
While watching a short movie in what was otherwise an empty small theater in Yorktown in Virginia to find out more about the history of one of the first colonial settlements in the United States, several people decide to sit in the same row as me; and almost right next to me as well — despite having a choice of seats, none of which are basically any better than the other. Why did they decide to sit close to me?!?
On an airplane where only middle seats are all that are available; time is short and the flight attendants announce that passengers still boarding can take any available seat; and the last few passengers are boarding, one of them inevitably decides to sit next to me — whether I am seated in the window seat or the aisle seat.
If I am seated in an airplane where the load of passengers is rather light and I am in a row of two seats, there have been times where a fellow passenger would reposition himself or herself to sit in the unoccupied seat next to me — often for the remainder of the flight.
Why Do People Come Up Right Next to Me?
“So I have an upcoming AA flight in a few weeks time (nothing exciting, just a domestic run between MIA and BOS)”, posted FlyerTalk member pmanchuk. “The first thing I found interesting was when purchasing the ticket a couple weeks ago, none of the 16 F seats were showing as occupied, so I happily had my choice of absolutely any seat. Granted I realize that occupied on the seat map does not equate to the actual booked tickets, although I do find this route to usually be fairly popular up front (and most seat selections made per the seat map well in advance) — for example, my BOS – MIA return a week later is only showing one seat up front available for selection.”
When pmanchuk took a look at the seat map again when attempting to order a meal prior to the departure of the flight, “low and behold, aside from myself, there’s now one other seat that’s been selected… the aisle seat right next to me.”
Although the aforementioned experiences I have imparted were in person, I have also experienced this virtually as well multiple times where I would check the seat map of an airplane and find someone seated in the middle seat next to me.
There are those rare times where the middle seat next to me remains empty for a flight — but they are few and far between.
This is not a problem for me by any means — unless a smoker is right next to me; and the corollary is that I am always downwind from the smoke no matter where I move — but it has happened to me often enough for me to wonder why people either stand or sit near me multiple times when they have a wide choice of other places which they can occupy.
I am not complaining — I just find it odd; and yes, I realize there are significantly more pressing issues in this world to discuss. I can understand if the other person has nowhere else to go; but when there is plenty of space, why come next to me of all places? I do not find anything about myself to be extraordinary — as in similar to a scantily clad and shapely woman who draws men to her like a magnet…
…so perhaps I am far from the only person to whom this happens — as with FlyerTalk member pmanchuk — which prompts me to ask: has this ever happened to you? If so, with what frequency?
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.