People are taking to Twitter to share the most interesting conversations they’ve had with seatmates on flights. The conversation was sparked by a Tweet by Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest low-cost carrier.
Flights are weird. People who are your ‘type’ suddenly seem more mysterious and attractive. Coffee is suddenly (according to some flight attendants) disgusting and unhygienic to drink. And don’t even think about using the toilet paper.
Crazy. And that’s just the beginning. There are also the armrest wars, dudes editing their own d**k pics and – the worst of the worst – people who recline on short-haul flights. Before we get too doom and gloom, however, there are also positives. Some people fall in love on flights. Some people even end up falling asleep with a stranger’s head on their shoulder. Classy.
And some people have interesting conversations with their seatmates. Speaking of which: Southwest Airlines has taken to Twitter to ask its followers for their most interesting chin wags. And the people of The Internet have delivered.
What is the most interesting conversation you have had with a seatmate on a flight?— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) May 20, 2022
One emotional story was offered by a Twitter user called Michael (username: @LoneStarYinzer). Michael wrote: “It’s three days before Christmas. I’m headed home from a client. One of the first ones on the plane. Lady sits down next to me holding a plastic bag. She’s clearly had something happen to her, you can tell she’s done a lot of crying. Something’s off…”
Michael continued, explaining how he thought the woman was going to be a pain in the ass, but actually kindled a connection with her and helped make her day a little bit better, as she was going through a rough time.
“Flight attendant comes over and tells her that she can’t hold onto the bag, needs to go into the overhead bin. ‘No, this bag is NEVER going into that bin.’.”
“It’s 6 AM and I’m thinking ‘great, this lady is going to cause a fuss and make us late’…”Twitter user @LoneStarYinzer
“FA tries again: ‘Ma’am, you’ll need to put it under the seat in front of you then’ She becomes even more distraught. Begins almost crying/screaming all at once… ‘I’m holding onto this and I’m not letting it go and it’s staying with me’ At this point I start taking notice.”
“At this point I’m able to get a peek inside the bag. My [heart] drops. I feel a nausea hit. Inside the bag is a [flag]. Folded absolutely perfectly. I immediately stand up and ask if she’d like me to find another seat so that she can put the bag on my seat for the flight…”
“I tear up. She starts crying. Her travel companion comes over and tries to console her. ‘This is my son and he’s not leaving my side’. No one disagrees. FA realizes what happened and tries to figure out a solution. Ends up being able to hold onto it for the flight…”
“We talk briefly. Son was ex Iraq War vet, survived the war only to come home and be killed in line of duty. Leaves behind wife and two young kids. Tells me how much she could say goodbye one last time…”
“We land in Phoenix, everyone stands up. As we’re waiting to deplane, I give her a hug. Told her ‘since your son can’t give you a hug this Christmas, hopefully he can give you one through me’. She cries. I cry. Six of us cry. We deboard.”
“As we walk up the jetway, I look a ways back and see her start to smile. I overhear her travel companion say ‘he just gave you a hug through that guy Mom. He’s with us.’ And that’s the seat mate I’ll never forget. Spread the [love].”
Another story about an interesting conversation came from a passenger who once sat next to a deaf person and had a conversation by typing into a phone.
“I once sat next to a deaf gentleman on a 5 hour flight from LA to Chicago. We spoke the entire time using our iPhones for the conversation. He had a service dog with him that kept passing gas and the FA was not too happy with the dog. We had great conversation.”
Flying to Egypt in 05, to meet friends and tour. Sat next to an older gent, on Transatlantic flight. Turns out he’s an archaeologist. And was THE official photographer for the Egyptian govt. Talked on the flight, and layover in AMS. Saw him at Valley of Kings a week later.— Jeremy Siebert (@Remy1120) May 20, 2022
Others sat next to people with some wild tales of their own, such as this guy who sat next to someone who claimed to be part of the Philadelphia experiments…
“Once on a flight to DAL we had to stop in Lubbock for several hours due to weather. After the pit stop.. I sat next to a very senior gentleman who claimed to be a part of the real Philadelphia experiments.. teleportation and all. Compelling storyteller.”Twitter user Jon Franklin
Other Twitter users took the opportunity to sprinkle a little salt, remarking that they often discuss with their seatmates why Southwest is always late.
Why is Southwest always late. That’s been my seatmate conversation the last 5 times— Chizzie Lovell (@chizman69) May 21, 2022
Others had fewer words. One said: “I prefer it when they don’t talk” and another remarked on sparse exchange she had with a seatmate over two different flights.
A 12 h flight. I did’t speak to the lady beside me. She didn’t speak to me.— Tarja Ikola (@hf_finnfan) May 20, 2022
Surprisingly on connecting flight: she’s there again!
I say ”Hi”, she says ”Here again”. In Finnish. Nothing else on this 6 h flight.
Yeah, we both are from Finland (heading home).
Further interesting conversations included photography tips (“the best way to get a peak of the action picture was to take a short video of the action and pick out the best frame”) and shirtless mirror selfies that nobody asked for (“A man was sitting next to me that I had never met. He was showing me pictures of his boat, even though I had headed phones in and was clearly uninterested. He kept swiping through his photos and accidentally showed me a shirtless mirror selfie. Thanks for the memories.”).
Sounds like some of these Southwest passengers could do with reading a gentleman’s guide to aeroplane conversation etiquette…