Does and Don'ts on Flights
Behavior During the Flight
As a person who seems to be in an airport every few weeks, may I offer some observations about travel etiquette, especially air travel? Know in advance that I’m writing this with humor intended-people can be so funny!
Worst of the worst:
Body Odor. I will never forget boarding a flight back from Ireland and my friend John H. was seated a couple of rows in front of us. He asked the flight attendant if he could change seats, and gave us a strange smile when he walked past. Within about three minutes the most horrific odor hit us and almost gagged me. Think about sautéed onions combined with garlic and a good dose of rotting vegetation. I looked back at John and he was laughing! Strong odors of any kind on a plane are not good. Go easy on the aftershave, cologne and perfume please and for the love of Mike use deodorant. Keep your shoes on as well, foot odor spreads through a plane like wildfire.
Keep your chair upright unless it’s an overnight flight. Doug and I were on our way to Hawaii once and as soon as our plane reached cruising altitude the lady in front of me laid her chair back as far is it would go. The top of her head was literally inches from my nose. Worst of all her hair was greasy. I mean I could have fried an egg with the grease in her hair. It was horrible.
We had a 9 hour flight in front of us and I can’t tell you how panic stricken I became. The stewardess came to my rescue and asked Mrs. Dirty Hair to adjust the seat in a more passenger friendly manner. Remember-the people behind you don’t want your head in their face even if your hair is clean, be considerate.
If you can’t rise up from your seat without pulling yourself up by hanging onto the seat in front of you maybe you should stay home. It’s really irritating to have someone behind you tugging on your seatback and jerking your around every time they get up or change positions.
Is your kid a brat? Little kids with ear pressure issues cry and there’s nothing to be done about that. But kids kicking your seat, screaming at their parents, fighting with their siblings, my gosh I can go on and on.
We had a loud, drunk man on our way to Mexico last fall that was so obnoxious his wife chewed him out for everyone to hear. Please control the alcohol intake prior to your flight, and keep your conversation volume low if possible. I have overheard the most embarrassing conversation during flights, and certainly did not want to.
If the person next to you sits down and opens a book respect their privacy. Goodness knows I’m a talker, but people will give you clear indications that they don’t want to be bothered, try to honor that.
Private things should be done in private. I’ve watched a man trim his toenails during a flight. No joke. I guess I should count myself lucky he didn’t do anything more personal than that.
Do you think you’re special? I love it when people in coach tell the stewardess the usually fly first class and would appreciate “special” treatment. Wouldn’t we all?
I love to fly. I love takeoff, I love landing, and I love everything in between. If I had time to go get a pilot’s license I would do it in a snap. I love the inflight movies and the real time flight maps. I even love the little bags of pretzels. If you have to fly somewhere, I am your perfect companion.
Most of all I love watching the others on the flight and keeping notes to talk about them in my upcoming book. For today I just needed to vent before I board my plane to Nice, France. Wonder what crazy behavior I can document on this trip?
Joy Gawf-Crutchfield owns and operates The Joy of Travel.