The most obnoxious seat-mate I ever encountered on an airplane, was all dressed up and carrying a briefcase. This man had apparently had a bad day, or an unproductive sales trip, for he was not happy when he arrived at his designated seat and found me sitting in the aisle seat next to his. He was annoyed to realize that he would have to climb over me to get into his seat by the window.
At about the same time that my seat partner arrived, a happy group of senior citizen types began to take their seats ahead of us, two of them directly in the row ahead. These people had been to Cancun, Mexico, where they had evidentally enjoyed the many and varied attractions of the Mexican tourist city, and were laden with souveniers.
They had a large piñata, shaped like a bird, in addition to a couple of plastic bags with store names on them. In high spirits, they were creating a slight commotion stowing their bags and packages in the over-head compartment, and underneath the seats. With a lot of thumping and bumping of the seats, and hustle-bustle in general, the front neighbors were changing seats. They were talking to each other in animation, and calling to others in their travel group, who were getting into their seats in nearby rows. They were not particularly loud, just animated, as people are when having fun with people that they know.
My seat-mate waited in the aisle for a very short time while those ahead of us arranged themselves in their seats, fiddled with their seat-belts, adjusting the ceiling air-ducts. There was a moment of aggravation as the seats jiggled and thudded. The man was sort of sighing in exasperation, and muttering loudly about the disturbance the revelers were creating.
I had intended from the beginning to offer to change seats with the guy in the suit. Usually it is immaterial to me if I sit by the window, as the novelty wears off as soon as the plane emerges from the cloud cover and obscures the view of the ground. I do enjoy watching the plane as it backs away from the gate, and the exhilarationasf the engines rev up for the lift-off. Air travel is inherently exciting regardless of how many times I flew. I admit to wanting to appear cool and collected, and to match my air of nonchalance with the perceived sophistication of fellow passengers on a given flight.
Besides, I am usually either asleep, or engrossed in a novel by the time the plane actually leaves the terminal. So I am glad to switch seats with someone who prefers to sit in the aisle seat. especially someone with long legs to fold into the cramped area under the seat ahead.
Well the guy was so irritated by the efforts of the forward passengers to get themselves seated and buckled-in…nothing more than normal settling in….and especially not being able to fit his briefcase into the overhead mainly because of the piñata. As the man ahead turned to glance backward as he sat down, my seat-mate threw him an incensed angry look, and also gave the front seat a thump in irritation.
At this point I was still going to ask the guy if he wanted to switch seats, but before I had a chance he was proceeding to squeeze by me as I sat in the seat. He banged the briefcase against my knee, and plopped into the seat next to the window.
Now I…always forgiving…STILL would have traded seats with him, but he slammed the window shade down. Acting like an ass might be excuseable, but closing off the view was not something I could forgive.
OK, idiot…sit there.
He huffed and puffed and sighed all the way to Cleveland. And when we pulled up to the concourse I stood up and waited until all of the passengers in the back of the plane had passed by our row before I stepped into the aisle, and he had to wait while I struggled with my carry-on from the overhead.