Clowns To the Left of Me, Jokers To the Right

Back in the day when I worked for Frequent Flyer Services (the organization that owns BoardingArea, SeatExpert, InsideFlyer, at least part of Milepoint, used to own FlyerTalk, etc, etc), the company, despite being relatively small in terms of staff, had its own internal travel agency. The agents booked travel for external clients, as well as all of our personnel travel.

Randy’s travel alone probably accounted for about 25% of their business ūüėČ

Every year, when nearly half of the employees traveled to the Freddie Awards, the agents would book those tickets. And for whatever reason, they believed it was important we all sit together. So every year, as soon as the tickets were booked, the 3-4 employees who had been stuck with middle seats would begin the scramble to see if they could select different seats.

All of which isn’t all that interesting, but brings me to the subject of this discussion about whether it is weird to not sit next to your traveling companion.

The discussion is initiated as the result of a reader’s question to Road Warriorette. And the crux of the question seems to be, “Why should I have to sit between two traveling companions when one of them is big and smelly?”

Troy is on the side of sitting with your travel companions:

Generally i would stump up the extra to sit together as it’s more fun, and better to know who your sitting next to than risk the large smelly person.

But Suzi sees the situation from a different perspective:

if they are co-workers, there’s no reason they would need to sit right next to each other. It’s probably a coincidence that they were in the same row at all.

And so the conversation goes. Co-workers might know one another, but prefer not to sit right next to each other. Spouses might know one another and prefer not to sit next to each other. Maybe they were¬†hoping for an empty middle seat. And if that doesn’t happen should one offer to switch? Is it odd or polite, should the middle seat between them get taken by a stranger, to avoid conversing with each other during the flight?

An interesting conversation with several different perspectives over on Road Warriorette’s blog.

Image: “stuck in the middle” by Samuel Dellicour. CC BY-SA 2.0.

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