Should I Bother You?

Following up on my last article, I got a number of comments offline from people on both sides of the aisle (so to speak) regarding whether or not they like to be disturbed when they fly.

For me, it’s always been a mood thing. If I’m coming back from a long international business trip, for example, I might just want to watch stupid movies and zone out. Heading to New Orleans for the weekend, I’d be much more in the mood to chat up my seatmate (people going to MSY are almost always fun).

Yet I’ve heard from a number of people that swear by one way or the other. Let’s look into the social argument first. The most compelling example is a friend of mine who owns a marketing business. He travels frequently, often in F due to upgrades, and attributes at least 5 direct sales over the last 2 years to people he meets on airplanes. If you’re in a business where sales is a priority, it’s hard to argue against the power of a captive audience… especially of frequent travelers (who are more likely to be decision makers).

On the other side is a young woman who finds socializing with seatmates as “intensely creepy” and can barely stand to stay so close to people for hours on end. There is no middle ground with her – it’s just plain wrong!

I’d love to hear which side our readers fall on. How do you feel about talking to people when you travel?

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