- Avoid eye contact
- Lean against the window and stretch out your legs.
- Sit on the aisle seat and listen to music to pretend not to hear people asking for the window seat.
- Place a large bag or multiple items in the empty seat to make it time-consuming to move.
- Look out the window with a blank stare to appear crazy.
- Pretend to be asleep.
- Put your coat on the seat to make it appear already taken.
- If all else fails, lie: Say the seat has been taken by someone else.
Why do I blog this? A fascinating example of how people adopt very simple behavior to avoid a proximate interaction with strangers. The underlying reasons for doing that is also relevant. Potentially intriguing for designers interested in playing with this situation.