Travelling is hard enough when you have to deal with expensive tickets, long security lines, flight cancellations, gate changes, baggage fees, and difficult customs agents. But nothing is quite as bad as being stuck with a terrible seatmate. Whether they encroach on your space or simply won’t stop talking, sitting next to an inconsiderate passenger can make an already uncomfortable situation unbearable.
INSIDER browsed Reddit and rounded up stories of some of the worst seatmates of all time. Of course, these are just for fun as we can’t independently authenticate these stories.
“I held that pee longer than any human should.”
“When I flew from Dubai to England the first time, I couldn’t get out of my seat because the woman next to me had her head on her tray table sleeping. I held that pee longer than any human should. I was too polite.” – Redditor emhe91
“I was stuck on a 13-hour flight to China next to a guy who had ridiculously gross smelling feet.”
“I was stuck on a 13-hour flight to China next to a guy who had ridiculously gross smelling feet. The reason I know this is because into the flight he took off his shoes and socks. I think the smell was worse because there was aeroplane trouble before the flight took off and we were stuck in the airport on Christmas Eve for about 12 hours before being able to board.” – Redditor FifthSurprise
“A little kid threw up on my favourite jacket.”
“A little [kid] in the seat in front of me threw up on my favourite jacket and on the laptop of the guy next to me. My jacket was on the floor under his seat and he threw up down the side of his. I was not happy.” – Redditor The1RGood
“When he switched to the other seat he doesn’t even offer me the unused pillow and blanket, just throws them all on the floor.”
“I find my seat and notice someone is in the window. On a short flight I wouldn’t care, but on overseas flights, I make a point to check-in early to get a window seat so I can sleep, so I tell him he’s in my seat. He and his buddy move over into the other two seats instead of getting up to let me in, so I have to shuffle in over their laps.
“On top of this, each seat came with a blanket and pillow which were now being used by this guy. When he switches to the other seat he doesn’t even offer me the unused ones, just throws them all on the floor. At takeoff, this guy starts leaning over me taking pictures of the city. Now, I get taking one or two, but to spend five minutes completely invading my personal space leaning over me with your arm stretched out in front of my face reaching for the window is just plain rude.” – Redditor alligatoralle
“I had my seat back … he was agitated, kneeing me and mumbling ‘bloody woman.'”
“I had a super agro guy behind me on a 14-hour flight, most of which was overnight. So naturally, with a darkened cabin, most people were sleeping and I had my seat back – not even all the way, as I don’t need it to be.
“Well, he was agitated, kneeing me and mumbling ‘bloody woman.’ After moving it further back out of spite, I continued to ignore him. When lights went on and it was time for breakfast, I, of course, move my seat up. He obviously didn’t think it was far enough, and when the attendant came around he said to her very rudely to make me put my seat up. The attendant gave him a strange look and said ‘It is up, sir.'” – Redditor Kiwinz12345
“He smelled like cat urine and BO.”
“I was seated next to a very stinky man on a small plane. He smelled like cat urine and BO. I had to take out wet wipes and wipe everything down and then hold the wet wipe over my nose to keep from vomiting.” – Redditor MathyMama
“I threw up in my hands and everywhere else.”
“Sadly, I was the disturbing seatmate. I got food poisoning and the person in the aisle seat did not move fast enough and I threw up in my hands and everywhere else. I also pooped my pants a little. It was a nine-hour plane ride and we were only about halfway through.” – Redditor icanseeyournuts
“I was stuck for the whole flight between a girl dancing with arms flailing and clapping, and a guy having a midlife crisis.”
“I was about 15 at the time. I sat down and the person at the window was a kind of cute girl, around my age. She seemed nice enough and was actually talking to me so it seemed like a good start. After a bit of this, the guy sitting in the aisle seat sat down. He was in his mid-late 40s and we all started talking a bit about where we were going and the like.
“The guy was still talking and the girl and I were listening about how this guy was going to visit his kids and it was the first time seeing them in a few years. There was a slight pause as the girl put her headphones on and she exited the conversation. I was about to do the same and the guy suddenly kept talking. Soon he revealed to me that he hasn’t seen his kids because his wife left him and took them. His story slowly spiraled out of control until he broke down right there on the plane telling me his story, I’m taking verge of tears, anger at his ex-wife, the works.
“As soon as this started, I noticed the girl next to me clapping quietly but violently, she had started dancing and doing cheerleader-esque arm movements in her seat while lip-syncing. So I was stuck for the whole flight between a girl dancing with arms flailing and clapping, and a guy having a midlife crisis. Neither one of them stopped until the end of the flight and the guy kept talking basically until we walked off of the plane. Thank God it was a relatively short flight.” – Redditor GnarShredd
“I was standing up to let him go to the bathroom every 20 minutes.”
“I sat beside an elderly man who either had a bladder problem or irritable bowel syndrome. He had the window seat and refused to switch, so I was standing up to let him go to the bathroom every 20 minutes. I would start eating, reading, etc. and he would be tapping me to get up.” – Redditor barbsteele
“The lady in front of me had her cat everywhere.”
“I’m allergic to cats and the lady in front of me had her cat everywhere. I was dying, and the guy beside me was drunk. It was a packed nine-hour flight. I almost cried I was so frustrated, and I couldn’t breathe. There were no empty seats and nobody wanted to switch.” – Redditor lyla50
“The back of my seat was kicked constantly for the whole 3-hour flight.”
“I snagged an exit row seat, but there were two young kids behind me the whole flight and they kept slamming the tray table up and down, which shook my seat every time. They were also too short to put their feet straight down, so the back of my seat was kicked constantly for the whole three-hour flight.
“My sister and I traded giving the dad looks every five minutes or so, and he would make eye contact with us, but never told his kids to settle down and realise that other people actually exist. There was nothing we could do other than cause a scene, which neither of us wanted.” – Redditor A_Crabby_Patty
“The guy in the seat next to me was farting non-stop for at least 7 hours.”
“I was on this flight from Detroit to Amsterdam and this guy in the seat next to me was farting non-stop for at least seven hours of the long flight. The smell was horrific and he was looking around confused as if he didn’t know what the smell was and just acted like it wasn’t him. I knew what you were doing smelly fart guy.” – Redditor NotToSure
“They smugly told me as I sat down ‘We’ll try not to talk over you too much’ which they did for the entire flight”
“I had to sit between two women on a flight from Copenhagen to NYC. They were travelling together, and neither one of them wanted to sit in the middle seat. They smugly told me as I sat down ‘We’ll try not to talk over you too much’ which they did for the entire flight, less the few hours they snored on me while sleeping.
“When they were awake they talked over me about how swollen their feet were, how the in-flight food wasn’t to their liking, about their husbands and their kids. It made me want to claw my eyes out.” – Redditor sodangfancyfree
“The dog sprayed diarrhoea everywhere.”
“I was flying Tampa to Baltimore with a stop somewhere in between. My husband and I moved up to be closer to the front of the plane. About half way through the second leg of the flight we hear a dog start whining. The whining progressively gets worse. The dog sprayed diarrhoea everywhere. It was all over the seats, the armrests, the window, all over its owner.
“We had been sitting directly behind the dog, so we were lucky to have front row seats. When the flight was finally over the poor dog literally was pooping every 25 yards from the plane to the baggage claim. We never sit by dogs on planes anymore.” – Redditor jnip
“Every sound made by the plane was followed by comments like, ‘Ooh, that noise isn’t right'”
“I sat next to an aeroplane technician on an international flight. From the moment we boarded, every sound made by the plane was followed by comments like, ‘Ooh, that noise isn’t right’ or ‘Hmm … a little excessive wear on the server-motor.’ I had to put up with this terrifying commentary for the entire flight!” – Redditor Hoodafakizit