Filing down the jetbridge at the airport is one of the most consequential moments of your trip: what’s waiting at the end could be hours worth of misery mashed between two undesirable neighbors or it could be peaceful serenity if you hit the jackpot and was assigned the one seat in an empty row. As you wait patiently in the security line, cross your fingers that you don’t get one of the nine worst people to sit next to on an airplane:
1. The Horrific B.O. neighbor
This person has clearly never met a stick of deodorant in his life, yet is certainly confident in filling his personal space and maybe even encroaching on yours. As the plane hits the runway, you wonder if not breathing from your nose for the duration of the flight is possible.
2. The Bloody Nose
Just as you get comfortable in your square foot of personal space, this person’s nose becomes a faucet of red. Elbows are thrown trying to protect clean surfaces, but the only available napkin is the Skymiles magazine and things get messy. This neighbor is extra unpleasant if you don’t deal well with blood.
3. The Egg-Salad Sandwich Carry-on
It’s sort of a bold move to carry on a meal when you have no elbow room with which to eat it. But the discomfort is magnified when the smell of the meal plagues the whole half of the plane. You’ll end up staring out the window trying not to gag as your neighbor wolfs down her soggy, eggy, sandwich.
4. The Excessive Peeing Inside Seater
Do you fold your knees in and invite this stranger to climb over you, or do you pack up everything you’re doing and camp in the aisle until this person gets back from the lavatory? Either way, it gets old real quickly, but it somehow feels too rude to just tell this neighbor to just stop drinking so much or hold it in.
5. The Can’t-Stay-Still Sleeper
What do you do when your neighbor’s head rolls onto your shoulder in his sleep? Do you go on reading your magazine, content at being a pillow for this sleepy individual, or do you subtly shove this trespassing head back into their own space?
6. The Horse Chomper
Mouth noises are disgusting in general, but when they’re stuck in your ear for the duration of a flight, you just might lose your mind. The Horse Chomper shamelessly munches on chips, apples, or gum, and you can hear her mouth engineering even through your headphones.
7. The Unhappy Baby
Sitting next to a baby might be cute and fun for a short time period, but when that time is up you’ll be wishing that all babies stayed on the ground. Whether it’s drool, a diaper explosion, spit-up, or just incessant shrieking and crying, baby neighbors can get on your nerves quickly.
8. The Let-Me-Tell-You-All-About-My-Life Seatmate
This person refuses to pick up any hints–they’ll just keep jabbering even if your headphones are clearly eager to be in your ears. “Do you want to hear about my niece’s award-winning sweet potato pie recipe??” How do you say, “Heck no”??
9. The Constantly Grunting and Sighing Neighbor
This neighbor is either unaware of the sounds coming from his mouth or he just doesn’t consider the disruptive effects of grunting with every movement or shift in his seat. You want to ask him if he’s OK because it sounds like maybe his body is falling apart, but really you just want him to get it together and be quiet.