In the Airport
“Are you going to miss anything because of the delay?”
The best way to start a conversation, as most know, is to show an interest in them. Many people schedule flights to get them to their destination just in time to attend a meeting, job, or event. As long as their answer isn’t a simple, “no,” then you’ll have more information to use as a starting point for a conversation.
“The last flight I was on…”
If you have a funny story about a previous connecting flight, or one that you’ve taken in the past, it’s a good ice breaker for discussing a future flight. For example: “On my last flight, the turbulence was so bad it sounded like the plane was hitting potholes!”
“This must be some great water. The bottle cost me ___!”
Commiserating is one of the easiest conversation starters when it comes to travel woes, and adding the price gouging at airports into the mix gives everyone an easy way to start a conversation! From here, you can move on to the new regulations that don’t allow you to bring your own water into the airport, too.
“Are you from ____?”
Note what the person is wearing. If they have a jacket or shirt that indicates some sort of affiliation with a school or group, ask them about it. Many times, the best conversation starters depend on what the other person brings to the table (even if they don’t realize)!
On the Plane
“My arms are getting tired…”
Yeah, it’s a lame joke. They probably won’t get it, and if they do, they probably won’t laugh. But you’ll have broken the ice with a little silliness.
Ask the age old question, “Where are you headed?”
It’s ages old because it works! It gives you a segway into connecting flights, destinations, jobs, families, almost anything you could want to talk about.
“That’s a nice _____, was it a gift?”
A compliment will help a stranger open up, and a question will illicit a response.
“Well, at least we’re saving money by flying instead, with gas prices what they are!”
Another of those travel woes conversation starters. Especially funny if it’s a short flight and you’re not really saving money.
“MMmm, airplane food!”
Laugh when you say it.
“You know… If they laid us all in stacks.. there’d be room for at *least* another fifty people.”
This one will only work in coach, though!