The Torture of a Middle Seat and So Much More

As a long-time, frequent flier, I can admit I have a very different view of travel than I did as a college student heading to spring break in California for my first big trip without the family. On that trip, I was so excited to be on the plane, I am a long way past it.

And yet, when I think of unbearable travel days one of the worst involved having to sit in a middle seat next to a woman who was wearing strong perfume. I turned the air vent straight into my face and had windburn by the time we took off. After we were at a cruising altitude, I got up and went to the back of the plane to the bathroom, but I really just wanted to stand in an area where I could freely breathe. The galley in the back would be my refuge. After a while a flight attendant said I should return to my seat so I explained. She told me to take a seat in the back and I felt like I had been saved.

Recently, being relegated to a center seat on the long flight back from Arizona brought back memories of that terrible day… It struck me as a reason to share a photo on social media.

So when I saw my friend Don pose the question “What’s worse than flying in the middle seat?” and saw that the comments had been flying, I had to check it out. Seems quite a few things rise to the level of being worse than the middle seat for some folks:

  • Sitting right by the toilet
  • Missing the flight
  • Having a baby sitting next to you
  • Middle seat between two really big folks
  • Crashing?
  • Sitting next to folks with smelly food, perfume, bodies, etc.

Takin’ it up a Notch

middle seatAs the thread went on, creativity became a bigger piece of things as we got variations or builds on the standard. Here are a few that especially made me smile.

  • Sitting next to a stinky ? restroom at the back of the plane
  • Sitting in the aisle next to you in the middle seat. 🙂  You asked.
  • Middle seat between someone with a crying baby and a person reading a newspaper on the other. on an international flight!
  • A flight with no drink cart!
  • The seats on both sides suddenly disappearing.
  • Economy, being ducked tape to the wing

People who Seem Scarred for Life

The comments that really grabbed me though were the ones that had a lot of details…. like the person couldn’t quite get over an experience they had or maybe they just have a really creative mind! Either way, these answers were funny and jarring! And made a question like this totally welcome!

  • Switching your flight to a better option, your new flight gets cancelled, original flight makes it home without you.
  • Flying in the window seat with a case of the trots.
  • Waking up late, driving 90 minutes to work, then realizing you didn’t bring your computer? I mean, that’s what I hear
  • Circling for an hour and a half due to high winds on the tail end of an already 13 hour flight. (Narita, Japan) While in the middle seat of the middle section of a 777. (only English-speaking passenger in the row)
  • Falling out of the sky in the middle seat.
  • Riding in a jump seat facing the back of the plane!
  • Is it worse than the time you had to sit next to me on the entire flight? Because you acted like that might be rock bottom.
  • Someone throwing up in a barf bag on a very bumpy flight sitting next to you, and feeling very motion sick myself.
  • Sitting next to someone hacking coughing the whole flight when you are at the start of a vacation.
  • Middle seat, 2 hour tarmac delay, screaming toddler in the row behind you who thrusts both legs into the back of your seat with each cry.
  • 8 hour overnight flight with a child in the middle seat who kicks in their sleep and the parents don’t even try to help.
  • Being 5’2″, middle seat, and two drinking guys each topping the “300” club. And I don’t mean the Roman 300. BTW it was a 7 am flight 4 hours long and they were drinking double Jacks! Thank
  • Someone changing their baby on the tray table next to you…. and then getting yelled at that ” it is only pee!!!” when you try to lean away a bit…..
  • Any seat with a kicking, seat back pulling whining girl that you think is about 6 or 7 and has you get to the gate you see she is 13 or 14 and flying with Mom!

What besides the middle seat on a plane gets you started?

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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