Your passport has been scanned and you’ve been through Duty Free and picked up your log-sized bar of Toblerone for munchies on the flight. You’ve entered the air bridge with your boarding pass clutched tightly in your hand. You’re in the plane and are on the way to your seat, hoping against hope that you don’t have the passenger from hell sitting next to you. There are many things which can grate on your last nerve when it comes to good behaviour on the plane. Here’s a list of the top pet peeves which I’ve run into on my plane travels which have had me searching for the emergency exit to push these passengers out of.
When getting up from your seat, do not use the seat in-front of you as leverage. No one likes to have their seat jerked every time the person behind them has to get up. On a 22 hour flight to London, lurid and violent reprisals are going through the poor person’s mind.
Three – two – one – smack!
Getting a full frontal smack in the face as soon as the seat belt sign goes off as someone robustly reclines their seat is the most hated of all hates in my travelling experience. Being quite tall, the little leg room I do get in economy class is closely guarded. But when you, my nemesis, push your seat back for the entire duration of the trip, including meal service, I just – grrrrrrrrrr! No words can convey my anger and frustration at these people! It’s very simple to check if you have anyone sitting behind you, and if you do, ask them if it’s okay for you to recline your seat. Then, when those meals services come around, put your seat back upright! It’s not hard people! If you recline your seat for any other reason other than sleeping, you’re on my list.
Keep it closed
You may be unaware of the truly terrifying sound you are emitting from your cake hole, but the person sitting 15 centimetres away from you can hear you loud and clear. Every slosh, every smack, every slurp as your try to inhale your food is heard in surround sound. It’s basic etiquette like this that has gone out the window in our society, magnified exponentially at 40,000 feet. Shut your mouth or feel the full wrath of my British-esque ‘tut-sigh-long look.’ Feel the buuuuurn.
Left foot, right foot, they call it walking!
The number of times I have been stuck behind a glacially slow person on the way to their seat when boarding! This isn’t your chance to browse through business class and look through every window at the view on the plane next to us at one-degree increments. Get to your seat, put bags in overhead locker and sit down! I am not advocating you charge down the aisle with all the tact of a howitzer either. Steady forward movement at a pace humans can withstand is a good start though.
I don’t care how many times you’ve seen Kim Kardashian walk off a plane perfectly groomed and clothed. Spending five hours in a plane toilet while you spruce yourself up to Kim’s level is not appropriate. Neither is brushing your hair next to me and hitting me in the process, or spritzing your perfume all through the cabin so even those in row 50 can smell the noxious fumes. Have some respect for other people’s bladders and nasal follicles. This plane is not your personal fashion show.
The happy chatty
You’re going on holidays. Yay! I am very happy that you are travelling, but I don’t need to hear about it constantly for the next 10 hours. It may be a nervous thing, or you could just be the most annoying person on the flight, but I don’t need to hear it. I don’t need to hear about what your friend said to do in that city. I don’t need to be shown your Instagram/hashtag journey from farewell to plane. I REALLY don’t want to hear about the number of pairs of underwear you have packed! A little decorum, please! I will politely nod and then stealthily leave for a long walk around the plane, hoping beyond hope you discover the new releases on the plane’s entertainment system.
Try not to breathe through your nose! The B.O train has parked itself right next to you! Showering, deodorant and toothpaste are magical things! Try it out sometime
You don’t know more than them
This is a more important point. Acting like you’re god’s gift to air travel and know absolutely everything and not listening to the professionals pushes my buttons. When they tell you to turn off your electronics, phones in particular, do it. I spoke with an airline pilot on one of my tours once and he explained why they’re so stringent on this issue. It’s not because if you make a phone call the telcos won’t be able to charge you for the call – honestly! Take a look around you. How many thousands of different electronic products are out there these days? There is no way in hell that they can all be tested to see their effect on an airplane. Therefore, a blanket rule applies. So, for the sake of common sense, turn the electronics off or I’ll do it for you.