Flying when tall (a short story from the Before Times)

A quick story from the “before times”. My parents and I are flying from London to NYC to watch the ball drop for New Year’s. Because of reasons, I am not sitting next to them by quite a way. I start watching a movie and, partway through, Dad comes to tell me that there’s a seat closer to them. Great, I’ll move once my film is over.

Being tall, I automatically brace my legs against the seat in front. Space is tight enough without someone shoving their seat into my face. Sure enough, someone decides to do just that and meets the firm resistance of my legs. A face appears between the seats.

Woman: My boyfriend needs to put his seat back. He’s six feet tall.

Me: And I’m 6’4". No.

Woman: But if he puts his seat back then you can put yours back.

Me: That’s not fair on the person behind me. Puts headphones back in.

Woman: Clearly getting annoyed to my amusement. Your parents said there was a seat nearby them. You can move.

Me: One headphone out I am comfortable and in the middle of watching a film. As I said to Dad, I will move when I have finished the film.

And that’s what happened. But I did note that the boyfriend was silent throughout the whole episode.

Short, probably a bit boring for the site, but that’s my New Year’s story. :slight_smile:


My partner’s dad is also 6’4"; I don’t envy either of you on flights. When he made a work trip from the US to Japan, he paid extra for a seat with more leg room and kept the post-flight day each way as clear as possible because he knew he’d be in some pain.

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(Also, what is it with tall train buffs? My partner has volunteered at a not-huge railway museum since he was a kid. He’s 6’0", which I’m pretty sure puts him below their mean engineer height, and that’s even with a 4’10" person dragging the average down. I think at least four of their engineers are 6’4" or over, and at least one is 6’8".)

Another flying story from the before times:

My wife and I are flying to Scotland for my cousin’s wedding. We are behind the emergency exit row. There is an older couple in front of us, the woman holding a plant.

Attendant: I’m sorry Madam but you’ll need to put your plant in the overhead locker. This is the emergency exit row.

Woman: I can’t put my plant up there. It might get damaged.

Attendant: Then I will need you to move seats.

Woman: But I don’t want to move seats.

Attendant: Then the plant needs to go in the overhead locker.

And so the merry-go-round continues. I cannot emphasize enough that the only thing holding up this flight is a plant and a stubborn cow.

Me: Excuse me. Sorry for interrupting but can I hold the plant?

Clearly grateful attendant: Thank you sir.

*I am reluctantly handed this timewasting weed for take-off and landing. I firmly resist turning it into a hat for the lady.

On arrival into Scotland…*

Woman: Thank you for that. It’s quite a rare orchid you know.

Such a rare specimen, flying in a supermarket carrier bag on a UK budget airline… Must be rarer than rocking horse manure considering its luxurious journey…


All the train buffs I know are as short AF and I casually volunteer at a heritage railway…


My dad always had problems before you could book seats with more leg space.

He’s 2,07m so the average seat is just not big enough. I remember once when I was a kid, they could not take off because my dad couldn’t fit his legs and he had to stretch them out in the aisle. This wasn’t okay, because they wouldn’t be able to roll down their carts. After a lot of back and forth, they reseated him to the front row


Late response but I did that flight recently and we sprung for extra leg room. Turns out those seats were several inches narrower than standard! Kinda hard to appreciate the extra leg room if the top of your legs (your butt!) doesn’t fit in the seat!!


Ooof, that would be seriously frustrating — especially after paying extra for “more space” seats! :frowning:

I am tall. I have not flown in years. I take the train.

My doctor gave me a medical exception to not fly economy nor economy plus, for when my company tries to stuff me on a plane.

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When you can get the train from London to New York, please let me know! :slight_smile:


Intercontinental airplanes have much more leg room than local ones.

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