In an ideal world there would be no need for airlines and we’d all be flying our own private jets. Alas, the world is far from ideal and so there are two choices – go with an airline or don’t go. The experience is rarely a pleasant one, but would be nicer if everyone showed just a little respect for one another. In such a confined environment it’s very easy to accidentally annoy somebody, but there are passengers who seem to go out of their way to do it. Passengers like these, for example:
If Children Are The Future, We’re Doomed
It isn’t the fault of the parents when an infant screams during take off and landing. What is their fault, however, is bringing the baby on board in the first place. Also on the charge sheet are spoilt toddlers that scream for the duration of the flight, feral children allowed to run riot in the cabin and, our favourite, kids who kick the back of the seat.
The Selfish Seat Recliner
The average economy seat has barely enough space as it is. So to have the one in front suddenly in your face, especially during the meal service, is a major pain in the butt. Such a pain, in fact, that someone has invented the Knee Defender to disable the recline mechanism. An extreme solution to a problem that wouldn’t exist if people had just a little consideration in the first place.
Grabbing The Seat Back
Does the seat in front have a handle attached to it? Of course not. So why do people use it to pull themselves out of their own seat and then hang off it as they drop back in? Nothing is more guaranteed to wake someone up than being catapulted into the next cabin. Except perhaps…
Let There Be Light
On every night flight someone will open a window blind to check if the sun is up, thereby waking anyone nearby who isn’t wearing eyeshades. See that glow around the edge of the blind? That’s a hint that there’s daylight out there. Leave it shut!
The arrogance, laziness and lack of respect required to throw trash into the aisle is astounding, and yet there are passengers who do just that. Apart from the slip and fall risk, there’s the obvious sanitary problem and it looks terrible. The sick bag isn’t just for puke.
The Weak Bladder – Window Seat Combo
Self-explanatory. Not many window seats come with direct access to the toilet, so if you need to use the bathroom every half hour then request an aisle seat. Either that or buy a pair of Tena Pants. And while we’re on the subject of toilet trips…
Light A Match (Metaphorically, of course)
If you need to go to the toilet during a 45 minute hop, you need to be looking at your diet. If you stroll to the front of a 737 with a newspaper under your arm and spend the next 15 minutes in there, you need to be looking at yourself. Either way, a courtesy flush after the first wave limits most of the damage.
Has Something Died?
Even though the pressurisation system continuously renews cabin air, it seems completely unable to shift bad odours. Whilst a bit of B.O. is unavoidable after 36 hours of travel, it is entirely possible to avoid pungent foodstuffs, hours old red wine breath and, most disgusting of all, the anonymous fart.
Personal Space Invaders
Whether it’s hogging both armrests or using someone else’s headrest to hang a jacket, there are those that fill all the available space around them, even if it isn’t theirs. Incredibly, there are even accounts of people stretching their legs between two seats in front. Aside from being just plain rude, chances are those trotters won’t be pine fresh.
Excessive Hand Baggage
Consistency is not a word normally associated with airline hand baggage policy. We’ve all seen someone board with rolling luggage, handbag, laptop, duty free purchases and a heavy overcoat. It has to go somewhere, so in order to guarantee there will be enough space they need to board first. Which means this kind of traveller also tends to suffer from…
Seat Row Amnesia
Airlines don’t board by seat row just to piss people off (they have many other ways to do that), they do it to minimise aisle blockages. Why bother? So many passengers ignore it and board anyway, safe in the knowledge the gate agent won’t say a word. Still, at least if they’re sitting up front, they can’t be guilty of…
Overhead Locker Theft
There is no excuse for throwing luggage into the first available space just in case there isn’t any in the rear. It inconveniences those passengers who are genuinely seated in the first few rows. Not only do their bags end up in the rear, but also there’s no chance of retrieving them on arrival due to…
Proof positive that human beings never learn, jackrabbits leap up from their seats as soon as the engines wind down, normally using the seat in front one last time for leverage. They then stand around for the next ten minutes before disembarking at precisely the same time as those who stayed seated.
Anyone talking to the person in the next seat at a volume that can be heard ten rows away deserves to be thrown off the plane. Ditto snorers, phone users, video game players, and those earphones that let out more noise than they keep in.
I Demand To See The Captain…
Every family has a professional complainer and, boy, do they seem to fly a lot. It’s a never-ending rant against the seat, the legroom, the food, the temperature, the movie, and so on. It doesn’t matter if they’re after discount vouchers, attention, or that the service is genuinely crap, everyone else suffers.
So there’s our list of annoying behaviour on airplanes, in no particular order. Do you agree or disagree? Got another airline horror story that beats these hands down? Tell us all by leaving a comment below.
We would like to thank Passenger Shaming for letting us use a few of their photos. If you really want to see some passengers behaving badly, you need to follow their Facebook page.