NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nearly one in four Americans get on a plane over the holiday season hoping the person sitting in the next seat might be a future date or spouse, according to a new survey released on Monday.

The survey of people planning a holiday trip found 28 percent saw a flight as a chance to make a new friend, 24 percent were hoping to meet a new love interest or a future spouse and 14 percent hoped to make a business contact. The Chase United Mileage Plus Visa Card conducted the poll.

Still, many would resort to tricks to avoid talking to a bore -- 49 percent said they would read, 41 percent would put on headphones and 10 percent will ask to be left alone.

Asked which talk show host would be the most fun to sit next to on a cross-country flight, Oprah Winfrey (30 percent) was the most popular, with late-night comedian Jay Leno (14 percent) her nearest rival.


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