PSA: Don’t Be Annoying on an Airplane

air traveler rights getting bumped from flight airplane

What is it about an airplane that draws out the most annoying traits in a person? Is it being shoved in a small space in seats that barely recline? Being made to starve while smelling someone’s McDonalds french fries? Retaliation for having just had some stranger peruse your personal items while wearing blue, rubber gloves and then stealing your SPF? Probably all of these things and the $15 ham sandwich you just bought, but the point is that while we’re all stressed out in that sardine can in the sky, there are a few things you can do about it. So, yes, we’re about to put the “plane” into complain, but we’re also going to offer you some easy solutions to help you cope, and make it you don’t end up becoming any of these annoying passengers.

1—The Cougher
Had you not noticed that everyone on your flight had bronchitis, or did the chorus of hacking and throat clearing start as soon as the cabin door closed? Answer: It’s as if airlines are secretly piping pollen into the fuselage of their flights or yes, every passenger on your plane has throat issues. Does it matter? Even if this person isn’t sitting directly behind you blowing their germs into the back of your head, it’s still coming at you though the stale, recycled cabin air. We’ve all had to travel with a cold, but that doesn’t give you free reign to be disgusting.

Solution: Always fly with cough lozenges. If that person is sitting near you, you can help. If that person is sitting far from you, you can help the flight attendant to help you. If that person is you, then everyone else will thank you. Also, bring tissues, hand sanitizer and avoid sugar in your tea or as a soda, it makes you cough more. If you’re a sneezing mess? Figure out your pill situation and put yourself to sleep. Thank-you!

2—The Lazy Leaver
Mysteries of the universe: Why is there usually just one door used to disembark an airplane of hundreds of people? That’s always annoying, especially if you’re in the back of the plane, but it’s confounded by those annoying passengers who leisurely retrieve their luggage from the overhead, oblivious to the line of evil stares coming from the people waiting behind.

Solution: Try and leave the handle for your bag facing the aisle so you can pull it down with ease. Some, like this great Victorianox, even come with underside handles. When the people five rows in front of you have started filing out, you should already be finished gathering the things you need in your seat. When it’s you versus two more rows of people, have a plan of attack for getting your bag down from up above.

3—Smelly Food
Most of us have never been terrified by a 4 ounce grooming product on board a plane, even when they’ve slipped past security (3.4 ounces is the maximum), so why does the FAA/TSA/Airlines allow people bring food that stinks?

Solution: Eggs make the airplane smell like farts, or really, just reinforces the already gassy air and onions make it smell like you’ve never heard of deodorant. But really, hot food is the culprit, so pack a cold sandwich, leave out the funky stuff and never, under any circumstances, take Kimchi. Also, consider this insulated bag to keep your food in, so it doesn’t smell while you wait to eat.

4—Mr. Takes His Time
You found your seat? Good for you! Now sit. It’s always surprising how many people will stand in the aisle next to their seat while the plane is half boarded, rummaging through their bag before they put it in the overhead, folding their jacket, looking at their Facebook.

Solution: Seriously people, get it together. Figure this stuff out while you’re waiting for the plane to board. Get your toys, gadgets, books, food, what-have-you prepared before you get in line to board. Wearing this vest really helps, and it cuts down on the space in your carry on. Also, wake up! Sit down.

5—The Seat Banger
You know of whom we speak. The ignorant fool who finds the need to repeatedly slam the food tray attached to the back of your seat. When that’s not happening, they’re incessantly pushing as hard as they can into the touch screen just a few inches behind your head. Thanks airlines for giving this tool a video game. Right. There. But the cherry on top of this annoying-person-pie is when they grab on to the back of your seat to hoist themselves up on their way to use the bathroom. Once or twice, and this is okay—it’s a design flaw we’ve got to deal with, but if it’s non-stop, you’re dealing with one of the worst annoying passengers possible: an overgrown child…or an actual child.

Solution: Put on your most polite face and let the person or person’s parent know that they are pushing you. They might actually not realize it. If they argue with you, there’s no shame in asking the flight attendant to step in. There might even be an empty seat somewhere else on the plane with your name on it.

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