Have you ever had that silent battle for the armrest with person next to you on a plane?
Has anyone ever taken so many sleeping tablets that they fall asleep before the plan taxied to the runway and didn’t wake up when you need to use the bathroom? Did you watch in horror as their drool made its way out of their mouth, down their travel pillow and onto your shoulder?
Sadly these scenarios play out all too often on planes; ironically, mostly on long-haul flights. While other forms of public transport are taking steps to reduce the public-ness of public transport—quiet carriages on trains and mobile phone-free buses—air travel is falling behind.
So to avoid further in-flight faux pas, we’ve compiled a list of the top sky-high misdemeanours and violations of aeroplane etiquette. Who are the worst offenders? And more importantly, are you one of them?…
The ‘chatty’ passenger
Whether talking on their phone as they board or exit a plane, or (even worse) chatting to you as you try to settle into a 15-hour flight, the chatty passenger is perhaps one of the worst. Now I know that adventures are equally as much about the people we meet as the destination we discover; however there is a limit to the length and depth a public conversation should reach.
Also extends to | People who play music or movies without their headphones in; people who play music or movies too loudly while wearing headphones; couples of friends who converse/laugh/argue the whole flight; people who maintain conversations across aisles or rows; people who believe staying hydrated equals enjoying 16 Singapore slings.
The ‘fragrant’ passenger
This doesn’t necessarily refer to only the less hygienic smelling passengers, but also the ones that believe one spray of Lynx deodorant is simply not enough and that they must douse their clothing in a sickly scent until they are rendered highly flammable (and therefore should probably not fly anyway). While there is a fine line between pleasant and suffocation, there is no excuse for no deodorant at all.
Also extends to | Anyone who removes their shoes exposing smelling feet or socks; those who enjoyed a delicious garlic-laced meal before boarding; those who release some cabin pressure of their own in the form of noxious gases.
The ‘kicking’ passenger
On some flights you may feel as though you are seated in front of a donkey. While livestock are generally transported below cabin, rude human passengers are unfortunately not. Now, we understand that long flights are uncomfortable and that stretching is an important part of in-flight health and safety. However this should not extend to consistently bashing the seat in front of you as you shift in your seat trying to get comfortable.
Also extends to | people who push their seat all the way back for the duration of the flight; people who repeatedly open and close their tray tables; people who place their feet between the back and bottom of your seat.
So now that the offending actions have been identified, what can we all do to avoid becoming one of the above? It’s easy! Simply sit back and relax into your flight, follow the suggestions of your cabin crew and be courteous to your fellow passengers. After all, you’re all trapped in a tin can flying 30,000 feet above solid ground. Let’s not make it any harder than it has to be…