Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

When you fly on an airplane, do you recline your seat?

This is one of many controversial issues about flying.

Today, you get five conversation starters to ask someone their opinions about flight etiquette.

Listen for a true connection skill today.

Flying on planes

Everyone has their own preferences when taking an airline flight.

Lindsay asks if Michelle loves flying.

For Michelle, she loves flying when going on vacation.

She continues to share that she likes being on planes because it gives her peace.

It’s a time when she just sits and does nothing.

It feels like she’s present and she has no place to be for a few hours.

Lindsay feels the same.

She loves flying because she can relax and not work.

She has been doing a lot of flying and just loads up a lot of movies on her iPad.

She likes to take a break from work while in the air.

When flying is a challenge

Michelle adds that flying with children is a bit of a challenge for her depending on the time of their flight and how long it is.

However, even though it’s challenging, it’s still a lot of fun because you’re exploring a new place.

Today we will talk about our feelings on flying and share some vocabulary to help when you are on a flight.

Connect about flying preferences

Lindsay and Michelle share conversation starters to talk with people about flying.

This is a huge connection topic because everyone loves to talk about vacations and traveling.

Here are some episodes related to today’s topic you can go to after listening to today’s episode.

You can check out AEE 1203: Flying? How to Ask for a Seat Swap in English

And another episode is AEE 2045: The Updated Playbook for Booking Global Travel in 2023 with Jared Kamrowski

Today you’ll learn ways to start a conversation with someone on a plane or a friend about their airline preferences.

#1: Do you like talking to people sitting next to you?

Before starting a conversation, you should check if they’re keen to talk to you.

Especially on a long-haul flight or one that starts late, a lot of people want to catch up on sleep while on the plane.

This question is good to bring up with a friend who is about to travel on an airplane.

You want to learn what they do on a plane and if they try to make new friends on a plane.

Lindsay shares she met someone on the plane and then dated for a couple of months.

The relationship only happened because she started a conversation on a plane.

As you can see, talking to someone on a plane can really start a connection.

#2: Do you like airplane food?

This is another question that will absolutely start a good conversation.

A lot of people will have opinions on this.

Lindsay shares that airplane food is a bit hit-and-miss.

It depends on what airlines you’re using and the class you’re in on the flight.

Lindsay shares she likes the food on Turkish Airlines.

Michelle shares she doesn’t mind the food but is often bothered by the timing of food service.

This is especially difficult when you’re on a red-eye flight that is more than 12 hours of travel time.

Your sleep is often disrupted.

Use this question to strike up a discussion between you and your friends.

#3: Recline your seat or not?

This is another topic that a lot of people have strong opinions on.

Lindsay says that she is comfortable reclining the seat.

Her opinion is the mechanism for reclining the seat is there for a reason so you can use it.

You can let the person behind know that you’re reclining the seat.

Some may find it awkward to do so but it’s totally up to you.

Preferences can be different regarding this topic which also makes for a colorful debate.

#4: Do you watch movies on the plane, read, etc? Do you follow the map?

Michelle tries to watch movies on a plane.

However, often the selection is not appealing and she just becomes restless.

Lindsay then shares that looking at the map on the screen may be boring at times.

She would look at it when they are crossing over a place that can be interesting like flying over the Arctic Ocean.

That’s one area that she would look at a map on the plane’s screen because it’s fascinating but other than that she wouldn’t look at it.

#5: Do your ears pop during takeoff or landing?

Lindsay doesn’t really have any issues with motion sickness or pressure in her ears.

For Michelle, it’s not so much an issue for her going up.

It’s the descent that is a problem.

When she was a kid, she would have terrible pain in her ears and head.

She would need to chew gum and use nasal spray to help her cope with the pain.

These days, it’s less of a problem.

It is common to have ears pop when flying.

Ask other people about this to spark a great conversation and deepen the connection.


Everyone has different feelings about flying.

It’s a great conversation topic because people feel strongly about it one way or the other.

Invoking stories to further connect with someone is a good way to start a strong relationship.

If someone says they went on a trip, ask them about their flight!

What are other topics that are good conversation starters?

Share one in the comments below.

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