One of the more interesting aspects of travel is what I like to call the “seatmate lottery”. If you are traveling alone and are forced to travel economy class (which so far, has been every time I’ve traveled), it is likely that you will have at least two strangers sitting in your row with you. Whether or not you end up liking them, you’re pretty much stuck with them for the “duration of the flight”.
Much like the circles of Dante’s Inferno, there are a number of different ‘lottery’ outcomes. If you’re lucky, you hit the seatmate jackpot. There are two types of jackpot. The “open spaces” jackpot is the first type. Every once in a while, you will arrive at your row and there will be no one else sitting there. When this happens you stop and quickly look around to see if the rest of the plane is full. If it’s not, you think you’ve got a chance to have the seats to yourself.