Since we began our round-the-world trip we’ve logged a lot of air-miles and observed a lot of bad behavior. Unfortunately, escaping poor manners and a lack for common sense is impossible when cruising above the clouds. Since airport security doesn’t screen for rude people there isn’t much that can be done but in case you were wondering, this is how to be the most annoying person on a flight.
1 – Knock people in the head with your carry-on luggage. I know that it can be hard to stuff your belongings in the overhead compartment sometimes, but take a look around you first and make sure there is no one around to injure.
2 – Allow your children to scream bloody murder. As an added bonus, please also encourage them to climb on the seat and annoy the passenger behind you as well. Kids will be kids sometimes and that is ok but just understand that most of the plane will be judging your reaction to your kid’s tantrum and making zero effort to remedy the situation is unacceptable.
3 – Take up BOTH arm rests. Because the seats are super comfy and I want your arm closer to my body. I know that airline seats are on the small side and it can be nearly impossible not to come into contact with the person next to you but try to understand that my space is limited too and it isn’t fair to spread out into my area for your comfort.
4 – Turn your headphones on full volume. I like Michael Jackson too but not on replay and I get it, you like it loud and don’t mind contributing to your hearing loss but the vast majority of people try to sleep on flights (especially long ones) and you’re going to make a lot of enemies with every track you play. Do us all a favor and keep the volume at a reasonable level or buy some decent headphones that allow you to keep the music to yourself and whatever you do – please don’t start singing too!
5 – Recline the entire time that way the person behind you gets to be even more comfortable. It’s the best if you do this while meals are served. Look, it’s your right to recline but on some planes, you are literally lounging in the lap of the person behind you. It can then become an act of acrobatics when I try to leave my seat for the lavatory or enjoy my meal. Just try to be mindful of your seat location and at least buy me a drink before you get all snuggly in my happy place.
6 – Talk to the stranger next to you while they’re reading, listening to music, watching TV or generally ignoring you. Not only will this annoy your unfortunate neighbor but also those in earshot. I’m not against having a pleasant conversion but please take a hint and know when to shut it when people aren’t really all that interested in your life story.
7 – Get drunk. The smell of booze and your new charisma will be a great combo. To put it simply, you’re on a plane, not a bar or a club. Even though they might serve liquor in those little bottles, that’s no excuse to pound them until you’re sloppy. Nobody is impressed. There is a time and place for getting your drink on and doing so on the plane will only get you dehydration and looks of contempt.
8 – Be stinky. Don’t bathe the day of your flight or smoke a cigarette just before boarding. Smelling bad is offensive and even more so on a plane with no escape for fresh air. So as the stench circulates about the cabin, understand that the other passengers on the plane will track down the culprit and will send a steady stream of hate in that direction. You could be the nicest person in the world but your BO is sending a different message. Make personal hygiene a priority in your life and give regular showers a try. Deodorant is also a great idea!
9 – Put up your feet. Especially if you take your shoes off and poke the person’s arm in front of you. That’s really fun. The stench of your feet is really just a bonus. Here’s the thing, my armrest isn’t designed to be your footrest! You wouldn’t think that this would be a common issue but it has happened far too many times. At first I’ll be nice and ask you to remove your feet. Do it again and I resort to tickling, flicking and pinching. So beware!
10 – Cough, sneeze, fart and spit (This one is for you China). Because all of these things are fantastic in confined spaces. Bodily functions can be bothersome but most people who are medically well enough for air travel are likewise well enough to control these things somewhat. If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth. If you need to fart or spit, use the lavatory. Common sense to most of us, but you’d be surprised at how many people missed the memo on these basic things.
Overall I think I’m a pretty tolerant person and obviously I’m being sarcastic in this post but seriously, being rude in confined spaces like a plane is 10 times worse because there is no way to escape. I’m not perfect and there even may be some things that I do that annoy other people on planes but I do know that I atleast make a concious effort to be aware of my actions and how they may affect those around me. If you’ve seen some unacceptable airplane behavior or have any horror stories of flights you’ve taken, post a comment below.