Why You Should Always Bring Headphones On An Airplane

Happy Monday!  I wanted to share a little adventure that I experienced last Friday with you.  Please note that I am not sharing this to be mean spirited.  This story is not an exaggeration. In fact, I am omitting many of the details that were laced with profanities and inappropriateness.  The main reason I decided to share this story is because as a newish parent, I was starting to fear flying with Mary again.  It was stressful when she was an infant and I would get those ugly stares as we boarded the plane.  It was stressful when she screamed as the cabin pressurized and we tried not to annoy all of our neighbors.  But I recently have started worrying about what it will be like with our walking, talking, I can’t sit still, little toddler.  

After my recent experience on a plane, I can assure you that your child will almost NEVER be that bad!

On Friday I flew into Chicago O’hare and made a mad dash to get on a 12:00pm connection headed to New York LaGuardia for work.  I got there just in time to settle into my middle seat.  A gentleman sat down to my right.  We nodded and I began reading.  Shortly after, I heard a woman coming down the aisle apologizing for inconveniencing us.  I stood up to let her in and before I even looked at her I could smell alcohol.  The girl behind me gave me an apologetic smile.

As we waited to leave, this woman proceeded to call someone and leave a profanity laced voicemail detailing what a loser he was and how she never wanted to see him again.  End of story, they were through!   She was then asked to turn her phone off by a flight attendant.  Once we were in the air, she called the gentleman back and with tears, begged him to take her back.


During the entire flight she was texting, slurring, and dropping her phone all over the place.

Shortly after we were in the air, she turned and nudged me with her elbow.  “Honey, you can’t let me forget the popcorn.  You just can’t.  I promised someone the popcorn.”  I nodded.  “I don’t know what you are reading there but I’m a single mom….”  I sort of listen but try not to play into this.  When she stops I close my eyes and try to sleep.

The snack cart arrives and she taps me on the shoulder.  Slurring she asks, “If I get cheese and crackers, would you split them?”  I politely reply, “Thank you, but I am okay.”  Her response, “Relax, it’s just a snack,” with an elbow to my side.

I go back to “sleep.”  The drink cart comes and she orders a mule.  “A Moscow Mule?” the flight attendant asks?  Yeah, yeah that’s the one.

At this point the woman turns to me and says, “I don’t know what your problem is, but you’re just nasty.”  (This is where we are no longer friends.)  With my eyes still closed she continues to inform me that she used to be nasty but you can’t live like that.


I continue to “sleep.”  The crew comes through to clean up and she orders another mule.  “Ma’am, we only had one.  I’m sorry.”  That’s okay, she’ll take a vodka cranberry.

She pulls out her phone and makes another call.  (Yes we are still in the air).  I am sitting there “sleeping” and praying they don’t come back with another drink for her.

She then spills the current drink across her tray and puts her cup on the edge to wipe it up so she can still drink it.  My carry-on bag and purse happen to be there to catch the spill.

Meanwhile, her shoes are off and she begins nudging me to help her find her shoes.  I look under the seat beneath me and then under hers.  “I don’t see anything, I’m sorry.”  She lectures me again about how nasty I am and that someday I will have to take care of my parents and she hopes that I will help them find their shoes (She’s 14 years older than me.  I know this because she has told me her age multiple times).

I close my eyes and go back to sleep.  This is when I feel something come across me and look up to see her smacking the guy on my right with her shoe.  “Hey, I lost my shoe!”  He looks down below him and around.  I do the same.  She looks at me, “Don’t even bother!  You’re useless,” she slurs as she rolls her eyes.  Everyone around me is now chuckling uncomfortably.

A flight attendant comes by and informs her that unfortunately the plane is out of all of its alcohol.  Everything…she reassures.

“Ewww, ewww, ewww, ewww!” she cries.  “What’s wrong?” asks the guy next to me.   She then tells him that someone from the back of the plane found her shoe, threw ice and water in it and passed it back under the seats to her.  It took everything in me not to tell her that she spilled her drink in her own shoe.  She then can’t find the other shoe, which she just put her in backpack.


“Oh you’re pretty.”  (We are now friends again.)  I thank her and that is when she responds that I am a nasty (something that I cannot post on here).

We quickly go back to being friends again as she nudges me to look outside and see NYC in it’s “full autumn bloom”(the trees are green).  As soon as the plane taxis and I am able, I stand up, ready to get the heck out of there.  With my back to her, she leans over my shoulder, twirls my ponytail in her fingers and tells me that I need to learn to be less nasty.

And that my friends, was my return to NYC.  The lesson I learned is to always bring headphones, put them in first thing, and pretend to be listening to something really good and really loud. Here’s hoping the rest of the week is a lot less adventure filled. 

What is your wildest adventure on a plane?

26 thoughts on “Why You Should Always Bring Headphones On An Airplane

  1. Welcome back to NYC!

    Thank goodness most people aren’t like that. I’ve never had a terrible seatmate. In fact several times, I’ve had interesting ones where we had fun conversations. I’m sure now Murphy’s law will kick in and on my next trip, I’ll have a terrible seatmate (the twist – it’s my husband! LOL!!!!)

    • That cracked me up! I couldn’t wait to get off of the plane to tell Rock about this. I went from wanting to cry, to trying not to laugh, to getting angry. It was a rollercoaster of emotions!

  2. I can’t even begin to think of what my reaction would have been to this whackadoo. At the very least, I would have pulled the flight attendant aside and very assertively let her know I needed another seat and quick. I’m sure an air marshal could’ve handled dealing with that lovely gift of unpleasantness….

  3. Now I am hoping that you spend the rest of the week trying to become less nasty, as this blog (and other social media) obvious reveal just how nasty you are! 😀

    This is one of those blog posts to save in text form somewhere for when someone asks about ‘worst in-flight story’! I have never had anything NEARLY that bad! Ugh.

    We just had the most fabulous weekend in NYC visiting our son … hope the rest of your trip is better than the start!

    • I’m so glad you had such a nice time with your family this weekend. My flight was one for the ages. I do feel badly because I’m sure there was more to the story and we have all had too much to drink. But it got way out of hand!

  4. omg, you gotta be kidding me, that sucks!! you did great just making it through, i don’t know what i would have done, there’s no life playbook for that! the part about someone throwing ice in her shoe and handing it back through the seats is kinda funny though…nice job surviving!!

    • Right?! That whole shoe part made everything worthwhile. As I was walking through the airport, the guy next to me ran up to tell me that he felt badly about the situation. Then he shouted, “Incoming!” because she was right behind us. All you can do is giggle.

  5. OMG is all I can say. I am SO sorry for your experience! But reading it did give me a few laughs. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable you must have been during your flight!

  6. Pingback: A Week In NYC | Running On Healthy

  7. Wow. That’s all can say. I’ve never experienced a passenger quite like that. I did put headphones on during one short flight a few years back and the lady beside me still did not stop talking – the entire time. She wasn’t drunk though.

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