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How To Be A Good Airline Passenger - A Funny Guide

Updated on April 3, 2015
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Claudia enjoys traveling and bringing her travel tips to readers.

Airline Travel
Airline Travel | Source

Most of us have been on an airplane at one point during our lives. Some of us have flown dozens of times, some have flown once or twice. At some point we've all been seated next to someone that we really hope we never see again. These are the passengers I remember the most from my flight experiences. Some of us, and I include myself here, have been bad passengers at one time or another.

Whatever the case may be, if you want to know how to be a good airline passenger, here's a helpful guide to help you identify the type of flyer you DO NOT want to be. I put this list together based on my flying experiences and I tried to make it funny so that you won't be too offended if, and when, you see yourself.

Sleepy Sally

We all do it...fall asleep on the plane. There is no problem with that. The problem begins when it starts affecting your fellow passengers.

  • Sleep too heavily and you start snoring...loudly. Heavy breathing isn't that bad, the plane engines drown that out. Your buzz sawing cannot be disguised and no one wants to hear it.
  • Don't start snuggling with your neighbor after you fall asleep. For some reason sleeping seems to bring out the cuddly side of some passengers. I sat next to a guy once who kept putting his head on my shoulder. Seriously!? Gross! Back off! After I rammed my elbow in his ribs 3 separate times he finally got the message.

Enjoying an empty flight
Enjoying an empty flight | Source

Rude Rhonda

Everyone is tired and cranky on a flight, especially a long one, but try to keep a calm demeanor.

  • Don't start pushing the call button every 5 minutes because you're ticked off that the flight hasn't taken off yet. Flight attendants do a lot of things, but they can't help it if a thunderstorm with 40 mile per hour winds is whipping through the area. Yelling at the flight attendant won't make the situation any better either.
  • Don't complain to me and anyone else who'll listen that your rum and coke just cost you $20 bucks. If you didn't want to pay that much, you shouldn't have bought it and it's not our fault that you did.
  • Don't swipe the inflight magazines out of someone else's front seat pocket. If you'd asked nicely someone would probably let you have it.
  • With all of the bag restrictions nowadays, this doesn't happen as much, but don't ask to put one of your bags under the seat of your neighbor. I was smart and I have long legs so I brought one carry on that I put in the overhead compartment, ensuring that I would have a few more centimeters of leg room. I'm not gonna give it up because you don't know how to pack.

Sleeping on an airplane
Sleeping on an airplane | Source

Seat hog Sam

This category could probably be combined with Rude Rhonda's, but then I wouldn't have as much space to vent about Seat Hog Sam. I should have known that there would be problems when I boarded and there was "Sam", with all of his stuff on my seat. Seriously, it's not like I can go sit somewhere else.

  • Don't put your junk on the seat next to you in hopes that no one will sit next to you.
  • Don't raise the seat arm without asking. I really don't want to fly cheek to cheek with you.
  • Keep your elbows on your side of the armrest. Yeah, I know that some folks are bigger than others and I'm no skinny minny, but keep your arms to your side.

Chatty Cathy

In my opinion, being a Chatty Cathy is the most common offense among airline passengers. Pleasantries and interesting conversation are one thing, but unless you've never been out of a hole, you should be able to take a hint that the person you're speaking with would like some quiet time.

  • If your "neighbor" is asleep, he doesn't want to talk to you. Be quiet.
  • If your "neighbor" is sick, he doesn't want to talk to you. Be quiet.
  • If your "neighbor" is reading a book, he doesn't want to talk to you. Be quiet.
  • If your "neighbor" tells you to be quiet, he doesn't want to talk to you. Be quiet.

I was stuck on a plane from Germany once. It was a 6 hour flight, I had a fever and I was trying desperately to sleep but the girl next to me wouldn't shut up. Even the flight attendant took pity on me, but the plane was booked solid so they couldn't move me. My only solace was that she may have caught what I had. I know...not very nice, but she talked for the entire flight...no kidding.

Keep your shoes on!
Keep your shoes on! | Source

Messy Mary

I will admit to this up front. In the past, I have been a Messy Mary but not since I found a used vomit bag in my seat pocket. They must have missed that during the flight cleanup. Take a look around before, during and after your flight. You'll be amazed when you see what people put in those seat pockets.

  • Don't put open food or drink in the seat pocket. Inevitably it spills and I would imagine it's tough to clean.
  • Don't put your dirty socks in the seat pocket. Simply said...yuck!
  • Don't put used tissues in the seat pocket or on your neighbors seat. Again...yuck! It's nasty.

Since I'm being honest here, I did something that I still feel bad about to this day. I had gotten those fancy fake nails for my wedding and could not get used to them. Nails have never been my strong point. Flying home from my honeymoon on a bumpy flight I started fidgeting and picking and, before I knew it, I had popped off all of those fake nails. Not an easy feat if you've ever done it. Well, with no place to put them, I dumped them into the seat pocket in front of me. I know...that was horrible. Like I said, I still feel guilty about that and I cringe just writing about it.

Smelly Sal

I'm going to try very hard and not offend anyone here, but sometimes people smell, whether they know it or not. They also bring things with them that smell or use products that smell. Before boarding do yourself and your fellow passengers a favor and do a double check in the restroom. If you have been travelling for 24 hours straight it might be time to get a damp paper towel and freshen up a bit.

  • Don't wear strong perfume. It may smell really good when not sitting 2 inches away from someone in a non-enclosed space, but it's overpowering in an airplane. Also, please don't spray perfume on yourself in your seat when preparing for landing. Do it in the bathroom. I've had perfume sprayed in my face and it's not fun.
  • Now that food is not always on the menu during a flight people have been bringing food on the plane. Keep it simple. Don't bring anything too strong smelling and if you are sitting next to me, please no bologna. That stuff makes me gag on one whiff.
  • Keep your shoes on. Not everyone's feet smell like roses. By the way, this should be a requirement for teenage boys on flights.

What type of Airline Passenger are you?

See results

Ignoring Ida

Before you get upset with me, let me say that I have flown with my daughter and I know how tough it can be to travel with children. Crying kids don't bug me. Kids cry. Rule #1 with kids on a plane is to keep an eye on them.

  • Don't take a knockout pill with a shot of liquor right before take off if you are travelling with young children. I can assure you that the kids will take advantage of the situation. For 3 hours those of us who had the privilege of sitting around a passed out mom ended up babysitting for 3 kids under the age of 7. When she finally woke up she yelled at the flight attendants and all of us for giving her kids toys to play with.

© 2012 Claudia Mitchell

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    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Hi ps - I was on an Easter break and rode the train home yesterday. The woman in front of me kept spraying perfume. Ugh. I need to add something about that to this hub. Glad it made you smile. Thanks for commenting.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Love this. I have had too many of these...but I T R Y to keep my sense of humor. The drooling slack jaw that snores and tries to snuggle...nay nay..no thank you.

      Thanks for the smile

      Angels are on the way :) ps

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks so much OanaBoteanu! Hope it makes your next flight more fun.

    • profile image

      OanaBoteanu 5 years ago

      This is funny :) I need to agree with you, so much of this happens on flights :D Thanks for it, great advice and a good laugh. Will share it with my friends :)

      Voting up.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks Daniel! Maybe it should be a standard hand out at the beginning of each flight! LOL.

    • danielmcbane profile image

      Daniel McBane 5 years ago from Berlin

      I might just print this out and hand it to my neighbor(s) on every future flight.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Sorry you had a bad experience Natasha. Hopefully you had a good trip anyway! Thanks for the comments.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Sadly, I just experienced lousy seatmates on all three legs of an airplane journey! This hub is funny and too true.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks for the visit PinnacleSignworks! You probably heard some good stories from your dad. Enjoy your trip to Scotland. If you have a chance, go to Glen Coe. Just breathtaking.

    • PinnacleSignworks profile image

      PinnacleSignworks 5 years ago from Central Florida

      My dad was a pilot for 30 years so I knew to be well-behaved whenever we travelled. Now I don't travel nearly as much, however we are going to Scotland in a few weeks so it will be interesting to see how people are. I could never stand the unruly kids on the plane even when I was a kid.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks for the comments KeriProctor! I agree, it was very nice to travel when I was young because it seemed like everyone on the plane was told to look out for you. Unfortunately, kids can get stuck by some of these people too.

    • KeriProctor88 profile image

      KeriProctor88 5 years ago from Georgia

      I remember my first time being on a plane I was 15 years old and I got to go by myself, I thought I was all grown up back then. But it was a nice experience I got to sit at the window and I felt that I got treated like royalty. Because when you get on a plane at a young age by yourself, the workers treat you like gold. It’s nothing like getting over a fear of about planes and then to do it all by yourself. Nice hub!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      A private jet would be nice, but alas I don't think that's going to ever happen. Glad you liked the hub and thanks for the vote and comment Ann1!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 5 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Flying is not one of my favorite things to do. I've always thought if I could have a private jet (right!), then I'd enjoy it - for all the reasons you gave above.

      Voted up and great hub!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      How right you are travmaj! You never know what you'll get on a flight. Thanks for the comment!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      I do many long haul flights - and identify. However, I keep going back for more. Sometimes annoying, sometimes fun, you just never know!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      It was a terrible experience and the wine worked. I was calm and was able to sleep a bit.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Oh that sounds like a terrible experience. Hopefully the wine worked! Thanks for the visit!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Great hub! Once I was seated next to a very fat and smelly man when I was flying alone for 12 1/2 hours non stop flight to the Philippines. He took my other armchair and was snooring loud. I almost puke on his side and was trapped. The plane was so full that I could not change my seat. I asked the stewardess a glass of red wine to keep me calm and sleepy. I am always a perfect passenger and I expect everyone to be the same. Thanks for sharing this funny but true experiences of yours.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks so much rajan! I'm glad you enjoyed, only sorry you've run into some of these types!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Wow justateacher! I would have loved flying with those guys. It would have been fun! Thanks for the visit!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      A Useful and interesting hub. I have seen some of these types. Voted up and useful.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I have only been on two flights in my life...and both times I was a terrible teen passenger....loud and obnoxious....luckily my family and I were practically the only passengers....part of the flight was very annoying to almost all of the other passengers...there were a group of loud annoying men, me and my two sisters and we competed to see who could be the most annoying...the men won....they were out of there seats constantly...putting stickers on everyone and everything...they encouraged my sisters and I to do the same thing...only later did we see the signatures...one was David Lee Roth...another was Eddie Van Halen....

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks for the comment carol7777! It's amazing how many of these folks are on planes.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks Jeannieinabottle! I never thought about buses and trains!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks for the share tammyswallow! - Look out if you get on the plane!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Been there and done that. I really enjoyed reading this hub. All those people are all over the plane...What about the fat guy next to you that is sharing half your seat..More than once. Great up Voted UP

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Even though I have never been on a plane, this applies to bus rides and train rides as well. I agree with on all these points. Very valuable info and thanks for sharing!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      This is hilarious! I will keep these in mind if I ever get on a plane. Shared on FB and Pinterest. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks so much Liz! Hopefully you won't meet anymore of the different types!

    • profile image

      Liz Walmoth 5 years ago

      I've met a few of these passengers, but thankfully, not all. I don't think I will ever be able to look inside a seat pocket again! Very entertaining hub!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks so much vocalcoach! I'm glad you liked it even if it reminded you of all your unpleasant seat mates.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I've had the displeasure of sitting next to all of the above passengers. What I absolutely hate more than anything is to be seated next to someone who is constantly coughing and not covering their mouth with the crook of their arm. I swear, every germ flyes directly to me:)

      A very good and entertaining hub and I'm so glad I found you here on hubpages. Voted up, useful, funny, awesome, interesting and will share too!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      I'm not a window seat person only because I end up feeling trapped in, but it's a lot better using the window as a head rest than your neighbor! Thanks for the comment tillsontitan!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      So, it seems you've been on a lot of flights! You've hit all the nails on the head humorously...great job. I like to sleep on the plane to make the time go faster but try to get a window seat so I can lean my head on the window, that way I won't snore ;)

      Voted up, useful, and funny...come on, there are useful hints here!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Oh so sorry you got food poisoning on your honeymoon. That truly we the worst of it and the rest of my honeymoon was in the Bahamas, so how could anything be that bad in the land of paradise!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks for the visit teaches! Hopefully the advice will be heeded! Have a good day!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I enjoyed the read on this post. Have experienced some of these on flights: food left in the pouches, people trying to talk to you when you want to read quietly, and those seat hogs are a bit much! Thanks for helping us to remember to be a good airline passenger.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks for the visit Peg. You're right, they should be common sense.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This was funny and unfortunately all too true. I've met all these folks at one time or another from the serving side of this equation. These suggestions sound like they should be common sense but rarely are.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks for the share and vote Janine! I appreciate it. I hope that was the worst part of the honeymoon for you. I got food poisoning on mine.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Loved this one and totally packed with humor on this topic. You made me think of my honeymoon, where a whole family including loud (Marie Barone type) grandma traveled to the Bahamas complaining and pretty much yelling about everything that she could think of the whole flight. Thanks for the walk down memory lane this morning! Seriously loved and am voting up and sharing too.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks so much Movie Master! I'm glad you like it. Hope you don't find a surprise like that any time soon.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      What a wonderful hub - so true and so funny!

      The bag of vomit, yuk how gross!!!

      Loved this, voted up and shared!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks freecamping. Good luck on your flight!

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

      I enjoyed your hub and had a laugh ! We are flying over to Townsville Qld in 2 weeks . Hopefully fly to Europe next year and try to be considerate when in the air .

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks for the visit Mhatter! - You have been lucky if you've never had the privilege of sitting next to one of thee folks.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      great characterizations. I have been very lucky when traveling. I like to think I was equally enjoyable.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      billybuc - Sadly these folks are all pretty common. I don't sleep well on planes at all. Thanks for the visit!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks for the comment Joan. Hopefully you didn't have to sit next to all of these passengers!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks fpher! You're my kind of airline passenger!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great hub! I am quite certain I have encountered every single one of those people you mentioned. On a side note, I am incapable of falling asleep on the plane. It has never happened; so there is no danger of me putting my head on anyone's shoulder.

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 5 years ago from Katy, Texas

      Love the descriptions. So true, so true. I think I have met all of these passengers.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      If I'm not tried enough to just take a little snooze (I always try to get a window seat)...then I READ and mind my own business. I will chat if the person next to me wants to talk...but I don't initiate..........All I could think of while reading this was singing your title..."Keep your Head off my shoulder" to Paul Anka's oldie "Put Your Head on My Shoulder.".......

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks Dexter - That's a good one about the kids kicking. Luckily I have never had that one.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      This is a great hub full of fun and humor rolled up in the truth! I consider myself the perfect passenger.

      The passengers I have problems with are the little kids that constantly kick the back of my seat - and the parents that don't do anything about it!

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