I’ve traveled enough these days to where I’m acutely aware of the “types” of people you encounter on an airplane or maybe in the airport. The airplane, to me, seems a much more intense relationship with these people since you’re literally stuck in a metal tube with them for however long your flight may be – meaning travel etiquette is ESSENTIAL.
The older I get the more impatient I seem to be, or less inclined to want to deal with many of these personalities. If you know me well, you know my face is very expressive. Thankfully my forehead is generally full of botox so my brows don’t show as much emotion as they used to but still.. I have a hard time hiding my annoyance with these people.
These are the personalities I’ve come across so far while flying across the world, have you encountered any of these – or worse, do you think you may be one of these? I’ll tell you which one I am!
I think we’ve all sat down at one point or another and had someone just truly chat your ear off. Normally I don’t mind this but usually I’m trying to nap on planes and thus just don’t have the bandwidth to carry on and pay attention. Back when I used to live in Utah I would fly to Dallas often to visit family. I always caught a flight the morning my last night shift ended so imagine how tired and cranky I was after working 12+ hours in the cardiac ICU. SUPER IRRITABLE. I almost always would be seated next to someone who wanted to know my life story or just would not stop talking. Bless their hearts, my cranky self would have to throw on headphones and turn towards my window to pass out.
The I Just Opened a Bag of Beef Jerky Person
OMG – I get that we’re all hungry and want to eat on the plane. But dang – there are just some smells in a confined space that don’t belong. I’m actually writing this post on a flight to Vegas and someone literally opened a bag of beef jerky before we even took off. WHY?! I love beef jerky but the smell on a plane is just so intrusive and pungent. What smells bother you on airplanes? Really strong sandwich meats also make me want to wretch.
So – this seems to happen to me all the time. And no, I don’t mean I’m the one with the gas. Funny story – the first time I ever got to fly first class I was SO excited! I couldn’t wait to see what the hype was all about and get my own little warm hand towel service. I sit down in my window seat and am next to an older gentleman, business looking type. He seemed nice enough and not overly chatty. Wrong. The man started downing bloody mary after blood mary – and on came the questions and irritable bowel. First, I thought it was coming from the bathroom, but then he let one out that seriously felt like it hit my face. It took every ounce of my composure to not grab my nose and try not to breathe. Has that ever happened to you? Babies with dirty diapers I totally understand and have no qualms with – but adults with gas attacks maybe pack some beano just in case? Whewwee!
The Conk Out on your Neighbor Person (This is Me)
Like I previously mentioned, I fall asleep almost instantly on planes. I always choose the window seat for this reason. Somehow though, my head ends up on my neighbor’s shoulder. Almost always! To me, it’s kind of endearing (unless there is snoring, which I am known to do) when someone falls asleep on a stranger. It’s the little bit of humanity we all need mixed with love. I currently can’t sleep, but you’ll see why. If you are known to be a drooler (God forbid you drool on someone) maybe try to sleep on the window or try a neck pillow!
The Seat Back in your Lap Person
Ah, the reason why I can’t sleep or really can’t even cross my legs – there’s a seat in my lap. Airplanes are just an uncomfortable experience overall – I can never truly get comfortable and I’m always worried I’ll be “that person” taking up someone’s space. So I try to stay within the confines of my seat and don’t really put my seat very far back minus maybe an inch or so. This woman in front of my has her seat so far back there is no putting a drink on the tray, digging in my bag, or much of anything aside from typing on my laptop (in my lap) with my elbows literally against my ribs. But I’m currently annoyed enough to do so and took inspiration for this post. So I guess I really should thank her. But in all honesty, don’t be this person. I wouldn’t even be able to get up to go to the bathroom if needed to without grabbing the top of her seat and possibly her hair (also hate when people do that).
The Chair Kicker
Typically, I find this is a child and I have no children so I will not judge on this one whatsoever unless you’re an adult and should know better. The seat kicker or puller is like that slow drip on a leaky faucet: not that bad at first until you’re eventually driven crazy but the constant bugging drip drip drip – or kick kick kick. Poor Charlie almost always have a kicking child behind his chair – bless him and his monumental level of patience.
The Battle of Elbows
Okay – the seats are narrow, I get it. But it’s obnoxious when (especially a man) is elbowing completely into my seat, get in your own lane bro! It’s like driving a car and taking up two lanes – stop it. One time when I was flying from Salt Lake City to Dallas, I was again just finishing a night shift and was incredibly drained. I just wanted to sleep. The older man (who looked perfectly nice) next to me was at first sitting in my window seat. He asked if I minded (dude you’re already sitting in my seat) and yes I minded because I wanted to sleep on the window and not on him. BUT I was very nice and even apologetic about it – even though it was the freaking seat I paid for! Homeboy got SO mad and passive aggressive, he had his feet and his elbows all up in my business. He even had the audacity to get out a freaking newspaper and widespread open up the entire thing across our seats. This behavior from a grown man was appalling – and to be honest such a shock. I couldn’t even sleep because he was so invasive. So my lesson here is by mindful of your limbs and don’t be an asshole, plain and simple.
The Loud Conversationalist
Airplanes are loud – yes. But is there a need to talk ABOVE everyone else? Is there though? I think not. Again, me and the sleeping. When people are loud enough to be heard over my headphones – there’s a problem. Bring it down an octave. And again, crying babies – I totally get it, and feel sorry for them (their poor little ears). But loud or even drunk adults.. no patience. Be courteous to those around you and keep your conversations at a pleasant volume.
Have I missed anyone? I kind of bundled the drunk person into the last one up above. I know I left out the deliberately rude person or the drop luggage on your head person. What about the people who IMMEDIATELY stand up and get in the aisle the moment the plane lands and seatbelt signs go off? Why?? When someone tries to cut me off exiting the plane, I will say something. You disembark row by row! Maybe you have a tight connection – then say so and people will gladly move for you, otherwise don’t be that person.
What are your observations on planes? I’m dying to know! Do you have any specific ideas on travel etiquette? Share them with me.