Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Air Travel Etiquette 101

As we approach March Break I think this is a good time to share my thoughts on appropriate airplane etiquette.  If you have some time off and extra money (what's that?!) you may be planning a vacation.  If so, you're among the lucky ones so let's make the best of it.

Flying can be enjoyable with a few rules in place.  Let's face it, unless you're in First Class (I've only been in that nirvana once in my life) you're stuck in the back of the plane with a whole lot of strangers in a loud tin can hurtling through the air with only overpriced food (unless you bring your own), some semi-decent movies, tiny seats and recycled air.  Not my idea of a good time but if living through this gets me to paradise I'm game. 
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I have done my fair share of flying and over the years and I've come to realize that there needs to be some rules for an enjoyable flight.  Last week, as we flew home from Florida, there were a few people who needed to be caught up on my list of rules.  I realize that we're all in a small space for several hours and that we don't have to be BFFs, braid each other's hair and sing Kumbaya on the flight but how about we get there without any major issues or someone being thrown in jail for mouthing off to the flight attendants, shall we?

In the same vein as my Grocery Store Etiquette 101 here is a list of things that tick me off and make air travel less than enjoyable.  

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If you want to have a nice flight with yours truly please don't do the following things ....

1. Push your seat waaaay back so it's in my face the entire flight.  I know it's your seat and you paid for it but c'mon!  Not only does this make me even more claustrophobic I'm not sure why the seats even have to go back so far.  How about we all put our seats back half way?

2. The parents who can't make up their minds who wants to hold the baby.  Hint: it's NOT me.  Last year Missy Moo and I sat near a young family on the three hour flight from Florida.  The wife sat in front of her husband with their baby on her lap and their toddler beside her.  The husband (who apparently won the coin toss) sat beside me with no kids in tow.  Cute family ... until the parents couldn't decide who was going to hold the baby and back and forth over the seats went the baby.  It was like ping pong baby style.  Gah!  Pick the parent and stick with it.  I'm pretty sure that after that particular flight my ovaries voluntarily dried up.

3. Bathroom hogs.  I'm not sure if some people are aiming for the infamous Mile High Club, having a little spa time in the world's smallest lavatory or just being inconsiderate but tick tock buddy.  Do the math - two bathrooms and a whole gaggle of people means do your bidness and get out!

4. The Head Leaner.  I don't care if Paul Anka himself is singing the song in your ear - do not put your head on my shoulder.  I know it's tight and we're all tired but if you get the middle or aisle seats keep your head in the upright position until we land.

5. The Arm Rest Hog.  Some people get to their seat and stake a claim on the arm rest like it's 1862 and we've just landed in the Nebraska territory.  Let's all just agree to share or take turns, shall we?  It's but a wee piece of plastic separating us.  This way it doesn't end up being a confrontation like the Hatfields and the McCoys in mid air.

6. The Lady Who Stands Up As Soon As The Seat Belt Light Is Off At The End of The Flight Only To Stand in The Aisle With Her Butt In My Face For 20 Minutes.  What's the rush people?  Do you think that as soon as the plane lands and the seat belt light dings off that you'll be able to scale the sides of the plane and miraculously exit before the other 150 passengers ahead of you??  No. The answer is no.  So why not just sit in your seat, finish off that sudoku puzzle you're having trouble with and wait as people leave in a relatively orderly, yet oh so disheveled, fashion.  

Note: To the lady who stood with her butt in my face pushing on the top of my seat for 20 minutes last week on the tarmac in Toronto?  You suck.

7. Pass the gas mask.  Whether it's an overabundance of perfume (what body odor are you trying to mask with that particular scent, madame??), raging bad breathe or the traditional B.O let's all try to do our best to remain as scentless as possible for the flight.  The air masks are only for emergencies and an overabundance of Shalimar on your seat mate doesn't count as an emergency apparently.

8. The People Who Block the Aisle For 10 Minutes while they try to get their carry-ons into the compartment.  Once again, on our trip home from Florida some lovely passengers seemed to think there was some perfect way to get their carry-on luggage into their overhead compartments and that the 120 people behind them loved standing in the aisles holding their carry-ons for 10 minutes.  It's not rocket science.  Put bag in cubbie.  Close door.  Sit your butt down!

9. Seat Kicker.  If you don't want to feel my eyes rolling in their sockets and a whole lotta sighing and shuffling going on in my seat ahead of you (the Canadian way to deal with Seat Kickers) do not kick or pull my seat or otherwise make me aware of that you even exist behind me.  Note: This rule also goes for movie theatres.  Do not kick my seat.

10. Bad Attitude.  Party of one!  The flight attendants are there to help make your trip as comfortable as possible and to ensure that everyone on board is safe.  This does not mean that they are solely there to serve just you Mr 27A and your affinity for gingerale every half hour or you Ms 36E who complains ad nauseam about the flight being delayed nor does it allow you to berate them with your attitude and condescension.  Be nice!

So, overall my list isn't that long but if it's followed air flight can be enjoyable for all involved.  Do you think that Air Canada will add my list to their in-flight video?  Probably not but a girl can dream.

Have a safe and wonderful March Break next week!


Kym said...

This cracked me up! As you always do :) We just got back from vacation and so all this is fresh and true for me! You need to somehow see the inflight safety video on Delta. It is actually hilarious. They brilliantly made the whole thing funny which ensured everyone watched it. Happy travels!!!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Thanks Kym! I think I've seen the Delta video and I agree it's hilarious. We typically fly Air Canada or West Jet so I haven't seen it first hand.

I can handle some of these quirky travelers in order to get somewhere sunny but they still tick me off. :)

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