My seatmate from Sydney to Los Angeles was an odd bird. I still cannot figure her out…
I’m not much of a talker on flights, short or long. I’ll generally engage my seatmate if I am first engaged, but I’m not someone who will ever talk your ear off.
But I will always say hello. Just a short greeting, especially if I have to climb over you to get to my window seat.
My seatmate was a woman of about 50 years old. She was sitting in her seat staring off into space when I boarded. I said hello and she did not respond.
Flight attendants came around to offer sparkling wine, orange juice, or water from a tray (or any beverage by request) and she simply pointed at the glass of water.
Later, when a flight attendant came by to take lunch orders, she simply pointed to the portobello mushroom choice and said nothing else.
After takeoff, when asked what she wanted to drink, she simply pointed to her water bottle.
Still not a word from her.
I wondered if perhaps she was speech-impaired. She made no attempt at using sign language, but then again, she did not have to.
Lunch service began. She took a couple bites of the food and then stopped eating. When a flight attendant walked by, she pointed to it and shook her head. The flight attendant asked if she was finished and she nodded yes.
But when the dessert came around, she eagerly enjoyed an ice cream sundae, pointing to the ingredients she wanted instead of vocalizing them.
Fast-forward three hours.
A flight attendant walks by and the woman stopped her and said,
“Can I please have a Diet Coke?”
Not only did she speak, she had a nice Australian accent!
The flight attendant brought the Diet Coke over and she said, “Thank you.”
And that was it.
She slept through breakfast, but woke up about 30 minutes before landing. A flight attendant noticed she was awake and asked if she wanted coffee. She nodded, but said nothing.
Upon landing, she got up, grabbed her bag, and walked toward the door. No goodbye, of course.
She reminded me of the silent flight attendant I had on United several years ago. He was also silent, in a very annoying way. I won’t make assumptions about why this woman was silent, but it did make for a fairly odd encounter.
> Read More: Silent Treatment from the Purser