If you’re in the aisle seat, is it fair game to go to sleep?
And if you’re not in the aisle seat — and you have to use the lavatory — do you wake the person sitting next to you in order to get up and go, or do you hold it?
Does it depend on how long the flight is?
I just got off of a fairly short flight, I was upgraded — best I can tell the only passenger with a complimentary upgrade on the flight — and wound up in a middle seat. And I had to use the facilities.
The man sitting next to me in the aisle sleep was dozing off. I had a real conundrum.
- It was only a 90 minute flight, so it’s not unreasonable for me to wait.
- But it was an international flight. Into the pit that is Miami. I was going to want to get off of that flight as quickly as possible (the customs queues were long for everyone even Global Entry tonight). Not having to make a stop enroute would be critical.
I noodled on this and decided that taking the aisle seat means you control your own destiny, but it comes with the inherent risk that you’re going to have to accommodate the passenger next to you. But I still didn’t wake him.
See, it turns out that I was sitting next to the Senior Vice President of a Very. Large. Cruse Line.
And I book frequent flyer award tickets. Frequently for cruise passengers. And I would like it very much if this cruise line would recommend my service when they have passengers who would like to decline air and use their miles but are frustrated in trying to do so. (Cruise lines frequently subsidize the air they’re offering to get the sale of the cruise.)
So even though I felt that I had a strong moral case to wake him to use the lavatory, I decided I had a poor business case for doing so. So I waited. I cleared immigration and customs, headed to the lounge, got myself on standby for an earlier flight into a different airport. And then used the facilities.
Would you have handled it any differently?
Does the aisle seat passenger have an obligation to be accommodating to those in the window (or middle) that need to get out? Is it ok to wake the person in the aisle? What would you have done?