Avoid being “that guy”
I LOVE flying. As a kid, I remember how excited I used to get to go to the airport and watch the planes take off and land. As an adult, it’s tenfold. I saw an Airbus A380 for the first time last year and genuinely almost cried with excitement. My husband treated me to a morning of plane spotting for our first wedding anniversary (he is so lucky to have himself such a catch!). Airports are the start of my holiday. They’re the pinnacle of potential for my travels – it all starts from that point. And then you meet your fellow passengers…
DON’T insist on over-bearing phone calls
How lucky are you that you get to fly for/with work? Seriously, I’m soo jealous! But, even more seriously, no-one cares about Juan and the contractors. You’re about to depart, we want to have a nice time, some people are genuinely pooping because a metal tube is about to take off with us inside and you’re screaming about scaffolding. Not the best way to introduce yourself to 300 strangers. Put it in an email.
2. DON’T try to squeeze your oversized case into the undersized overhead lockers
Lets be real, we all like to push boundaries. We know that the airline have clear guidelines for the size of cabin luggage. Why? Because if it’s any bigger it isn’t fitting in! Do us all a favour and don’t push your luck. Whilst the days of Stellios still resonate with many travellers (remember those rumours of having to pay to use the loo?), not everything is about making money. So check your bag and let us all get to our destination on time, please.
3. DON’T ignore the safety instructions
REGARDLESS of how many times you have flown, the safety brief is vital! Countless times on flights I’ve sat there as the aircraft taxi’s toward the runway for take-off, and not been able to hear ONE word of the Cabin Crew’s safety demonstration. I’m lucky, I’ve flown to what would equate to almost twice a year for my whole 31 years. For the most part, I know what’s going down. Not everyone has been in this position. Some people have never flown before. Not once. They NEED to know what to expect when that oxygen mask comes down. Also, every single aircraft is different. If your last flight on an A321 was 3 years ago, and since you’ve only flown on a MD-80 or a Boeing 747, evacuation procedures are different. No-one needs to get hurt because of your arrogance. Watch the crew, who look spectacular might I add, take it on board and lets pray that you never need to use it, but at least you’re prepared.
4. DON’T stand up when the fasten seat-belt sign comes on
I don’t know if this is the same for every airline but my last two flights (ahem Ryanair ahem), literally EVERY time the fasten-seat-belt sign comes on, someone STANDS UP!!! You can’t write it. So, in simple terms for those who don’t get it, that little symbol means SIT. Not because the aisles are crowded, not because the crew can’t get through with the drinks trolley…it’s for your safety and for the safety of everyone else. If we hit an air pocket – the plane is going to go down and you’re going to go up. You’ll hit your head, you’ll be in pain and could possibly get seriously hurt. Why?!
5. DON’T rush to get off the plane
With a bump, a bang and a clang the rear wheels touch down on the runway followed shortly by the front. Then, the reverse thrust. We are stopping – hard! Immediately, passengers all over the aircraft get out of their seats (whilst we’re still taxing might I add) and try to barrage their way to the front. Lets just be clear – you aren’t going anywhere any faster than the rest of us. Until that aircraft is safely docked/parked you physically CANNOT get off the plane. All you do is create a traffic jam, that makes it longer, slower and more arduous than it needs to be. Chill out. You’ll get there. If getting off quicker is your priority because of a connecting flight, pre-book your seat closer to the front. Simple.
6. DON’T blame the crew
A 2 and a half hour delay, in the heat, no air-con in the terminal, you have to fit the bill for a hotel when you land because it’s too late to drive home. THEN, you find out there is only tea and coffee on board. No water, no coke, no juice. You’re ready to take people down. See those lovely crew who are there for your safety – it’s nothing to do with them! Their job role is to keep you safe, provide you with the refreshments that the dispatch teams organise. Having a go at them for the incompetence of others – not cool and it won’t change the circumstances one bit!
7. DON’T take your shoes off
I cannot even begin to understand this. What is it about your bare, sweaty, crusty feet that makes you think everyone else needs to deal with them at 33000 feet (ironically)? Either choose decent footwear or take some slippers if you are so moved to be extra comfy, but don’t subject the 300+ people on the flight to the stench of your trotters. That air is re-circulated around the aircraft. We’re eating it. We’re breathing it in. We paid for that privilege?! We’re not pleased with you. Okay?
8. DON’T hang around at your pal’s seat because you didn’t book them together
You’re going on your travels with your pals, you’re excited, your banter is on top form – for you maybe! I once was on a flight to Ibiza as a solo traveller and a massive group of lads were hanging around the aisle. I genuinely didn’t dare get up to pee. They were loud, obnoxious and ruined my flight. I was excited, ready to chill and not emotionally prepared to deal with that. Can you imagine dealing with that situation if you had kids? Have some consideration for others, please?
9. DON’t leave your rubbish all over
Being delayed sucks! You’re either held back from getting to your destination, or getting home is just taking ten times longer. Why? Because the previous set of passengers left the place looking like a food fight in student digs. This is going to go one of two ways; you either end up severely delayed because it’s taking the cleaning teams forever, or, we sit in their mess. In addition to this, no-one want to wade around in your mess mid-flight, thanks!
10. DON’T treat the aircraft like your living room
Getting drunk. Shouting and screaming. Being late. All of the above? Flying is a privilege. Yes you’re paying for your ticket, but so are we. You want to behave like a Neanderthal with no manners, do everyone a favour and stay home! On an A380 there are around 22 crew for 540 passengers. On a 747 there are approximately 12+ crew for 400+ passengers. The A321 holds 180+ passengers with 4 crew. I once experienced a passenger press the call bell, tell the crew he wanted a drink. She politely accepted his request despite being in the middle of preparing meals. Not two minutes later, he pressed the bell again. “I still don’t have my drink”. You want that 1:1 on-demand service? Empty your pockets. Don’t be rude to crew, they’re not your slaves. Doing your nails? Allowing your kids to fight and scream? Guys, what you do in your own home isn’t always appropriate for public viewing.
11. DON’T neglect your responsibility as an aisle passenger
Attempting to climb over someone who is sprawled out in the aisle seat without waking them but you absolutely cannot hold ‘it’ in any longer? That should have been a task on the Crystal Maze. It’s impossible. You’re going to stand on them, land on them. So, Mr/Mrs Aisle Passenger – hows about this? You politely turn to your fellow passengers, who really don’t want to inflict harm on you and say, “guys, I’m going to catch some sleeps. Please, if you need to go to the loo, don’t worry about waking me up. I know there’s nothing worse!”. WHAT. A. GUY! Your window com padre has asked for a coffee from the lovely crew, so you take the coffee and you pass it to them. Are you sent from heaven?
Flying is really the best thing you can do. Alas, it thrusts many people from different corners of society in to a metal tube for hours. It should have been a social experiment. Everyone wants/needs it to be a pleasurable experience as possible. We’ve all paid our share (even air-miles are payment, guys!), can’t we just get along?
I hope you enjoyed the article! Did it resonate with you? I’m dying to hear what your pet peeves are when it comes to flying. Drop a comment below and let’s chat 🙂
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