My trip home from Yerevan started out splendidly when a drunk man staggered onto my Aegean flight to Athens and promptly spilled his pre-departure beverage on my laptop computer.
I was actually hoping I’d have the whole row to myself and be able to nap on the 4:45AM flight to Athens. But at the very last moment, a portly Armenian gentleman and his friend stumbled onboard and took their seats across the aisle from one another in row two. I was seated in 2F, a window seat. Being intra-Europe business class, the seat between us stayed open. He reeked of booze and cigarettes.
The man was slurring his words as he spoke to his friend…and I don’t think he was a stroke victim. A flight attendant offered a pre-departure beverage and (thankfully as it would turn out) he chose water. He set the glass down on the tray table between our seats and proceeded to continue his discussion with his friend. The man was animated with his hand gestures and moments later elbowed the glass of water…directly onto my laptop.
The sound of the glass dropping on the floor was loud enough to grab his attention. His eyes opened wide as he turned toward me and saw that he had tipped his water on me.
He apologized profusely, but just stared as I quickly tried to wipe the laptop off. I suppose he could not do anything else.
Thankfully, my laptop was closed. Even more thankfully, I had a Kuzy case over it. These clear plastic cases protect the laptop from dents and scratches..and apparently from drunk seatmates who tip over their water on you. Oh how thankful I was for the $18.95 investment. There are other brands available too, though I’ve used Kuzy for years.
Protect Your Electronic Devices!
My story is not simply meant to entertain you. Please, protect your laptops. You never know when you’ll run into a drunk seatmate…or just spill your own drink on yourself. The glass was full. Had that case not been on it, I fear I may have lost my laptop…
The man had another shot of whiskey after we took off then fell asleep for the rest of the flight, snoring loudly. Even so, I kept my laptop away from him!
Hahaha. Smooooooth product placement ad….err….story. What are they paying bloggers these days?
It’s not about product placement. That thing saved my laptop. It was a cheap investment. Everyone should have it or something like it.
Haha. Very cool and neat story. I am glad it turned out relatively well. Matthew, can u give us a sense how laptop-dependent u are and if u have a backup plan? Give us some insight into the life of a professional travel blogger!
In fact, do a story on your non-luggage gear, such as battery power packs, cameras, voltage converters, sim vs. carry your American cell phone plan, etc.
I once dumped a beverage right into my open laptop on a flight as I was trying to get out of my seat to go to the lav. It was a work laptop. The second one I’d destroyed in my tenure due to a beverage spill. Pretty sure the IT department still hates me, 6 1/2 years after I left that job…
What would you have done had the laptop been ruined? Would your actions be different if you noticed immediately vs. after the flight? Who’s responsible for the cost?
I have insurance on my laptop. Laptop was $3500 so I took out a policy. But I suppose I will have sent the repair bill to Aegean. Interesting question. I don’t know the legal answer.
You could send Aegean the repair bill, but I don’t see where they bear any responsibility for the accident.
Just for the fun of it. I also doubt they would open their wallet.
L O L for the fun of it
I was on a BA flight from YYZ-LHR, didn’t want to pay for advance seat assignments so ended up in a middle seat. I’m the type of guy who’s cheap when it comes to my own travel, but this experience made me really question whether it’s worth the mental anguish to be that cheap. A husband and wife couple was seated on either side of me. They kept talking over me. Husband seems to have mild dementia and therefore behaved like a kid, reaching across me for his candy bars. Wife reached across me to give him his meds during meal service. Husband spilled booze over me when I was sleeping and he tried to reach over me to get the cup from the FA. Not a very pleasant flight. I offered to switch with one of them but they refused, said no-no young man, we paid for these seats.
“This experience made me really question whether it’s worth the mental anguish to be that cheap.”
Allow me to help. No, it is not worth it unless the flight is less than two hours, or maybe less than one is more like it.
If you are a type of person who accept everything for what it is, surely nit worth it. On the other hand, a cheap person will fight for every penny he/she spends. So you can always tell those two couple politely that their way of communication is discomforting you. If that didn’t work, raise the bar up to spilling their drink, food even meds!
They paid for their seat didn’t gave them rights to discomfort others. If you didn’t fight for your rights to have a reasonable comfortable flights, nobody would respect your rights.
Yikes. As you say, good thing it was just water and your laptop was protected. Never thought about buying a protector for my laptop. Makes sense if you travel a lot and use it for work.
I nodded off one time while holding a glass of red wine which promptly spilled onto the crotch of a lady wearing white pants in the business seat next to me. My first instinct was to reach over and wipe it off. Fortunately I was not that much asleep and caught myself before I did. Since this was the first hour or so of a NYC to HKG flight, there was only so much that words or cash can do. She asked and was allowed to find another seat.
It is one of the biggest bummers when you’re about to luck out with an empty seat next to you (or have the whole row to yourself) and the WORST TRAVELER EVER enters just before they close the doors and sits next to you. It seems whenever a last-second person shows up in your adjacent seat it’s always someone unpleasant.
I’m having a hard time seeing how this clear protective sheath actually did anything to “save” your laptop from being compromised by fluids. It does not appear that this protective cover gives any additional protection by covering any pathways of possible water intrusion to the circuitry. Am I missing something?
The water ran off the sides because the plastic casing goes along the sides as well.
Matthew, if this is a sponsored/compensated blogpost, can you please disclose that to your audience? Otherwise, you risk trashing your own good brand.
This is NOT a sponsored post. I will ALWAYS disclose if that is the case. Indeed, my reputation rests upon it.
Mathew, sometimes not using a waterproof protection leaves you happier.
I took a brand new laptop to a middle eastern country with an overnight stopover in an airport Hotel at FRA. I spilled a large drink on the brand new laptop but assumed I had grabbed it in time.
That night, at my destination, I discovered the laptop would not power on but somehow worked fine when plugged into AC and the battery removed. I discarded the battery.
I used to store this laptop in a secure place in FRA and use it only on certain trips but it was stolen.
I would love to see what the thief did with a laptop sans battery.
I am a huge fan of the plan for the 4:45am flight being stay up all night on the beers the night before and sleep on the plane! Back yourself at the bar!
One SFO-HKG Polaris flight, the woman in the center seat across from me placed a white trash bag (the Costco type) into my overhead bin where my backpack with laptop was residing. Midflight I was being rained on from the bin, opened to discover that her white trash bag had previously been filled with ice cubes, a tub of salad dressing, and not tied up at all. The FA was rushing to soak up the liquid, I’m trying to dry off the laptop and the genius lady was saying it was her favorite salad dressing that she was bringing back to HKG (how did she get a liquid past security unless her favorite dressing is from Yankee Pier). And that United should compensate me for damage to the laptop.
At least your guy apologized.
Why would anyone bother using laptop cover if all of those could be avoided if you are using thinkpad? Spill protection.
Bonus: better keyboard, better integration in office suites.
I’ve used Apple products exclusively for over 25 years, long before it was cool.
No interest in using IBM.
Would you be so kindly to share the reason on using apple exclusively for all those years? It interest me because I always thought only designers and millenial using apple. Designers ranging from architect, fashion, advert, photograph, and the likes.
Not sure there is any logical explanation, but I grew up with an Apple IIE then IIGS, had a Macintosh Plus, a Performa, Power PC, and then an iMac. Also had an early Apple laptop and the Newton tablet, which was way ahead of its time.
Wish I still kept these old devices…they are all gone now other than the Newton and some floppy disks.
I see… Thanks!
I have a Speck case for my MacBook Pro. I *wish* I cost me $18.95 (it was about twice that). Thanks for the heads-up.
I highly recommend getting cases for laptops. Been there, done that. Mine is still ticking after seven years thanks damage the case has prevented. And the fact it’s a Mac also helps… 😉