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back to article Avoid flying next to blubberbeasts with seatmate-finding site

Fed up with sitting next to the fat guy eating crisps on those nine-hour transatlantic flights? Well, no one's invented a way to get around that, but airline KLM has a new social scheme to get passengers sitting next to people who interest them. Sure that guy could still be a crisp-sprinkling podger, but with KLM's new Meet and …

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Ugh

I can't think of anything worse than a transatlantic flight sat next to somebody who WANTS to talk to me...

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Re: Ugh

Absolutely right. Sit down, put up the newspaper "barricade" and plug in the in-canal earphones. That way it's perfectly clear that you have no wish to interact with the other strangers on the plane.

Maybe the thing to do is to create a new FB profile (we all have several - or none - don't we?) with things like:

Interests: I love garlic and bean sandwiches

Hobbies: Pig farming

Which should guarantee not only that nobody would want to sit near you, but that you get the whole row of seats to yourself.

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Re: Ugh

I flew from London to Sweden once next to a guy who was terrified of flying. He babbled about it for the whole trip and clenched my arm so hard it took two days for the blood to start flowing again.

Can you specify a neighbour who doesn't want to talk? And doesn't use excessive quantities of perfume or aftershave.

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FAIL

Re: Ugh

Too true. I fly Europe-SFO several times a year, and I used to like flying KLM. I do hope they get a severe pasting from their frequent flyers for this. Until then, it's time to find another route :(

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Mushroom

Re: Re: Ugh

Someone did that to me once. My response was to begin relating a synopsis of the entire previous series of "Air Crash Investigations", dwelling heavily on the rudder control valve issues of the 737 which seemed appropriate as we were sat in one at the time.

That shut 'em up.

Sympathy? I've heard of it.......

My worst experience was sitting next to some lanky sod built like a daddy-long-legs who had the centre seat adjacent to my window one and insisted on using his laptop the entire way. He could have staked Vampires with his fucking elbows. Every time I dropped off I got jabbed in the ribs and woken up. He also turned out to be the sort of utter twat who has his phone on and is making a call before the ruddy nose gear hits the turf......

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Re: Re: Re: Ugh

Is there no concept of "personal space" left?

I find that I can get very irritated very quickly if I've got someone loitering in my personal area, let alone touching me with their elbows.

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Anonymous Coward

@TeeCee

So he was genuinely "big boned" then. What would you like him to do, go on a diet? I guess tall people are not allowed to use laptops then?

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Personal space?

On an aircraft? No there isn't.

If you're near the extremes in terms of height or limb length, then it is practically impossible to fit into the space allocated. And even if you're not, then it can be pretty tight.

I have fairly wide shoulders, in a standard width seat they are outside the seat edges and nothing I can do will move them inwards for very long, if I want to sit with my shoulders hunched in while struggling to breathe then I've picked the right torture chamber.

Sooner or later the airlines will have to adjust the sizes of their equipment to fit the size of the passengers. And we'll have to be prepared to pay for tickets by mass/volume I suppose.

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Holmes

Re: Re: Ugh

> Interests: I love garlic and bean sandwiches

> Hobbies: Pig farming

> Which should guarantee ...

you get to sit next to a garlic and bean sandwich eating pig farmer

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @TeeCee

> big-boned

He can keep his big bones inside his paid-for personal space, or pay more for one of the seats with more space if he wants room to wave his big bones around his keyboard. Where's the problem?

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Go

Re: Personal space?

I believe Ryan Air has already floated the idea already, and probably has the balls to try it too. Seems logical that after trying to eliminate baggage in the hold they should discourage on the passengers as well.

Naturally the disability/fatty's rights/elderly charities are going to complain bitterly about this. It may also already be illegal for discriminating indirectly against the disabled and certain ethnic groups with high prevalence of obesity - e.g. US citizens.

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Re: Re: Ugh

UNLESS.... UNLESS...

You happen to be on a flight headed for the area of a pig farming convention, and the farmer didn't bathe (deodorize) adequately. The stench of an abattoir on a plane would be interesting....

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Re: Re: Re: Ugh

For those types, the ones who jab or lean on you, there should be mechanical boxing arms.

For the lack of privacy, airlines should be flogged for not providing solid slide-out leg isolators. These things need to slide out and latch onto the seat ahead to form a last refuge barrier. In the case of being unlucky enough to be seated next to an ill person, curtains with non-toxic anti-colds spray or some such would be nice. Failing that, one must be prepared to just sleep with a protective mask, plug the ears to avoid ingesting colds that way, and opening eyes only as necessary to avoid mucal lining from picking up long-flight colds that way.

I wish public transit buses had leg-separators. It's infuriating to have someone I dislike on sight insist on plopping his or her disagreeable ass right between me and the person on the opposite side. I HATE being squished up or made to forfeit 10% of my seat to create an air gap between me or endure finding out how warm and demanding someone's leg is. I detest having my shoulders cramped to accommodate someone who ought to wait for the next bus that is only 10 minutes away, or refuses to stand rather than be considerate to those already ON the friggin' vehicle. For disabled or device-assisted persons, I gladly give up my whole seat. But, I despise large people or even skinny ones hauling bags of crap or having flappy clothing that they don't reign in.

The worst is those who have no sense of decency and leave a 15-minute-persistent bottom-side odor that permeates the seating. It's no wonder airlines have to spray seats.

I wonder if the sprays are anti-fungal/-anti-viral, and not just odor-masking. Could go a long way to killing mites and other critters on the seats, hopping from one victim/sponsor/donor/mobile ecosystem to another.

(Standing by for the down-thumbing bots and thoughtless humans...)

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Question:

Is there an "app" to avoid the drooling masses who use "apps"?

If there is, I might just buy a so-called "smart phone", just for that one "app".

Side note: Am I the only one who remembers when "apps" were called "shareware"? Just asking ...

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Re: Question:

" Am I the only one who remembers when "apps" were called "shareware"? "

Yes, you are. Because it was never the case. "Apps" have always been "apps" or "applications", a functional subdivision of "software". "Shareware" is a subset of software by sales model.

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Re: Re: Question:

So-called "sales models" aren't applicable when it comes to the current state of the hardware, regardless of what they told you in your marketing course.

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Re: Re: Re: Question:

If sales models aren't applicable, why did you start talking about one? And I've never taken a marketing course, I just happen to know what that word means.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Question:

Uh ... TIG, it was you who brought up the term "sales models", not me. And it's blindingly obvious that you've never taken a marketing course.

::wanders off muttering::

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FAIL

Pre flight stalking

As if flying wasn't bad enough....

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Flame

when "apps" were called "shareware"......

Er no Jake, and clearly, like me, it's pi**ing you off.

It simply means you an old fart, too long in the tooth for IT [that's thrown at me] and you probably got your shareware from 5.25in floppies sent via the RM after requesting off a bulletin board.

You probably also moan that prior to be dying a death; the last incarnations for 3.5in drives were crap compared to pre 1993 models as they refused to reformat [MS software] coruupted floppies

I could go on but I need to have a nap now tsk

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Re: when "apps" were called "shareware"......

No, it's not pissing me off. I expected it. And I'm profiting through the act of putting out local fires when idiots totally cock up the use of technology.

That said, I'm sad that today's yoof don't seem to want clues.

Rome fell because ... Why, exactly?

(I got my shareware via Community Memory, BBS, and later UUCP.)

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FAIL

"Rome fell because ... Why, exactly?"

The 40,000 heavily armed Huns who came visiting might have had something to do with it. That, and all the people in Rome who didn't understand that the terms "app" and "shareware" were no more interchangeable than the terms "car" and "taxi".

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Re: "Rome fell because ... Why, exactly?"

And the ~40,000,000 idiots who visit !GooMyFaceYouTwit on an hourly basis contribute to civilization ... how, exactly?

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Unhappy

"You can't reject someone who has chosen to sit next to you,..."

So the early players have guarenteed victims? If someone has chosen to sit next to you, they probably have conversation in mind (unless they saw your heigth/weight stats and you're not very tall and not very fat).

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more fun

Someone droning on about IT while I fly - yawn.

Best conversations I have had on Airplanes were with an expert in inseminating poultry, a restaurant owner & a carpenter. Fascinating.

I could have been talking to someone who wanted to strategise - yuk.

Sympathise with the elbows comment.

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Trollface

Sounds like the ideal tool to ensure you get a row to yourself.

Let me introduce myself. I'm a 300 pound evangelical Christian, and I'm very interested in speaking to you about the Lord Jesus Christ. All the way to LAX. I must have the window seat due to my fear of enclosed spaces, but rest assured my dicky bladder means I have to visit the toilet every 10 minutes without fail, so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the view.

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Trollface

...at least you didn't have to resort to overkill

"Have I mentioned that I also sell Amway?"

*This*, my friend, is the way to obtained that level of stunned, fearful silence desired for long naps on international flights.

However, if it backfires and you find that your seatmate actually *deals* Amway, feel free to push them out the cargo door, as that's the only way to get them to shut up.

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Or, make yourself disagreeable by...

Scratching away at the scalp, causing fake dandruff to fall all over you shoulders and onto the person next to you. Scrape away at your neck, and have fake eczema scales crumble off. Don't floss for a week before the flight, and drink durian/pineapple-collada shakes two hours in advance. Rub ointment/cream on your neck and scalp as if it is a medicine, knowing it really is just the fake scales maker. This way, you have plenty of scaling up increase the scale of misery.

Take off your shoes and begin clipping your clawish toenails in flight, but slowly, so there are 3 or 5 clips per nail, to make observers wonder how many toes you have. Wipe your fingers on the seat when the adjacent flier goes to the lav.

Begin flossing with the string, not the picks, and keep re-wrapping the used area of string onto fingers, and start pressing the Attendant Call button and readjust the air nozzles, making sure the air blows "flossum" down onto the person next to you.

Keep blowing your nose, to make the person nearby become VERY uncomfortable.

Just hope s/he didn't sneak a Bowie knive or a K-bar past security, hehehehe. If lucky, all other passengers would later find such a person to be blacklisted and on all no-fly lists due to wanton display of disagreeableness.

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Just what you wanted

Perfect opportunity for all the "have you ever thought about letting Jesus into your life?" types to bore the arse off you all flight. (I'm not anti-Christian, I'm anti-proselytising.)

And you can also guarantee that anyone of the female persuation is going to be mobbed by weirdos for whom this might be the closest they've got to a woman all year.

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Childcatcher

I only suffered

An hour from Antwerp next to some fat dude who clearly should have booked 2 seats or freight, played with his laptop (could have fitted a 30" screen on that lap) the whole way so flab and elbows spilling over the armrests.

He didnt know what deodourant was either

He had to be greased to fit into his seat.

there should be more airlines with passenger width and weight limits.

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Re: I only suffered

It sucks even worse when the blobs cause problems for you without even sitting on the same row...

The airlines know that they can't say or do anything that would hint that the lardmass in question is slightly overweight(for a walrus... ) or they'll face lots of negative publicity, so they do a lot of things to avoid it. I've had to move to another seat further back in an airplane(small Fokker machine) because the weight of lardass in one of the frontmost seats unbalanced the plane...

(I'm 108Kg/1m85 at the moment, so I guess I could do to lose 15Kg or so, but I'm slim compared to the blob that was weighing down the plane. At least I don't spill over... )

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Anonymous Coward

Looking for seat partners.

Keen interest in Qutbism, Chemistry and Martial Arts preferred.

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Misanthropes unite

You could state on your profile that you don't want to talk so that another misanthrope will choose the adjacent seat.

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Coat

Re: Misanthropes unite

We'll have a lovely conversation about how we prefer to be left in silence!!

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Big Brother

What a nice extension...

... to the Passenger Name Records scheme. Put in a few interesting keywords (WikiLeaks, EFF, TOR) and enjoy an extra screening upon your next entry to the U.S. at no extra cost! Plus, you will get another 1 Gig free storage space on the DHS' servers!

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Black Helicopters

Re: What a nice extension...

Already been done...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/30/tweet_deportation/

Not sure if it only works if the booking address the airline has on record matches your FB/Twitter account e-mail address or if it's (even) more scary.

I will probably come under suspicion because I don't have a FB or Twitter account.

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Coat

Don't make a fuss in flight

Or you'll probably be up on some crazy 'terr'ist' charge and bundled off to face the inquesition.

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Might be tempted

If I could sit next to someone who can spell.

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Windows

Tried this once, hugely successful...

On a 'free-seat' flight Helsinki-Oulu - not fully loaded - I found a dual seat.

First: Sit on the aisle seat, with the seat next you unoccupied.

Second, hang your coat up on the SPARE seat's hanger.

Third, most, most important if you want a peaceful flight... Take out and hold the 'sick-bag', shake a bit if you can if someone looks like they want to sit there. Open it, if necessary, and peer into it as the others board.

(OK, I never tried THIS extreme, but I'd love to. Empty a pot of coleslaw into the bag, and eat it with a plastic fork).

Makes Mr. Bean look tame....

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Anonymous Coward

Been there done that

There was only one time on a trans Atlantic flight that I enjoyed extensive conversation with my seatmate - a beautiful (single) lady from Sweden. That was the quickest and most enjoyable 9 hour flight ever. I've also had to deal with Blubber for 9 hours and it's extremely uncomfortable. IMO they should definitely be forced to buy two seats to accommodate their excessive size.

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Silver badge

Bah!

Perhaps all that is required is to have a bit of empathy.

Don't jab your elbows into the other guy because it isn't polite.

Don't be rude to the other person on the grounds they don't fit a seat size they had no hand in designing.

Don't recline your seat before takeoff - that rule isn't for your safety, it is for that of the person behind you.

Don't behave as if the entire flight is designed as an imposition on you personally.

Do understand that on an aeroplane, even if when you look around you *can* see the a-hole, it still could be you. Planes usually have more than one riding in them.

Do accede to the requests of the cabin staff with good grace, even if one of them is the a-hole. You can complain much more effectively after the flight.

Ryanair? Aren't they the ones that wanted to get rid of toilets and make everyone fly standing up? Oh yeah, by all means patronize that bunch of twonks. They have your passenger needs front and center. What goes out the window after the bogs and the seats? Unnecessary control surfaces? An engine or two? Maybe an aircrew person - "do more with less" is the current battle cry of the accountant-heavy business after all. An expensively outfitted aircraft might fall out of the sky and kill everyone, but a cheap and cheerful shaved to the bone one is a smoking hole in the ground waiting to happen.

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