Although not every airplane is filled with bothersome, terrible individuals it’s an inescapable fact that yours certainly will be annoyed. And while most of us view flying as an opportunity to watch a movie or read a book, some see it as a networking opportunity. So what are you to do when trapped next to a effusive chatterbox? Here are a few easy ways to avoid their nauseating pleasantries.
- Pretend you have weak ears
Yes, this one may send you straight to hell, but if you really wish to be left alone, pop in an old hearing aid and just ignore everything they say. They’ll eventually understand and stop asking why you’re headed to London.
- Learn to speak ‘I don’t speak English’ in a South Indian language like Tamil
If you pretend not to speak English, there’s always the risk that the person next to you speaks Spanish, or French, or whatever easy romance language you claim to be native to.
- Use Haedphones
Headphones are the easiest way to avoid a conversation while you enjoy your favourite music. Put them on before you sit down and keep them there until you get off the plane. They need not be necessarily plugged to anything. *wink.
- Make them uncomfortable
While airplane conversation tends to be standard “getting to know you” banter, escalate the discussion by subtly inserting as many controversial topics or questions as possible, and then letting the awkwardness end it. Examples: “Ah, so you’re in latex sales… interesting. What do you bring down a year, anyway?” “Going to visit your daughter and her husband — that sounds like fun. Let me ask you, how old do you think she was when she lost her virginity? Just curious.” “Question: if there was one race of people deserving of ethnic cleansing, who you going with?”
- Pretend to be asleep
Or better yet, fall asleep for real and give your body some rest. If you have kids around an eye mask and those headphones will come handy.