Travel Horror Story Series #1: The Smelly Passenger

Anyone can have a bad travel experience (even the pros). In fact, you are bound to have a few if you travel enough. And for those business travel pros like me it’s really only a matter of when you will have another one again. With as long as I’ve been doing this, I started to  realize I had quite a few. Enough to start a new series which I’ve entitled: “The Horror Story Series.” In this series I will share a single horrible experience that I had while traveling.

From missing a connection by literally seconds, to engine blowouts, to upset stomachs, the Loud Talker, the Lady who Won’t Shut Up, showing up at the wrong hotel late at night, to customers threatening to fight you, hangovers, screaming babies and even the smelly passenger. We’ve all been there. #travelhorrorstory

In this first one, I bring you the “The Smelly Passenger.” It was a Delta flight from San Diego to JFK. I was on a Boeing 767 – you know the ones that have 3 seats in the middle and 2 on the outside.

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I was in the middle section – the direct middle. I did not get the upgrade. The plane was essentially boarded and I was already eyeing the seat next to me…that lovely aisle seat which would have given a full seat of space between me and the lady next to me.

Yet, within seconds of the boarding door being closed, the last passenger arrived. And while there were a few other empty seats on the plane we all know what happened. He came to mine.

He didn’t speak English and I am pretty sure he’d literally come straight from the field to the plane. I imagine he’d been working all day and rushed to the flight. His BO was overpowering. Wave after wave kept hitting me all flight. All 5 hours of the flight to NYC. I literally gagged from time to time it was so bad. Nothing could be done. I have a rule for dealing w/ situations like that – something I picked up in the Marine Corps. Basically, it’s this: nothing lasts forever. The push-ups you are doing, the run you are on, the flight w/ the smelly passenger. It *will* end. Eventually. This is actually a key travel hack tip that I share in my article 101 Travel Hacks for the Business Traveler.

Post script: He was a nice enough fella actually. What broken English he knew and clumsy Spanish I knew didn’t get us very far, but he was happy to give up elbow room for my middle seat. I don’t know if he knew how bad he smelled, or maybe just didn’t care, but I couldn’t get off that plane fast enough.

That’s my smelly passenger story, what’s yours?

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1 comment on “Travel Horror Story Series #1: The Smelly Passenger

  1. Pingback: 9 Crazy Myths About Business Travel - Debunked!

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