How To Make Friends On An Airplane
Making that airplane bestie in 6 easy steps.
Can you picture it? Carry-on safely stowed in the overhead cabinet. Coke Zero resting delicately in the depression on your tray table. Personal television positioned directly in front of you, enticing you with limitless possibilities. The only thing that lies between you and a potential lifelong friendship is an armrest and a debilitating fear of awkwardness.
Starting a conversation on an airplane may seem scary, intimidating and perhaps even a bit creepy, but if you follow these six easy steps you’ll find that air travel is not quite as daunting as it seems. And remember, there’s always the chance that you'll “luck out” and end up like Brad Pitt in Fight Club.
“Dope kicks. Where’d you get ‘em?”
Everyone likes to be complimented. Does your seat mate have cool shoes? Let them know! Get the convo started with something easy and light-hearted.
“Why are you going to ____?”
Luckily the two of you share something in common: you are both leaving the same airport and travelling to the exact same destination. Transform yourself into a copy of Travelling for Dummies and share all the cool hangout spots and restaurants at your shared destination.
Make fun of others
During my last flight, as much as I tried, I couldn’t find an in with my seat mate. Then, as if as a gift from the airplane socialisation gods, both of the passengers in front of us pushed their seats ALL the way back. We shared a look of “ugh, how dare they” and, just as a by-product of our brief moment of shared loathing, our conversation suddenly knew no bounds.
“What movie do you suggest I watch?”
Look, I get it, you would much rather check out the latest Channing Tatum flick than talk to some rando seated beside you.
However, take this opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and ask them which show they would recommend watching. You might end up watching something together and, if you’re lucky, you could end up debating topics ranging all the way from Snape’s sense of morality to how much you LOVE Jim and Pam.
“If you were given the choice between the power of flight or the power of invisibility, which would you choose?”
Let them know you have a sense of humour. Random questions like, “What’s your superpower of choice?” are a great way to share a laugh. (“Personally, I’d choose flight ‘cause Superman is rly cool.”)
Don’t be afraid to get personal
Your personal bubble has already been popped by sitting shoulder to shoulder, so why not open up the floodgates? If conversation flows into more personal waters, don’t shy away from a good ol’ fashioned heart-to-heart.
One piece of advice though - STAY AWAY FROM POLITICS. Even if the flight attendant doesn’t have to separate the two of you by hand, there is no doubt that you will walk away filled with bitterness and resentment.
While there is always the chance you’ll get stuck next to the greasy man with a howling cold or the pompous vegan girl who is dying to share her new kale chip recipe, these are rare cases. Most of the time you will be seated next to a perfectly normal human being just trying to enjoy their flight. So, take it from me. Make the leap. Go the distance. I promise, you won't regret it!
- Dylan Rothschild
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