Why is it that sitting on a plane makes the person sitting next to you presume you have the slightest interest in chatting the miles away with them? Would the same person latch on to you if you were quietly reading your newspaper in the coffee shop, or lying on a beach somewhere? Of course not, yet for some reason they think that sitting on a plane gives them instant access into your life and think nothing upon intruding on your time as well as your arm rest.
It wouldn’t be so bad if the person in the adjacent seat happened to be your favourite movie star, but inevitably it will turn out to be an overweight individual who is practically sitting in your lap to begin with, has a limited grasp of your own language, a perspiration problem, and the most boring life history they insist on regaling you with.
In order to avoid making small talk when flying it is imperative to avoid all eye contact and pleasantries. No doubt the over bombastic individual by your side has ten hours of flight planned with nothing to amuse themselves except you, but you must hold firm and not allow yourself to be taken prisoner.
The best method of defence is to ignore them if you can, even though the closeness of their thighs makes you practically related. If this does not work, and it is a rather feeble way to deal with the person, then simply address them in a heavily accented foreign language.
This of course could present a major problem if they happen to be fluent in said foreign language, so to be utterly safe make one up. If they persist then just continue to look totally baffled and repeat the same line of nonsense over and over until they get the message. This is far more effective than indicating with the use of a packet of Lemsip and a Vicks nasal spray that you have lost your voice, as just because you can pretend you can’t speak does not mean you can’t be spoken at. The use of a foreign language is far more efficient in stopping the intruder in their tracks.
You can of course make a point of requesting the flight steward to wake you at a certain hour and say you must catch up on your sleep. Make a large show of yawning, stick some ear plugs in your ear, an eye mask over your eyes, and unpack your travel pillow from the overhead storage. Not many interlopers will be as crass as to attempt to talk to you whilst you sleep.
If on the other hand you wish to read or work in peace the last thing you want is someone reading over your shoulder or commenting on your work. You can tell the intruder you wish not to be disturbed as have an important assignment to either read up on or complete. With this in mind if you are flying and hoping to finish the latest John Grisham, ensure you wrap the book in a brown paper cover before boarding the plane.
By following these methods you should be able to avoid making small talk when flying and have a relatively undisturbed flight. If on the other hand you are the one who loves to interlope and intrude follow these tips for making small talk on a flight. http://www.helium.com/items/1913472-how-to-make-small-talk-on-a-flight