The best way to get to know people is flying on an overnight flight with them. You are crammed into a small space and stuck there for 8-9 hours. You know when they eat and what they eat. You know their sleeping habits, whether the snore or drool or talk in their sleep.
I’ve been in this situation quite a few times and have found that now when I board an overnight flight, I scope out and size up my fellow traveling companions determining whether it is going to be a sweet or sour experience like I do watermelons in the grocery store.
You can imagine my reaction when I found my seat next to a mom and a 3-year old who had never flown overnight. I immediately dug into my carry on for my earphones only to discover that my armrest speaker was constantly scanning and could not be stopped. It was going to be a long night!