The Drunk and the Twelve-Hour Flight

I can’t tell you how many times friends have told me about their great luck getting sat next to a gorgeous guy on a plane. Whether or not anything happened post-flight, they were in close contact with an Adonis for hours, flirting, chatting and getting a genuinely good ego boost in exchange for jet lag.

I had never had that experience. Ever.

travel story

Then one day, I was boarding a flight from London to Cape Town, South Africa. I sat down in my window seat, ready for a twelve-hour flight. Twelve hours in a tin can, not my favourite thing to do. People are settled in their seats around me, but the seat next to me was still empty.

Then I saw him. Six foot tall, dirty blonde hair, gorgeous face and soulful eyes. And wait… he was coming towards me… looking in my direction… was I going to be this lucky? YES. He sat down next to me.

He settled himself in his seat, looked at me with his gorgeous, chiseled face… and then he breathed on me. Was he made of gin? The alcohol was seeping out of his pores. I nearly got a second-hand hangover just from being in his presence. Urgh.

The man started talking to me, so I politely answered. Anyways, he might sober up, increasing his attractiveness. To my despair, I learned all about why he had gotten so drunk. He was a South African and had come to London to get his fiancé back. She’d left him, supposedly for no reason, and he’d made the big trip (his first international flight) to win her love back – or so he said. She wanted nothing to do with him, so here he was, sat next to me, having downed his sorrows with a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. Lucky me?

I quickly realized this was not going to be a delightful journey, so I excused myself from the conversation and started writing in my travel journal. I was a bit behind, so was detailing my recent trip to Amsterdam, including a “tasteful” postcard of the red light district.

“You been to Amsterdam?” he oozed with booze. “Yep,” I replied, training my eyes on the pages of my journal. “You ever work there?” “Uh… no. But I did work in Scotland,” I said. “Oh… I thought you might have worked in the red light district.” I looked at him and he attempted to wink, but lost coordination, blinking both his eyes.


As our dinner was served, the flight attendants looked at me sorrowfully, knowing full well I was pinioned to the wall, trapped by a lonely drunk. On a positive note, dinner had its comic moments, as he struggled to release his knife and fork from their plastic wrapping. Five minutes. Five, slow, entertaining minutes.

When I woke up in the morning, his head on my shoulder (yuck!), I tried to shake off the miserable flight. Mr. Lush next to me woke up a little worse for wear, but silent. No conversation. He didn’t even look at me. I sometimes wonder if he remembers our conversation, him more or less calling me a prostitute, and whether he felt sorry about it?

Ah well. Once I landed in Cape Town the beauty of Table Mountain and the coastline made up for the flight.

Ever since that flight, I’ve chosen the aisle seat. Always better to have an escape route if necessary. And never since have I wished for a hot man to sit next to me. The pretty package can hide a lot of drama.

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3 Responses to The Drunk and the Twelve-Hour Flight

  1. RSAGARCIA March 14, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    I saw your blog on Jodie’s comments and decided to drop by. Oh my God, what a nightmare! I’ve traveled a lot for my job recently, but I’m SO glad that never happened to me. The only thing that would have turned me off more is if he’d reeked of smoke too.

    Scratch that. I would rather he reeked of smoke than he dribble booze spit on me!

    • vscot848 March 15, 2014 at 7:47 am #

      Ha ha ha, it was pretty awful. Longest twelve hours I’ve ever experienced. Trust me, I took a good long shower after that flight. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. dianacranstoun March 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    You know, change that around a bit, and you’ve got a good idea for a story!!!

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