Please Don’t Do This on My Plane Ride

For this week’s travel post, I thought I might run down a few things that I highly recommend you don’t do on an airplane.  I’ve traveled for every job I’ve ever had.  For some, I’ve traveled every week.  I’ve been packed in the center seat between New York and London on a 747 and in first class on a 777 from Berlin to DC.  I’m not afraid, like some, to fly Southwest and remember to get my A boarding pass 24-hours early.

Don’t Show Me Your Bare Feet

I have no issue with people wearing sandals, flip-flops or other shoes without socks.  I wear flip-flops almost exclusively from May through September, except when I’m at work.  I don’t mind if you slip them off on the plane.  I just don’t want to know.  Don’t cross your legs and put your foot up at armrest level, almost touching me.  And please, please don’t put your bare foot on the armrest when you sit behind me, so that your toes brush against my elbow.  Yuk!  I borrowed the photo at right from my friends at, who experienced something very similar last fall.

Please Don't Do This!

Don’t Bring Smelly Food on Board

Seriously.  No one wants to smell your tuna or your Italian sub.  You don’t think we can?  Bring a PB&J, or chips.  It was awful to smell Lynch Parsons’ liverwurst in 2nd grade, and it’s awful to smell your stuff now.  At least in 2nd grade, I could sit on the other side of the cafeteria.  I can’t move when I’m on a plane.

Don’t Eat Food with Disposable Parts

I wasn’t sure how to name this.  I once sat on a plane from St. Louis to Orlando in an aisle seat.  Right across the aisle from me, a guy ate sunflower seeds the entire trip.  He put one in his mouth, bit it, reached into his mouth to grab the shell, and put the shell on a napkin on his tray.  I appreciate his neatness, but after 45 minutes he had a nice large pile of wet sunflower seed remnants.  It was disgusting.  Don’t do this.  Don’t bring peanuts or anything like this.

Don’t Expect Your Child to Entertain Themselves

I am constantly amazed at the people who travel with kids that bring nothing to keep the kids entertained.  No coloring books.  No toys.  No books to read.  No DVD player.  No nothing.  When was the last time a 5-year-old sat still for an hour?  Never.  As a result, they kick the back of my seat or cry a lot.  I’m a parent of two, and my kids have flown since they were in baby carriers.  My wife, bless her, always prepared for every trip with stuff.  Once, we flew from Baltimore to Honolulu for my sister’s wedding via Detroit and San Francisco.  My kids were 4 and 1 1/2.  My wife packed wrapped presents to be open about every 90 minutes.  My kids didn’t bother anyone.

Don’t Hog the Arm Rest or Think You Can Keep It Up the Whole Trip

This is all about sharing.  You take the armrest for a bit, then I’ll take it, and so on.  I can’t stand it when someone plops down, puts their arms on the armrests,  and doesn’t move for two hours.  Meanwhile, my left or right arm is cramping by the time we land.  (By the way, my wife vehemently disagrees with this.  She thinks the person in the middle seat gets both their armrests as “compensation” for taking that seat.) And for those of you slightly larger that don’t want the armrest down – nope.  You have your space, and I have mine, and the armrest separates that space.  If I sit down, and the armrest isn’t down, it goes down immediately.

Don’t Put Your Baggage Over My Seat, When Your Seat is 20 Rows Back

Your baggage goes over your own seat.  That’s why there’s overhead space above your seat.  The overhead space over my seat is mine.  I’ve actually stopped people from using my space, when I see them do it.  I’m sorry you can’t carry the bag all the way back.  Next time, get a seat farther up front.

Don’t Talk the Whole Trip Behind Me or In Front of Me

I can usually control the conversation in my row.  Sometimes I’m in a talking mood, and sometimes I’m not.  I get frustrated however, when the people in rows around me talk incessantly the whole time.  Rows in coach aren’t that far apart.  Voices carry.  Be sensitive.  Two hours of non-stop chatter gets to me.

Don’t Play Your DVD Without Headphones

You can afford a DVD player but not headphones?  Nothing much more for me to write here.

Don’t Rush Up the Aisle When the Plane Lands

This one kills me.  Where the hell are you going?  Three rows make a difference?  I am amazed when this happens on international flights.  People run up the aisle to save four rows, and they have to go through passport control anyway.  You exit a plan row by row, just like on a school bus.  Be considerate.  When I see someone standing above me that I know came from a few rows back, I stare them down and make sure I get out when it’s my turn.  Sometimes, I’ll even block to let row mates out.

This has been a public service announcement from all the frequent flyers to you infrequent flyers.  Thanks for reading.


One Response to Please Don’t Do This on My Plane Ride

  1. Pingback: Airline Fees That Could Make A Difference « Life With Spidey

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