The other day clients and I were flying Southwest and they asked me how I decide where to sit. Since my objective on a plane is to engage people in conversation, here’s what I look for:
- An aisle or middle seat, which doubles my chances of meeting people. To my left was a female navy pilot training to be an astronaut. Talk about calm under fire. To my right was a pilot deadheading back home. Now I know what pilots think about when they’re flying, and it isn’t passengers.
- Someone with their head up and making eye contact with the people walking down the aisle. They practically have a need to talk. They often introduce themselves before I even sit down. These are usually men in the aisle seats who will help me with my luggage. That’s reason enough for me to sit next to them.
- There’s something interesting about them, their clothes, glasses, uniform. These are great conversation starters, and I’m in for a good story.