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Seat buddies: nightmare neighbour or in-flight friend?

One might think flying Economy guarantees you hours of discomfort — especially if you’re unlucky enough to be seated next to a so-called 'Space Invader', 'Chatter Box', 'Kangaroo Kicker' or 'Seat Recliner'. But it doesn’t need to be this way! Virgin Atlantic’s Economy Delight fares will make you feel like you’re in First Class for less — along with these genius tips for dealing with nightmare neighbours:

Travel — starting from the airport — should be an enjoyable experience. Stock photo.

The Space Invader 

If you’re battling a Space Invader, you’ll need advance preparation. Why, you ask? Because Space Invaders start their antics long before you reach your seat; passengers in the queue standing so close you can hear (and often feel!) them breathing. And it gets worse as you board and buckle up — the armrest joust begins; an oversized newspaper hits you in the face; there’s some scooting and a bag that needs passing. This type of traveller doesn’t know the meaning of “personal” space.

Don't let a Space Invader ruin your trip before it's even begun! Stock photo.
Best defence? A great offence

With Virgin Atlantic’s premium check-in and priority boarding, you’ll leave the lines behind and get to your seat first. Subtly position yourself, your belongings and your elbows just right. Economy Delight passengers also get first dibs on overhead storage, which will save you the endless scooching, scratching and fumbling.

The Chatter Box

In most cases, you either know this person — or you are this person; a neighbour who strikes up a conversation and continues for the duration of the flight. While we all love movies with an in-flight meet-cute connection that turns into a lifelong friendship or romance, in reality, holding a conversation for 12 hours is hellish for anyone. 

Keep your earbuds in if you're worried about a noisy neighbour. Stock photo.
Best defence? Keep busy

Be polite, exchange a few pleasantries and then end with: “It was so nice chatting, but I read somewhere that Virgin Atlantic flights have an amazing selection of Oscar-winning films, I’m so eager to see what’s on display.” 100% true by the way. In Economy Delight, you’ll enjoy more than 300 hours of series and films, onboard WiFi, in-seat charging for all your devices and a USB connection if you’d rather plug in and watch your own content. 

You'll feel like you're sleeping on a cloud with all the extra legroom in Economy Delight. Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic.

The Seat Recliner (or Kangaroo Kicker!)

It’s a given — airplane seats recline for everyone’s comfort. But what should you do when you encounter those “too sooners” in front, or the little kangaroo behind? A quick confused glance to the back can alert parents of their child’s rogue reflexes but recliners tend to be an entitled bunch, so we’d rather avoid the situation altogether!

It's all fun and games until someone puts reclines their seat prematurely. Stock photo.
Best defence? Avoidance

Rather than duke it out with those around you, opt for an Economy Delight fare that guarantees you extra legroom with a 34-inch seat pitch. That way, you know you won’t have to flex your passive-aggressive muscles and can instead, sit (way) back, relax, and truly enjoy the journey.

If all else fails

Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew understand the value of comfort and are there to help you have the best flight possible. You’re always welcome to make a request or explain the dilemma — they are, after all, trained people professionals. 

Enjoy first-class service at an Economy price when you fly Economy Delight. Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic.

Bonus: should you find yourself in an unsavoury seat or in the mood for a last-minute change, with an Economy Delight fare you can upgrade to Upper Class or Premium with Flying Club miles
With a delicious complimentary three-course meal, tea time snacks (with treats like Parisian-style macarons), a friendly cabin crew — and more space with a lot more style — rediscovering the joy of flying is simply an Economy Delight cabin away. 

And did we mention some flights even have ice lollies? If that’s not enough to make you and your seat buddy consider becoming BFFs along the way, we don’t know what is!

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Keen to book your next flight with Virgin Atlantic and Sure Travel?

Contact your nearest Sure Travel agency and ask how you can book an Economy Delight fare with Virgin Atlantic. Visit www.suretravel.co.za for our flight search tool or call +27 (0)861 47 48 49 for a quote.

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