Is it really that hard to fly on a plane without being an idiot?

PH2009050801606This coming memorial day weekend I will be flying up the coast to Sonoma Valley for my cousin’s wedding. I couldn’t be more excited! It’s always been my dream to go to Northern California and do some wine tasting.  Knowing that wine tasting is something so many members of my family are into my aunt has rented a party bus to take us around to different wineries the day after the wedding. Sounds perfect!

The only issue is getting up north. You may be thinking, “well that isn’t all that difficult”.  Typically I would agree with you, but flying gives me the worlds worst anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive breakdowns.  That’s why when people sitting next to me on an airplane act as if they have no knowledge of how to act on an airplane I snap.

How hard is it to follow typical passenger etiquette.  I’m not talking about anything special here. I am simply referring to every day manors applied in an airplane setting. You know, like being polite to others. Simple, right?

After flying to Indiana the first weekend of May I learned the hard way that people seem to throw commonsense and manors straight out the unopenable airplane windows. They have no idea of what etiquette is. I get that flying has become increasingly frustrating due to longer security lines, hire prices, having to pay for things we use to get for free, and other rude passengers all around you.  Yet, that doesn’t help anything. What would help is if passengers just started using their heads.

A few tips on how to enjoy your flight, not get in a passive-aggressive situation with your fellow travelers and how to keep everything moving forward happily.

  1. If your bag is a larger bag, then just check the dang bag! I get why business travelers carry their roller bags onto planes, but a family of four doesn’t need to carry on every piece of luggage they are taking on their trip. It’s just inconsiderate, delays boarding and exiting of planes and royally annoys other passengers.You know what I am talking about.  I’m referring to those families that yell up and down the aisle as they fight to find space for their double wide roller bags.  Just check them, put your carry-on luggage like a messenger bag underneath the seat in front of you and sit your behind down.
  2. When it’s time for boarding stay in your seat until your section is called (unless you are flying on Southwest, because all bets are off).  If you are flying most major airlines then you are assigned a seat and a boarding section for every flight. You don’t need to rush the gate doors.  I swear, every flight i have flown on recently has been a nightmare to board thanks to idiotic passengers with section 5 written on their tickets blocking the gate for sections 1 – 4.  Is it that hard to match your “5” to the vocal call of “now boarding section 5?”  Your seat isn’t going to get stolen. HINT: You already purchased the seat and it has been assigned to you.  There is no need to run to the line if your section hasn’t been called and block people who should be boarding.Some people will argue, “but I need to be the first in my section so I can get room in the overhead for my large carry-on items”. Again, if you have a large carry-on item and you are flying with your family to Disney World or to spend a week at your extended families home then just check your luggage and don’t deal with the hassle and cause a hassle for all other passengers.  Seems simple enough to me!
  3. 167586-096fd904-6776-11e3-bdad-d26236de09deWhen you pay for one seat you only get to use one seat.  I didn’t realize there was a misunderstanding to this until I was flying back to Los Angeles from Indianapolis.  I was already in a funky mood when I boarded the flight, but I think I had every right to speak up to the lady sitting next to me on the flight.When I first arrived to our row of seats on the plan she was stretched out with one leg across the three seats and two bags laying on my seat. She was just chilling there reading her book.  I figured I would be nice and simply said, “I think that’s my seat” while pointing at her stuff and her leg.  She scooted over while huffing.  Yes, she was huffing at me like I had done something wrong!

    I ignored the slight attitude from her and took my seat in the middle. My fiancé was in the window seat, I was in the middle and rude passenger was in the aisle seat.  What happened next kind of shocked me.

    After sitting down and trying to lower the arm rest between myself and the passenger in the aisle seat I saw her giving me side eye.  I ignored it, until her bags appeared again.  This time she put them next to her on the seats.  Yes, I said seats! She had half her purse on her seat and half on mine laying on its side under the arm rest.

    I just kept telling myself that it wasn’t a big deal.  Then she took out her coat because she must have been cold.  Apparently she thought I was cold so she threw a portion of it on me. Literally, it was covering the arm rest between us and blanketing part of my leg.

    When I asked her to move her purse and jacket she didn’t immediately understand what my issue was.  Well lady, I paid for a seat on this plan too. It’s a tiny seat and I am six feet tall, but I am managing to keep myself contained in my area.

  4. When deciding what food to take onto a plane I have one request.  Please pick foods that don’t carry a strong odor. I am not exaggerating.  I once sat on a flight behind a couple who decided to bring hard-boiled eggs onto the flight.  They didn’t previously peel the eggs so as they ate them we all had to smell the unpleasant odor of eggs wafting throughout the plan as the couple peeled them. Have they ever heard of carrots or pretzels?
  5. When at check-in, just check-in.  It’s not that complicated. Just follow the prompts on the screen of the automated check-in kiosk and you SHOULD be fine.  What is wrong with people?
  6. While I have a hundred more points to make I just want to close with one last point. Please keep in mind that airline employees are just employees of a company doing their job.  If they are blatantly rude then you have every right to be rude back, but otherwise remember that they don’t make the rules.  We just hope for our safety and ease of traveling that they follow every rule.  You may get frustrated that your bag is too large to carry on the plane or that you have to throw away your $50 bottle of face lotion you tried to carry on, but that’s your own fault.  Rules are rules and they are all obvious and available to you a head of time.  Stop yelling at people, like flight attendants, for your frustrations with airline policies.

Let’s hope I have a smooth flight in a week without having to sit next to a rude passenger!