We got not one but two stories from Cheryl Zandt of Washington, D.C., who couldn't decide which one was worse.
First she recalls the flight to Chicago on which the man seated next to her loudly told 'your mama' jokes on his mobile phone long after the notice had been given to turn off all electronic devices.
"He shushed the flight attendant and then acted sulky when she finally made him turn off his phone, then immediately sneaked it back on and placed another call as we began to taxi," Zandt said.
He eventually ended the calls but started to drink and then wanted to chat.
"I tried to appear absorbed in my book, but he kept trying to engage me in conversation about how popular he was with the models he hired for work," Zandt said.
Zandt's other nightmare travel story involved a short hop from Washington to Philadelphia. A woman was traveling with two agitated small children.
"They quickly settled down though, only to be riled up by their mother with shrill snippets of lame songs, guessing games, offers of snacks, etc.," Zandt said. "Every time they settled down, she would start again. We and everyone around us just kept thinking, 'Will you just leave your kids (and the rest of us) in peace! This is a short flight and does not need to be an `experience' for them.'"
Have You Heard of a Shower?
If there is one place you don't want to re-circulated air, it's on a plane, as Kitty Conrad, of Roswell, Ga., found on a few years back while flying to Hawaii.
Conrad was seated in the window seat, next to a man apparently hadn't brushed his teeth or bathed in a couple of weeks, by her estimate.
"To tolerate the smell, I had to stay turned toward the window and lean against the wall of the plane for the whole flight," Conrad said. "My neck was locked in place, crooked, by the time we got to Honolulu, and I had to find (and pay) a chiropractor to relieve the pain that nearly ruined my trip to paradise."
Thanks for Invading My Space
It's nice when people travel with friends. That is unless you are Doug Smart of Roswell, Ga., and you are stuck in the middle seat between then.
"I offered to swap with either of them, which would give me either the aisle or window. But they both said no," Smart said. "One added: `Why would I want to sit in the middle? It's too uncomfortable.' Then for four hours, whenever they wanted to talk with each other, they both leaned forward and toward each other to be heard -- with me sandwiched in the middle."
After a while Smart did what any other creative passenger would think to do.
"I thought to take out my newspaper and read it, holding it higher than I had to, to block their sight line to each other," he said.
Tom Bostaph, of Winter Springs, Fla., got a special kind of in-flight entertainment when he traveled from California to Orlando -- a choral group heading to Florida for a competition.
"They decided to practice their songs in flight," Bostaph said. "No one could sleep, or do any sort of work as they were positioned throughout the plane. I complained to the flight attendant, who did nothing. After almost four hours of the nightmare, I stood up and shouted, 'shut up!' People started clapping, but the flight attendant came over to reprimand me. The singers stayed quiet until we landed, then sang until we reached the gate."
The Vomit Comet