Air travel tidbit: The horrors of the middle seat pocket

On Thursday’s Fresh Air, Scott McCartney, the Wall Street Journal columnist who writes the Middle Seat, talked about airplane travel—the good, bad and the ugly. There is nothing uglier, it would seem, than the middle seat pocket. As McCartney says, “Don’t look too hard.”

The middle seat pocket is a metaphor of sorts for the place people can deposit their unhappiness with plane delays, missing an earlier connection, or what they might perceive as shoddy treatment.

They are the anonymous place for sky rage or bad behavior. This is where people deposit items like toenail clippings, half-eaten hamburgers and dirty diapers, he says. As he described it, each are often shoved deep inside so they’ve had time to ferment..

Personally, I wouldn’t dig too deep in the other ones either, although, come to think of it, the hypodermic needle trash I found on the Skybus airplane last summer was in the middle seat pocket. The unopened needle was under the left seat. Beware.