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Old Apr 16, 10, 9:08 pm   #1
 
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This is an airplane, not a sleazy date.

How do you handle it when the person sitting next to you on a small plane has their arms or legs so far into your space that they touch you the entire flight? (I do not mean somebody whose size makes this happen.)

Last edited by VelvetKennedy; Apr 17, 10 at 8:33 am..
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Old Apr 17, 10, 11:55 am   #2
 
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I admit, I go the borderline passive-aggressive route:

* Lean down to get something out of my carryon and force them to move their body out of my space (with a polite "excuse me" if necessary)

* Cross my legs in my space and "accidentally" tap their body parts that are in my area.

* Put my tray table down and start working on my laptop.

Things of that nature usually work, and then I can reclaim my space with my body.
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Old Apr 17, 10, 12:52 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by chgoeditor View Post
I admit, I go the borderline passive-aggressive route:

* Lean down to get something out of my carryon and force them to move their body out of my space (with a polite "excuse me" if necessary)

* Cross my legs in my space and "accidentally" tap their body parts that are in my area.

* Put my tray table down and start working on my laptop.

Things of that nature usually work, and then I can reclaim my space with my body.
That usually works for me as well. I had a guy in the middle seat whose elbow kept nailing my lower arm as it rested on my lap. I had been giving him the complete benefit of the arm rest as he had the middle seat, but after a while, it got really annoying. Every time he moved a fraction, I reclaimed my airspace and the armrest. What a relief.
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Old Apr 18, 10, 6:10 am   #4
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Originally Posted by VelvetKennedy View Post
How do you handle it when the person sitting next to you on a small plane has their arms or legs so far into your space that they touch you the entire flight? (I do not mean somebody whose size makes this happen.)
What do you do? You handle it directly since you've surmised that he's doing it on purpose. Since you've described this to be someone who might be coming on to a woman (the sleazy date verbiage), you tell the person that he's touching you and that he needs to please stop it immediately. Done.
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Old Apr 18, 10, 11:16 am   #5
 
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I admit, I go the borderline passive-aggressive route
+1. It usually works well, plus it gives me some amusement during the flight.

Along with Analise, I am wondering if there was a specific near-groping event that prompted this thread, or just the usual female irritation at men who cannot seem to confine themselves to the space allotted to them? (The guys who splay their legs as far apart as possible while sitting on the NY subway come to mind.)
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Old Apr 18, 10, 3:10 pm   #6
 
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What do you do? You handle it directly since you've surmised that he's doing it on purpose. Since you've described this to be someone who might be coming on to a woman (the sleazy date verbiage), you tell the person that he's touching you and that he needs to please stop it immediately. Done.
Not everyone is comfortable with such a direct approach, I think that's clear from some of the previous posts. Some women, and some men, too, were raised with different cultural norms and are not comfortable being confrontational, even when they might be said to have a right to such an attitude - as in the situation described by the OP.

Depending on the length of the of the flight, I might leave my seat and discretely ask the FA to change my seat if possible, explaining why as part of the request. For a short flight, I might say something like "I know these seats are small, and none of us have much space, but I'd really appreciate it if you could keep your hands in your space." If that failed, or the male pax became angry/more aggressive, I would ring the call bell and in a very clear voice explain the FA that the pax next to continued to touch me against my wishes and I'd like to report his behavior as sexual harassment and be moved to a new seat immediately.

What I would not do is grit my teeth and tolerate a stranger touching me repeatedly.
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Old Apr 19, 10, 12:10 am   #7
 
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The passive aggressive route can certainly be amusing. A few other things come to mind, like yawning a lot with your arms spread out or shifting things about and a few "excuse me's". If one weren't attempting ladylike behavior, why, there's always that chance that you could be the passenger who happens to fall asleep on someone's shoulder, snore, and drool all at the same time.

BTW, I don't like it when people crowd my space when awake but find it preferable to strangers who crowd my space when they're asleep. I'm loathe to wake someone who is asleep because they probably aren't trespassing on purpose and it just makes for a really awkward "do or don't I" debate. Indecisive awkward like when I'm at a window and need to use the bathroom but my row mates are solidly asleep.
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Old Apr 20, 10, 11:18 am   #8
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Not everyone is comfortable with such a direct approach, I think that's clear from some of the previous posts. Some women, and some men, too, were raised with different cultural norms and are not comfortable being confrontational, even when they might be said to have a right to such an attitude - as in the situation described by the OP.
Who is comfortable being confrontational? Maybe some are but for most, it's anything but comfy. If someone were touching you unintentionally, then I'd go with the passive advice too.

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Depending on the length of the of the flight, I might leave my seat and discretely ask the FA to change my seat if possible, explaining why as part of the request. For a short flight, I might say something like "I know these seats are small, and none of us have much space, but I'd really appreciate it if you could keep your hands in your space." If that failed, or the male pax became angry/more aggressive, I would ring the call bell and in a very clear voice explain the FA that the pax next to continued to touch me against my wishes and I'd like to report his behavior as sexual harassment and be moved to a new seat immediately.
That is turning it into a HUGE deal IMHO. For me, that is MUCH more uncomfortable than speaking up directly. Also, if I like my seat (I prefer aisle close to the front of the plane) and have my carryon bags above me, I don't want the FA to move me to some middle seat in the back of the plane. If anyone should move, and you have done all you can to stop this scum from harrassing you, HE should be removed from his seat by the FA, not you.

Just my 2 cents.

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Originally Posted by freecia
The passive aggressive route can certainly be amusing. A few other things come to mind, like yawning a lot with your arms spread out or shifting things about and a few "excuse me's". If one weren't attempting ladylike behavior, why, there's always that chance that you could be the passenger who happens to fall asleep on someone's shoulder, snore, and drool all at the same time.
Now I never thought about drooling!
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Old Apr 20, 10, 9:05 pm   #9
 
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That is turning it into a HUGE deal IMHO. For me, that is MUCH more uncomfortable than speaking up directly.
Well, yes, that's rather the point. If someone is touching me without my permission and refuses to stop or become more aggressive when requested to stop, I do see it as a "HUGE deal" and I would certainly ask the FA to intervene for my protection. And in a question between getting away from the groper and being nitpicky about exactly in which seat I sit, my priority is to move away from the groper. If the FA wishes to try to make him move instead, well, that's not a battle I personally want to start.

And what do you do if "speaking up directly" doesn't work?
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Old Apr 22, 10, 10:54 am   #10
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Well, yes, that's rather the point. If someone is touching me without my permission and refuses to stop or become more aggressive when requested to stop, I do see it as a "HUGE deal" and I would certainly ask the FA to intervene for my protection. And in a question between getting away from the groper and being nitpicky about exactly in which seat I sit, my priority is to move away from the groper. If the FA wishes to try to make him move instead, well, that's not a battle I personally want to start.
You didn't start the battle. He bothered you.

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And what do you do if "speaking up directly" doesn't work?
The 2 or 3 times it happened to me, speaking directly has ALWAYS worked. There are PLENTY of people around you to hear what is happening. Nothing like exposing the man as a pervert to get everyone's attention. If you would rather quietly move to an inferior seat instead, that is of course up to you. We all do things differently.
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Old Apr 22, 10, 4:04 pm   #11
 
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"Um, do ya mind??"....after bumping the body part that is infringing on your space.

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Old Apr 24, 10, 12:03 pm   #12
 
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Whoa. You ladies don't like this?

By the way, "How yoooou doin?"
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Old Apr 27, 10, 9:15 pm   #13
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"Um, do ya mind??"....after bumping the body part that is infringing on your space.

Bobette
Simple and succinct
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Old Apr 30, 10, 8:54 pm   #14
 
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Yes, there was a specific incident that prompted this. I was seething when I wrote it and came back later and edited it, before anybody had replied.

At one point I pointed at his spread-wide-open-knee-in-my-space that was causing me a backache from having to strain away from him and asked, "Can you please put that back in your space?" He did, for a few minutes, then it was right back...
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Old May 1, 10, 4:35 am   #15
 
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Sometimes when that sort of thing happens I just push back, literally. (Another piece of the passive-aggressive approach.) There comes a point when you just don't give a s*** anymore whether your knee and his knee are touching, or whatever--if it's happening anyway, you might as well be as comfortable as possible and not give yourself a backache trying to shrink yourself to half your normal size. So you spread out as far as possible too. You may find it works wonders. Just go ahead and shove.

The problem is that women are raised to be too accommodating. For once, DON'T be, and you'll be amazed at how satisfying it is.
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