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Do Women and Men Fly Differently?

I don’t usually buy into gender generalizations, but several assertions in the most recent Wall Street Journal Middle Seat blog rang true with me as a female flier. I do like to check a bag, I do try to make myself as small as possible in my airplane seat, and I don’t care if I’m flying on a 737, 747 or 1234 as long as I get where I want to go.

According to the blog post, entitled “He Carries On, She Likes to Check,” the plane travel habits of men and women can vary drastically.

In simple terms, she likes the window seat with the shade pulled down, while he likes the aisle seat and wants the shade up.

Other differences: She checks bags, while he carries on. She curls up in the corner of her seat to avoid contact with strangers, while he dominantly claims his space and the armrests. She wants a blanket; he doesn’t get cold.

While I actually prefer the aisle seat and don’t much care if the shade is up or down, I do prefer to check a bag – I just don’t want to be bothered with having to lug a suitcase around with me – and I will grab a blanket if one is available.

And I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve sat next to a man who takes up every bit of space he can get away with, including both armrests (if he’s in the middle) and even some of my legroom. And what do I do about it? I curl up in the corner and hope we never make contact!

Another generalization into which I fit – he (my husband included) can tell you what type of plane you’re flying on at first sight, while she couldn’t care less.

Do you recognize yourself in these generalizations?

— written by Dori Saltzman

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