Do you chat to the stranger next to you on a plane ?

Generally not, but the last time when I flew home from France, I did talk a bit with the couple next to me, who were visiting New York City for the first time. I gave them some suggestions (like the TKTS booth to get show tickets). We only talked a few minutes, though, and spent most of the flight without talking.

I like talking to strangers, and do it fairly often on trains and planes if there’s a good context (a book they’re reading, flying into an interesting location). But I know within about 1.5 seconds whether it makes them uncomfortable, so about 80% of the time I end up dropping it immediately.

There’s also a natural break-off time, even with good conversations. I’m pretty sure I’ve never gone beyond 30 minutes.

Not constantly, no, but I’ll usually say hi as I’m sitting down or as they are.

Depends. I usually don’t interact much with people I don’t know unless they initiate the conversation, then it depends on how that goes.

But I really really liked DCnDC’s illustrated answers. Awesome job! :slight_smile:

Nope, I just read a book.

It is strange to feel the warmth of a stranger’s body [ on night flights you are practically sleeping with one another ] yet don’t acknowledge the intimacy of their presence.

Humans are weird.

As for kids,   paranoia  rules,  many  Airlines  will  insist  that  a  single male traveller will   be asked  [ ordered , more like ]  to move should they be   sitting next to   a  [ under 16 ]  child travelling on their own.

No. I keep to myself. An exception is one of the last flights I took, the air blower above the person next to me was blowing right on me, and it made my arm very cold. I very politely asked if she would turn it away, and she did. Beyond that, or a polite smile, and I’m pretty quiet.

OTOH, if someone talks to me, I won’t be rude, but I do more or less let the conversation fade naturally, so I’m putting out the vibe that I’d rather not talk.

I don’t believe that. In fact, I believe that would be illegal in the US.


I used to be one not to talk to strangers.

As I age I find I will chat with people a little more. It will depend on the person next to me. If someone seems friendly, we’ll chat. If he/she seems like they want me to leave them alone, I do.

I’ll ask for a cite also. If this is happening to you, might it be due to something odd with your appearance/mannerisms? Do you wear a pro-NAMBLA button on your lapel possibly?:dubious:

Usually not. If it’s a long international flight, I will probably say hello. Then pull out my ear plugs, eye shades, inflatable pillow and ambien. Read until I fall asleep. Ear plugs stay in the entire flight. Often times I have to work for a few hours and I really don’t want to talk to other people.

Every once in a while I end up chatting but it’s pretty rare.

And if I happen to be awake and not working, this is my one private time to read and I don’t want to waste that yakking to some dimwit about their bunions or how excited they are to go to China for the first time.

Nope. Too shy, and I’ve never been good at small talk anyway. Don’t see the point, don’t have the skill. Just let me listen to my music, and stop trying to flirt with the stewardess you tacky bastard.

No, I do not. But if they talk to me, I will respond. I’ve only ever been seated next to one crazy person, and he didn’t speak English, so that was OK.

Sometimes. On occasion I’ve met the most delightful people on a plane ride, and the hours flew by in moments, so animated was the discussion.

Other times, hours passed in near complete silence, punctuated only by basic phrases of politeness as appropriate.

So, it really depends.

So, you get on the plane and sit next to me, then initiate a conversation. I ignore you and continue reading.

You think I’m rude and for some reason blame my parents. I think you are unable/unwilling to recognize the subtle clues (my book, headphones, avoidance of eye contact) that show I’m not interested in socializing. I blame you.

Bit of both, really - I won’t usually initiate a conversation, but I won’t blank someone who does. I’ve had a few interesting chats here and there.

I let it happen if it will but it can easily get awkward unless the person happens to be a kindred soul and you chat all the way to the destination. Generally I’m much more comfortable not talking or just making minimal greetings.

Not if I can help it, but my son LOVES everyone (and people tend to return the love), so he makes friends on planes. Then it’s harder for me to read. :frowning:

You can’t even say hello? That is rude imho and I don’t like talking to strangers. I will say hello, though, or give a curt nod/smile to indicate I’m aware I’m sharing space with a stranger.