Airplane Etiquette, Rants and Raves

I don’t travel nearly as much as I used to but I recently had the “pleasure” of being on an airplane as my family and I traveled over the Christmas holidays. Here’s a few rants, comments & tips that I consider basic airplane etiquette that everyone should follow.

  1. When getting out of your seat please do NOT use the seat in front of you as leverage to heave yourself out of your seat. The guy in the seat behind me on the flight from Atlanta to Phoenix pulled so hard on my seat when he stood up that when he let go my seat  became a  catapult  and I nearly flew into the first class cabin. It’s not that I’d mind the upgrade, I’d just rather pay for it and not be rocket launched into first class.
  2. When boarding, if you need to get into your window seat, do everyone a favor and please let me get up and out of my aisle seat first. This mistake is not usually made by someone who has flown before, but when someone does make this mistake it is awkward because either the person’s butt or crotch is in your face.
  3. While I appreciate the fact you brought something to keep your kids entertained, for the love all that is holy, please either plug in headphones or turn the sound down on your iPad, game boy, laptop, DVD player, etc. I don’t need to know every time your little 7 year old unlocks his next achievement in “Super Mario’s Call of Duty Halo Operations 16.” How about you unlock the achievement of considering other people on the plane?
  4. When packing, remember the size of the overhead. While your ski jacket might fit into the top pocket of your carry-on, it probably will no longer fit in the overhead, regardless of how much of your sizable heft you put into the effort. I believe Dennis Miller once referred to you as a “piece of human cholesterol blocking the passengerial artery.”
  5. When a flight attendant asks what you’d like to drink, don’t reply with “whatever”. I watched in astonishment as a flight attendant poured ginger ale, bloody mary mix, Diet Coke and Sprite in a cup because a customer asked for “whatever”. I looked at the flight attendant and she told me “He said ‘Whatever’, so that’s what I’m giving him.” I’m honestly not sure if I was amused or aghast at what she’d done. Oh, I can’t lie: it was funny as hell.
  6. This one is kind of personal: don’t board the plane drunk with your friends, take your seat and start singing “Hey Jude” at a loud volume and act annoyed when I ask you to keep quiet.  As a side note, after I ask you to keep it down, if you’re going to talk crap about me don’t do it so my wife and step-daughters in the row in front of you can hear you. Yeah, that’s right, just because I’m sitting across the aisle and a row in front of you, I’ll find out what you said and then it’ll get really awkward when you get in the elevator at baggage claim and realize that was my family in front of you. Dumbasses.
  7. If you don’t travel much, when you’re going through security, pay attention to the TSA drones when they make their announcements. Sure, the “security” they provide is more to make you feel safe than actually make you safe, but they aren’t kidding when they ask you to take your shoes off. Or your belt. Or your dignity. Trust me, they’ll enjoy performing a cavity search more than you will receiving it.
  8. Please wear something other than your pajama pants or yoga pants. I think this really only applies to younger women (they’re also usually seen carrying their favorite pillow), as I’ve not seen a man or older woman do this. I feel we’ve failed raising children since people think it’s acceptable to go out in public with this look. Sweetheart, if you want to look like a girl doing the walk of shame from the fraternity house down the street back to your sorority house while cruising at 35K feet, it’s your choice. You’re really worth more than that, so dress as if you are.
  9. Whether you’ve been upgraded to first class or actually paid for your first class ticket, don’t look at me as if I’m some poor boy consigned to steerage who will go down with the ship while you survive. First, you have a better chance of dying up front than I do in the back should the plane decide crash & burn. Second, I’ve flown first class and it doesn’t make you special. What it probably means is you got a free upgrade because you spend too much time on the road while your children grow up wondering “Where’s my Dad?”
  10. If you’re going to get up to use the lavatory, please wear your shoes (yes, I’ve seen people coming out of the lav in socks). I’m looking out for your health on this one. First, those sinks are the size of those old bowls you used to spit into in your dentist’s office – you can’t help but spill water on the floor. Also, unless you’re on a flight full of women, the odds are there is something you don’t want to step in on the floor. Any woman who has ever lived with a man will tell you that men have an aiming problem. Now imagine that aiming problem in a metal tube being bounced around in the sky.
  11. Regarding #10, actually, just leave your shoes on the whole time. While your foot odor might be sweet smelling to your fetishistic lover, the rest of us think they just smell, and smell badly. A little Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X foot powder goes a long way. Just make sure the powder is all gone before you go through our lovely TSA security checkpoint lest they think you’re trying to get some anthrax through.


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