10 Worst People To Sit Next To On A Plane

There’s no queue at check in, your flight is on time and life is going just great. What can possibly go wrong? A lot. You’re in a confined space for hours, so the person who sits next to you can determine whether it’s a pleasant journey or the ‘plane ride from hell’. If you’re travelling alone, this situation is usually very hit and miss and all comes down to ‘pot luck’ on the day. If you’re looking for tips on who to avoid, here’s a list of ten of the worst people you could sit next to on a plane.



He should have bought two seats but instead, he’s taking up half of yours and using your shoulder as an armrest. You and your other half were happily married before you ever got this close and you start to wonder if it’s intentional. Space invader has nested.



Didn’t anybody notice this chump at check-in as he was slurring and tripping over his feet? ‘The Drunk’ stinks of booze, but he’s asking the air hostess for ‘a bit of Dutch courage’. You feel drunk yourself just inhaling all his alcohol fumes.

Drunk Guy


3) The Chatterbox

All you want to do is sleep but you made a fundamental mistake – you didn’t put the earplugs or headphones in fast enough. The Chatterbox is eager to talk for the next ten hours and can’t wait to tell you his life story. Get ready for a looooong flight.


4) The Screaming Baby/Hyperactive Toddler

They look cute when they’re asleep, but when they wake up, all hell breaks loose! The baby is screaming, the toddler is running up and down the aisles, then when you finally think things have calmed down, you get a kick in the back of your seat just as you’re trying to sip a cup of hot coffee. Ouch.


5) The Creep

God’s Gift to women has entered the aircraft and you’re the ‘lucky one’. He’s taking full advantage of his close proximity and using it as an opportunity to pull. Get ready to fight off the wandering hand or his head on your shoulder followed by the words: ‘oh I’m so sorry I was having a dream’. Well dream somewhere else, buster.

Creepy Guy


6) The Hypochondriac

The moment this guy gets on the plane, he’s set up his own mini hospital on the tray table in front of him. He’s got the nose spray out and he’s really going for it! He’s wiping everything in sight with his antibacterial lotion and almost kicks you in the face as he panics to put on his flight socks in time. He’s already consumed his aspirins and you feel like you’re having a medical consultation as he quizzes you about any recent illnesses. You’re desperate to sneeze but you don’t want to set him off into a panic, so instead find yourself gurning and biting your lip as you try to fight it.


7) The Bitter Businessman

Mr ‘I Really Shouldn’t Be Here’ somehow hasn’t made it to business class and he can’t stop complaining. You presume he was expecting an upgrade as he’s got his best suit on and keeps telling you how important he is. From the insufficient legroom to the ‘basic’ food and the lack of seat recline, Bitter Businessman snarls through gritted teeth throughout the journey pointing out the faults of economy.


8) The First Time Flyer

You’ve never been nervous on a flight until you sat next to this guy! His legs are shaking, his teeth are chattering and he’s already told you about his weak bladder while clutching on to your hand. You think he’ll calm down after take off, but it just seems to get worse and worse. He’s been to the bathroom six times so far and you really wish you’d chosen the window seat. When you finally manage to fall asleep, he screams out: ‘what was that?’ and shakes your arm to wake you up when the plane hits a spot of turbulence. You spend the rest of the flight trying to convince him that flying is the safest form of travel.

First time flyer


9) The Unwashed

What a stinker. This guy hasn’t seen a bar of soap for days. He reeks and you can’t escape him. You look around to see if there are any spare seats – but just your luck, the flight is full. You try wrapping your scarf around your face or spraying some perfume in his direction when he’s not looking but nothing will disguise it. You’re meeting your loved one and just hope the smell doesn’t rub off on you!


10) The Stag Do Member

If you were hoping for a quiet and peaceful flight, then this is the worst case scenario. It doesn’t make it any better if he’s on his way there or back. If he’s going – he’s lively and chanting to reply to the rest of ‘the wolfpack’ and if he’s on his way back, he may well be reaching out for the sick bag. Look out for the matching t-shirts at the boarding gate and avoid at all costs.

Stag do tshirtPhoto by: Adam Wilson 

So if you find yourself stuck next to one of these 10 nightmare plane passengers – unlucky! All is not lost though, you shouldn’t be afraid to have a quiet word with one of the flight attendants – they may be able to save the day!

Have you ever had a nightmare neighbour on a plane? Comment below and tell me about it… 


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'10 Worst People To Sit Next To On A Plane' have 2 comments

  1. January 12, 2015 @ 3:42 am charlesmccool@gmail.com

    My 2 worst seat mates were:

    - drunk Aussie. Unfortunately it was a loooooong flight, Sydney to Los Angeles
    - rich spoiled brat girl. Before cells, when the corded phones were in the seat in front of you, she spent the entire flight (Los Angeles to Dallas) on the phone complaining about this and that.


    • January 25, 2015 @ 4:35 pm Alicia

      Hi Charles! Those both sound like nightmare seat mates! Where are ear plugs when you need them eh?
      Thanks for sharing – there’s nothing worse than when it’s a lonnnnng flight. I recently got on a plane and I’d been allocated a seat next to a very lively two year old – luckily I could move and had three seats to myself! Phew!


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