You’ve jumped through all the hoops of contemporary air travel and finally reached your cramped seat, dreaming about some quiet you-time. But your seatmate wants to chat . . . and chat . . . and chat.

You possess a right to defend your desire for silence, says Diane Gottsman, author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life. And you can do it without raising your voice.

“Obviously, you want to be polite and respectful,” she adds. “If she says, ‘Hello,’ wish her the same inside a friendly tone. But you’re not necessary to go beyond that, and when she insists on chatting when you’d prefer not to, you have several options.”

Speak in closed-ended responses. “If she shows you a photo of her children,” Gottsman says, “respond in a way that’s not open-ended; don’t feel you need to further the conversation. ‘That’s a beautiful photo of your kids,’ full stop. Not ‘That’s an attractive photo of your kids. What are their names?’”

Declare your intention. “Being honest and straightforward gives you your best chance to guard your peace and quiet. ‘I’ve really enjoyed speaking with you. Now I’m going to excuse myself and take this time to just close my eyes and rest.’ Or ‘I’ve got some work to do, so I’m going to jump into it right now.’”

Use physical cues. Wearing earbuds is easily becoming a universal code for “don’t bug me,” says Gottsman. A magazine or laptop relays the same message.

If the individual doesn’t take the hint: “Repeat your declaration,” says Gottsman, “in the spirit of simply reminding her. ‘I’m sorry, however i really do want to focus on my work’ or ‘I truly need to chill out right now.’”

If the individual gets mad: “We can’t dictate another person’s personality, unfortunately. Who knows how this other person will react? We assume she’s likely to be adult. We assume she’s likely to behave appropriately, but if she's combative, you have every right to speak with the flight attendant.”