1. Stories from a flight attendant.
2. Stories from a passenger.
It is not quite as bad, usually, as the passenger makes it out to be, though my own impressions are tempered by often being bumped up to the front on domestic flights. It is different up there, in part because everyone is drinking the free alcohol. Plus there are fewer kids and fewer adults who want to talk to with you because they came on the plane unprepared with something to read or do.
But even in the back, Bose noise-canceling headphones do a wonderful job of putting off would-be conversationalists (you don't even have to turn them on) and help to focus my attention on whatever paper I am reading.
Who was my favorite student this term?
8 months ago