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People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:37 pm


Thought I'd try to ask if anyone has had any interesting people they've been sitting next to on flights. I don't normally chat to my seat mate so only remember one time when I was going to Thailand I think when I was talking to this Sweish businessman. He said he used to be a football player when younger then got into business. He also said he could travel business but he preferred to travel in economy sometimes. He was Swedish and blond with very good genes! Nice guy though.

So has anyone met people at 30,000ft?

Any stories welcome.

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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:42 am

I do have some stories to share.

SQ CAN-SIN, Y Class, 11 March 2009

My seatmate (which I assume is a Singaporean) asked to look at my copy of the menu as he had the menu for the AMS flight. That was the only conversation we had, though.

TG PVG-BKK, J class, 25 June 2010

I was queuing at the J class check-in counter just before it opened when a Swiss Businessman got into the wrong row (First Class) and switched over to which I engaged in a conversation with him. He was to fly to FRA with TG after landing at BKK. Turns out, he holds a PPL and we talked a bit about aviation.

Onboard, I requested for a second serving of the appetiser (it was too delicious!) and the Indian man next to me engaged in a conversation with me asking if they did not serve me the meal at all. We went on chatting about Thai Airways and their service.

TG SIN-BKK, J Class, 16 March 2011

A very kind German Businessman was sitting next to me and we engaged in a nice conversation about my future travels for my trip I was having at that time with his flying plans back to Germany (FRA) and the airlines he has flown on. He seem to be pretty impressed that I will be flying in the EK A380 the next day!

TG BKK-DXB, J Class, 20 March 2011

A Middle Eastern man from AUH was seated beside me returning from a business trip. He even thought I was Thai throughout our conversation!

TG DXB-BKK, J Class, 23 March 2011

Another Middle Eastern man next to me this time and we had a little chat, knowing that he's a customs supervisor at DXB.

3K SIN-KUL, Y Class, 27 June 2011

The man who seemed of Indian accent which was a seat away from me (we had the middle seat empty) asked me if there were any Duty Free shops in KUL. It turned out that he was from New York and just came in from the Philippines.

In short, I found out that passengers in J class are nicer to talk to probably due to their nature of being a businessman. However, I do not dispel the possibility that there are also nice people to talk to in Y class.
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:57 am

Few weeks ago I spent 45 minutes next to this guy going from LCY to AMS;

This is your stereo type sales guy/consultant/trainer, a person that lifes, breaths, drinks and eats sales. When I left the airport I had his business card and the firm believe I should call him the next day because we NEEDED HIS EXPERTISE.

Luckily after an hour or so I realised I was just played by a very good sales person. And to be honest, I thought we had a really nice conversation, but afterwards I felt used by his cheeky sales tactics 
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:46 am

A few years ago, I started talking with a man who was mistakenly sat on "my" seat while boarding an UA IAD-BRU flight. We were both in Economy Plus with nobody on the seat next to us and he was in fact assigned to the row behind my seat, we finally kept on talking for the entire flight. After landing in BRU I helped him to buy his train ticket as he didn't speak french or dutch and gave me his name and email to keep contact. We exenged a few emails after that and lost contact. Earlier this year I found his name in my wallet and searched for him on facebook, sent him a message to which he happily answered, but that's it.

Also a few years ago I had a nice talk with a very nice lady on a DXB-DUS flight, sadly I didn't dare to ask for her phone number  
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:20 am

Not really, some nice chats with people near us when travelling with our child that usually start with us apologising in advance for any disturbance but stressing that we will do our upmost to keep crying to a mimimun. Most people are happy with this!
One time on an IB flight from JNB to MAD, I was next to one of the road crew for Johnny Clegg, the South African singer (who was in Business). We chatted a bit, he had a very cool noice canceller device.(looked like an mp3 player, with headphones, but just cancelled out white noise - no facility to listen to recordings). All the crew were dotted around Y, he said as they spend so much time together anyway it was nice to speak to other people !

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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:50 pm

I've chatted to many seatmates over the years, but I think the one that stands out most in my mind is the lady I sat next to on a BA DC10 flying LGW-JFK back in 1991. The conversation started because I had the window seat, she had the aisle, but her husband was sat in the centre block of seats across the aisle from her. She asked if I minded switching seats with her husband so that they could sit together. I firmly but politely refused saying that I had specifically chosen a window seat, which she understood, and the conversation just flowed from there! We ended up chatting for the whole flight - she and her husband were returning to the US having been on a Kenyan safari so she was telling me all about their encounters with Masai villagers etc. We talked about our respective lives (even though she was 30 years my senior and we really didn't have a lot in common) and generally had a great time - we even swapped addresses!!

When we landed at JFK she thanked me profusely for making the flight such a pleasant one for her, said what a charming young man I was and generally gave my then 24 year old ego a bit of an old boost! What she obviously didn't realise was that I was also pretty drunk!!   

And I did actually receive a Christmas card from her later that year, although I'm sorry to say that I never did reciprocate.  
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:33 pm

A few years ago I was traveling for business...I cannot even remember where I was flying to LOL!...and was on one of my airlines A320's at JFK. I was seated next to a very nice man whose age was up into his 80's. We had to stop and shut down on the taxiway because Air Force 1 was coming in so the man turned to me, saw I had my airline badges on and just started talking to me like we were old friends.

It turns out he was a pilot in WWII, and he told me stories of the planes he flew and missions he was on. He was fascinated with how technologically advanced airliners have become, we discussed some systems of the aircraft, etc.

Then, he must have been completely comfortable with me becuase he started talking about the most random things! How to make apricot brandy at home. What exercises to do so you last longer in bed. You name it, this guy talked about it LOL! I was having such an amazing time talking with him, I bought him a round of drinks.

When we got to our destination, I helped clean the plane (as is customary), then went to pick up my luggage. The man had such a big bag that he was having trouble lifting it off the bag belt. So, I went over, took the bag for him and waited for him to get picked up by his daughter. I put his bag in the trunk of his daughters car and she said "I'm sorry if he chewed your ear off during the flight" and I said "it was awesome to really get to know one of my customers, and I look forward to seeing him on a flight again in the future!". The old man opened up his window and said "Hey, JetBlue Boy, I'm going to hold you to that promise...and I'll bring apricot brandy from home for that next flight!"   

I always smile when I think about that old dude and our chat on that flight, he was really cool.
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:52 pm

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 6):
I always smile when I think about that old dude and our chat on that flight, he was really cool.

Great story! Sounds like a real character
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:04 pm

Jeff Smisek.

I was next to him on the first part of my most recent trip, on a Colgan flight DCA-EWR. We basically just chatted informally, and I told him some about my interest in planes and flight lessons, etc. Our flight was a little late coming into EWR and I had a pretty tight connection, so I jokingly asked him if he could hold up the next flight a few minutes if it had been necessary. Fortunately it wasn't, so everything worked out.

I've also sat next to a number of deadheading pilots and other crew members, and that's always interesting (In a good way!).
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:06 am

My favourite was a woman that sat next to me on a flight to PHX (from SAN). She told me that in her nearly 20 years in the fashion industry she had never met a gay man. I actually laughed.

It might be important to note that the conversation started because I was traveling with a single red rose. She asked who the lucky lady was. I said his name is Keith and I am flying out to be his date to a fraternity formal (all true).
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:25 pm

On a TS A310 flight from DUB - SNN - YYZ, I sat next to a couple from Montreal. They were really nice, but I couldn't believe when they told me they had to drive 8 hrs home from YYZ!

I felt like such a moron because I was so nervous flying alone for the first time I ended up sayin things like "Did ye enjoy yer visit? Oh yeah Dublin's great but really full of tourists"

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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:33 pm

One time I was flying JAX-DTW on a NW DC9, and was connecting to PVD in DTW. The gal who sat next to me was a rather attractive lady who was chatting and flirting with me the whole way. We ended up getting lunch together in DTW, and we were talking so well, I almost missed my connection to PVD. When I got the PVD gate, they had given away my seat in Y, but then they gave me a free F upgrade.

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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:30 pm

I was on a DL flight from DUB to ATL, and ended up sitting beside a maths teacher, from the school down the road from my own, who lives around the corner from me - and I had no idea, I'd never met him before in my life!

Last year I was on a ZB flight from BJL to LGW, and in talking to some of the crew during the flight, I told them I was flying with EI from LGW to DUB the next morning. One of the crew said that their boyfriend would be on that flight - he ended up sitting beside me :P
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:00 pm

A very nice blonde on my LGW-PHL Flight on USAirways. We chatted on and off thru the flight

A really nice couple on my AA MD80 flight from LAX-SFO, they were telling me about their flight and holiday in Fiji.

They are the only 2 I can think of really.

Have chatted to crew of course now and then. I flew LGW-BGI-LGW with the same crew and got to chat with them a little on both flights which was nice
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:48 am

- I was 10 flying by myself again and thank god my mom was scared she got me F class seat and I was playing tag with the FA and she was surprising nice...the older couple behind me asked if i had fun and said ohh yeah...but that was a 11 years ago
-My family and I were flying back GEG and we a stopover in SFO i told my little sister to draw a picture for the FA and she put to the flight she gave it to the first FA she saw and the FA saw it and said for me and he loved...he announced over the pa about the picture my sister drew and everyone around us started to ask for a picture too
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:35 am

On the short-lived DME-ORD route on AA in 2008, my seat mate was an incredibly beautiful 22-year old Russian woman. This was her first trip to the U.S. We talked for most of the 10 hour flight. Interestingly, a flight attendant that I had met on the outbound ORD-DME segment asked me privately if she was my "new wife". Evidently, this flight attendant had seen American men returning with their new Russian brides on DME-ORD previously. I told him that my wife and kids probably would not be pleased with me having a second wife. Anyways, this beautiful Russian seat mate seemed quite happy to help me with my Russian language interest. She was very enchanted by the idea of being over the Atlantic Ocean which she had never seen.

While helping her fill out the immigration form, I developed a sick feeling in my stomach when I saw that she was going to be staying with a 57-year old American man in Denver. I sincerely hope that she was not exploited. I know that she was planning to return to Russia one month later. I gave her my e-mail address but never heard from her again.
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:40 pm

When I fly I usually fly with family or friends, so I usually seat next to them, yet, I do fly alone from time to time and I try to make a conversation. They usually fall asleep (hope it's the flight and not me) and we talk only 10 minutes after takeoff or when I need to go to the loo.

My best seatmate was an american woman in her 50s, sat next to my on an 11 hours TLV-EWR (CO, B772) flight in 2005. We talked most of the flight (both of us can't sleep on airplanes) made it passed very fast. I guess the other passenger on a aisle seat didn't enjoy our relationship that much...

In 2000, when I was 15, I met on a long YYZ-JFK-TLV (LY, B744) flight a Canadian teenager who was my age, we spent most of the flight together (first time he met an Israeli his age), staid in touch afterwards and I even paid a visit to his home when I was in Canada the next year.
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:37 pm

I look pretty young, so most people try to ignore me during the flight. Every now and then they ask where my family lives, assuming I am flying to go see them for the week. Never fails that when I tell them I am a consultant traveling to a customer's site, they do a double take and then either don't say another word the entire flight, or we start talking about what we do for a living.
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:34 am

Summer of 2005 I got to sit next to former Texas Governor Ann Richards on LAX-AUS. It was truly my pleasure talking with her. We talked about everything but politics. She declined her DPS escorts and drove herself to and from the airport in a Cadillac. I got to help her get her checked luggage at AUS and walked her to the car.

Chatted with M. Night Shyamalan on MAD-MIA years a go when he was working on the terrible film script for the Village. Nice enough guy but hasn't made a good film since Signs (2002).

Last night I did IAH - AUS and sat next to the pastor doing the funeral for the trooper than shot and killed Charles Whitman, the UT clock tower sniper. I think the troopers name was Houston McCoy if I recall correctly. It was an 11pm flight and I had been flying all day to get home.
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:00 am

On Qantas flight, a middle eastern girl (or indian) looked very excited to sit next to me. I didn't know her and why she was so happy to talk to me. I said to myself... "oh dear..." lol. I mean i didn't feel like to talk to my seatmeats as I was too tired but we did talk a lot. She was so nice, lovely and friendly. Then she gave me her phone number but I didn't keep in touch with her as I lost it.

I LOVE talking to friendly flight attendants and pilots!!
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:31 am

I really do not like to converse with others on aircraft but sometimes it happens.

Two cases.
The first was a man on BRU - DUB who was returning to attend his father's sudden funeral. He was at the end of one of those nightmare journeys on connecting flights from the far side of the world. It put my rather average but mildly irritating day in context. Not unexpectedly it was no barrel of laughs, but perhaps I helped. The second was a girl who was a medical student from overseas studying in Ireland, who really, really wanted to qualify and go home to help her people as she was from a country with few medical resources. Somehow she woke me up about jobs that really matter and people that really want to do something.
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:08 pm

I talked to the gentleman who worked for the government on the unmanned drone program. He shared some pretty interesting stuff about them. Clearly he couldn't share too much but it was cool to hear some details you don't really hear everyday. Though I think the several drinks he had helped in his sharing of them!
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:29 pm

June 1999, NW either DTW-SFO or SFO-DTW:

My seatmate was a woman in her mid-40s who is going to or coming from a Star Wars/Star Wars fan fiction convention. This was about 4 or 5 weeks after Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace came out so we naturally talked the whole way about the state of the Star Wars Universe.

She confided in me that she was having a personal crisis in that she was really starting to hate George Lucas. We agreed that Jar Jar Binks could only have been shamelessly created so as to pander to pre-school aged kids (she had a pre-teen whom she said couldn't stand Mr. Binks). We both thought that the heavy use of CGI as opposed to scale models transformed the hostile and dangerous universe of the first three films wherein everything looked like it could take off your arm into something rather sterile and safe, which in turn made the characters seem invincible since they could take impossible leaps from speeder to speeder. Oh yeah, we also agreed that HAN SHOT FIRST!

I wonder if she is no longer into Star Wars...

August 1999, NW, DTW-SFO:

I'm heading out to the bay area to start my university studies. I sit next to two women in their mid 20s who give me some sage advice to me, an incoming freshman: "Remember to drink a lot of water after drinking a lot of alcohol."
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:48 pm

These conversations aren't something which tend to stick in my mind very much as it's normally just idle chatter; bits and bobs about life and travelling basically. I have a bundle of business cards from the people I meet, a few I keep in touch with but most I might as well recycle.

One very interesting conversation which sticks in my head was whilst flying from El Calafate to Buenos Aries. It would be impolite to go into specific details, but the project he was working on sounded very interesting and he had lived and traveled all over the world.

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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:40 pm

Back in 2002 when I flew ZRH-JFK on a LX A332 in Business Class I had a LX MD11 pilot who was on a positioning flight next to me. It was a lovely flight. On the way back from EWR I spoke to a guy the whole flight long who turned out to be an important customer of the company I had recently joined....
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:42 pm

A few years ago, someone I worked with was sat next to a random stranger on a flight from DUB - MAD
They got chatting ..... fast forward 7-8 yrs ........ and now they are married with a couple of kids!!!
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:29 pm

A few years ago I was on a CRJ to SWF, and Vladimir Feltsman sat down next to me. He was a Soviet pianist who couldn't leave because of the polical climate. Nancy Reagan took up his cause, and he was allowed to emigrate a short time later. Along with his concert career, he became a professor at State University of New York at New Paltz, hence the flight to SWF. He was very pleasant when I recognized him.

Many years ago, I was seated near the attorney William Kuntsler. I detested him because he was a radical leftist who was then defending the Attica inmates (do you recall Al Pacino chanting 'Attica Attica Attica' in the movie "Serpico?"). That was back in the 1970s before routine bombings (notable exception: the PLO blowing up Swissair DC-8, BOAC VC-10, TWA 707). I was very relieved when we landed at LGA. Several days later, I boarded my return flight - guess who was seated near me again?
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:35 pm

Last year, on a business trip returning from PHX, I sat next to two other businessmen. One of them was absolutely terrified to fly. When I asked what his career was, he said he was a traveling salesman for medical supplies! In other words, he flew all the time but couldn't relieve his fears. He ordered six bourbons for breakfast, shared on of them with me and the other seatmate. And we laughed like little girls the entire way across the U.S.!! The flight attendant said she hadn't seen any passengers enjoy a flight as much as we had in a long time!
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RE: People (seatmates) You've Talked To On Flights

Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:46 pm

On a PDL-BOS flight last year, I spoke with a Portuguese man who grew up in the US. He was very nice, former military, and he was happy that he actually was seated next to someone who spoke English too! He even told me about the multiple times he tried committing suicide after his wife died...I felt bad for the man. Turns out he lives 20 minutes from me here in the US, but we never kept in contact.

Also, on the same flight, I spoke to a young women who traveled to Lajes AFB to see her fiancee before she was deployed to South Korea. She was very nice. She told me after arriving in BOS she'd head down to Baltimore, where'd she would fly to South Korea.

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