Dear Fellow Passengers ….
Well, returning back from a vacation can be bittersweet and maybe your not in the best of moods since you are having to head back to reality, but I think we need to rethink the whole airline etiquette discussion. There are few passengers we encountered on our last trip I would like to say a few things to and if you happen to be one of them, well, sorry … sort of.
First, to those who choose to carry on their luggage to skip paying the baggage fees, let’s review a few of the rules. The bags need to fit into the pre-determined sized boxes at the airport. There were a few of you who pushed the limits of the size of their carry ons. I understand why you do what you do, those baggage fees are down right a communist plot, but come on, let’s keep the playing field fair for all of those who want to skip paying the fees. Some bags that were carried onto the plane were down right large, my grandkid and her friends could all fit inside. Let’s make sure all of the carry ons are within in the size limits. Also, let’s be kind as we load and unload the plane to let those of us who were forced to put their carry ons several rows past our seats in the overhead bin. We were in a position where our luggage was three rows behind our seats and we had to wait until most of the plane had disembarked before anyone would let us go the opposite direction to retrieve our luggage. During our last flight, in the rush to gather all of our items, and not irritate our fellow passengers, we left a Kindle and a pair of sunglasses behind, you are welcome ground cleaning crew.. they were great sunglasses and it was a barely used Kindle.
Second, when did riding a plan become likened to riding a bus in the depths of a third world country? As I watched people load the plane, they brought on their coffee, their take-out pizza and styrofoam food containers. I literally prayed none of them sat beside me, since I really didn’t want to smell their food or watch them eat it during the trip. Why do you feel compelled to bring a large meal onto the plane; especially if it is only an hour hop?
Third, there is no “cone of silence” to any passengers. When you embark on the plane in a heated argument with your significant other, we can all hear you…. really all of us hear you. Worse yet, we don’t want to hear you…. really, most of us don’t care. Keep your arguments to yourself or least text them until you have to turn off your phone. During my last flight, the person sitting next to me proceeded to have a heated discussion half in Russian half in English. I really didn’t need to hear about her screwed up love life, but yet she felt it ok to share …. with the entire plane.
Fourth, if you are on an isle seat and the other passengers in your row have not made it onto the plane yet, don’t be pissy when they need you stand up to let them in. Don’t start watching your movie and blow out a whoosh of exasperated air when your fellow passengers need you to stand up so they can sit down in their seat. You need to realize that in today’s airline reality, most of the flights are full and until they shut the doors any seat is up for grabs. So, don’t get too comfortable and be kind when those in your row need you to stand up for a few minutes so they can get settled.
Fifth, let’s review how nice people interact with each other. First a person says something to the effect of “please, can you”… fill in the blank, and the other person is supposed to say, “sure, let me” … fill in the blank. On our last trip my fellow passenger was not either nice nor accommodating. She brought on a cup of coffee and proceeded to sit it on the floor. Didn’t even try to pick it up during our taxi to take-off. I asked if she could “please” pick up her coffee, which she proceeded to lean over and snap the lid shut on and left on the floor. Well, any of you who have traveled, understand Murphy’s Law. What can go wrong will go wrong. Seeing into the future, I saw my feet getting wet with her coffee, so I asked again if she would “please” pick up her coffee off of the floor so my feet would not get wet. With that she proceeded to place it on the arm rest between us and told me until I used a nicer tone she would keep her hands off of the cup. My response? I gave her the mom stare … you know the one that says “young lady you have now crossed the line I strongly suggest you do what I told you do or else”. Sad part, she was a old enough to know better.
Lastly, the airplane is not your personal transport vehicle. We are squeezed into very small seats which does not afford us any personal space zone. If you want that kind of space, then save up and buy your own plane … or drive. The lady next to me (remember the heated Russian argument, coffee lady?), proceeds to twirl her hair in my face, takes off her shoes and props her bare feet up onto the bulkhead wall. Really? What the ….? Who thinks they can hold their laptop during takeoff and then prop their bare feet up on the wall?
So, to all my fellow airline passengers, let’s try to rethink where we are and keep our manners in check. The plane gets us all there at the same time and if we remember to be kind to each other then our trips will be a better experience for all and not the nightmares that cause the latest phenomenon … airplane rage. Honestly I can see why people go postal on flights.