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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 sharing her travel tips with 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?

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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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Claudia Mitchell

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