I fly the friendly skies a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean I could probably wallpaper a 5,000-square-foot house with all of the boarding passes I’ve accumulated. So needless to say, I’ve observed some pretty peculiar — and sometimes extremely rude — behavior on airplanes.
Next time you board a plane, keep a few of these tips in mind to make sure you aren’t that passenger that everyone dreads getting stuck next to.
• Don’t talk loudly on your phone. If you’re in your seat, remember you have dozens and dozens of new friends within a stone’s throw of you and your loud voice. It’s one thing to quietly answer a call from your kid’s babysitter and quickly answer her question about where the M&M’s are stashed; it’s a whole different thing to loudly discuss your drunken adventures from the night before with your bestie. Nobody wants to know about the countless girls you hit on.
• This leads nicely into my next tip: Don’t board the plane smelling of liquor. I don’t care if it’s the four shots you pounded at the airport bar to curb your anxiety about flying or if it’s last night’s smelly residue. Use a breath mint, wash your pits and mask that smell for your seatmate.
• Treat the flight attendants with respect. There is nothing worse than seeing someone unnecessarily harass the flight crew. You aren’t alone on this plane and we’re all trapped in a confined space for the next few hours, so let’s play nice.
• When we’re boarding, don’t get up to get your beef jerky out of your backpack in the overhead bin. Have what you’ll need for the flight ready beforehand, so you’re not holding up a long line of people. Remember how anxious you were to get to your seat and sit down? So are we — so have your stuff organized before you even sit.
• Can we make a pact to stop kicking, pulling, pushing and tampering with the seat in front of us? Again, this goes back to the whole idea of ‘Remember how desperately you wanted a peaceful flying experience?’ Yeah, we all do. So, let’s do our best to keep our extremities under control when we’re 10,000 feet above the Earth.
My rule of thumb is to treat others the way you would like to be treated — and your next six-hour flight just might be pleasant for you and everyone around you.