Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Ten Commandments of Flying

The other day, the radio morning show I listen to every morning on my way to work had a segnment on airplane etiquette. As someone who travels quite frequently (December marks the first month since April that I haven't been on an airplane), I would like to piggy back off of this segment and give my own personal ten commandments for flying.
Commandment #1: Thou shall use thy overhead compartment by your seat, and your seat only.
I like to sit towards the front of the plane so I don't have to wait forever and a day to get off of the aircraft. I also don't like checking a bag unless absolutely necessary. This means that my roller bag needs to go in the overhead compartment. I absolutely hate when people who sit in the back of the plane put their belongings in the bins at the front of the plane so they don't have to carry them down the aisle. It's selfish and rude.
Recommended Payback: The next time you see this happen, check-in the bag for that person and give a fake name.

Commandment #2: Thou shall be courteous of the food thy brings onto the aircraft.
We all know that airlines have gone cheap and don't serve anything more than a bag of pretzels, if that (American Airlines serves nothing and I had to learn this the hard way). Bringing on your own snack is fine (i.e. a candy bar or bad of chips, except for salt and vinegar flavored). But bringing on an entire meal that consists of something really pungent (i.e. tuna fish) is not OK!
Recommended Payback: Give the person the stink eye and make faces while holding your  nose.
Commandment #3: If one doesn't look interested in talking, let them be.
I am a big fan of airlines who provide free music. Not that I don't like my iPod, but I do like that I can listen to music from the second I get onto the plane until I am ready to get off. When I have my headphones in, the only person I want talking to me is the flight attendant and only when it is time for my snack and drink. Unless you are traveling with me, don't try making conversation when I am clearly trying to tune you and the rest of the passengers out (including screaming babies and annoying children).
Recommended Payback: Pretend you are deaf and start signing. This will be hilarious since you are supposedly listening to music.

Commandment #4: Thou shall be prepared when going through security.
It's been nine years since the security rules from 9/11 were implemented. Unless you live under a rock and haven't traveled since 2001, don't act like you don't know to take off your shoes, put all liquids in a plastic bag, remove your laptop from it's case, take off your jacket/coat and belt, etc. You are holding everyone up and that automatically gives you the official douchebag award.
Recommended Payback: Sigh loudly and make comments under your breath.
If you aren't a Steve, than you are a douchebag!
Commandment #5: If you can't control thou children, treat them like thous dogs.
I understand that traveling with small children can be hectic. You have to bring extra items with you so they remain entertained and quiet while waiting at the airport as well as on the plane. However, if your kid has A.D.H.D. and you have chosen to ignore their constant need to run away from you, then they need to be put on a leash. The worst thing for any traveler to have happen is to get knocked over by your out-of-control child while walking through the terminal - clearly this has happened to me before. Also, letting your kid run up and down the aisle on the plane isn't cute to anyone.
Recommended Payback: Carry a child leash with you and strap that kid in and walk away with him/her. That will teach the parents a lesson.
Commandment #6: Thou shall share the armrests.
It's always awkward sitting next to a stranger on a plane. It's even more awkward when the stranger thinks they are better than their seatmates and claims both armrests as their own. Let's take it up a notch and remind people how it's super awkward to knock off someone else's arm from the shared armrest. If you are in the middle seat, I feel your pain. However, that doesn't give you the right to claim both armrests. Instead, go back to the sharing lesson you learned in kindergarten. Either claim the front or the back of the armrest and share the other half with the other passengers beside you. Don't worry, I heard that the cootie shot is now required for all airline passengers.
Recommended Payback: Wait until the armrest hog adjusts themselves or gets up to go to the toilet and then take claim of the entire armrest and stand your ground.

Commandment #7: Thou shall obey the takeoff and landing rules.
No one understands why we can't have our treys down or seats reclined during takeoff or landing. However, don't think that you are above the rules of the air. If I have to keep my seat up in the awkward position for the first few minutes of a flight, than so do you. It absolutely sucks when the person in front of you puts their seat back and you can't, leaving you with minimal room. And this is coming from someone who is 5'3"!
Recommended Payback: While I never encourage kicking of any sort, this is the one and only time that it is OK.

Commandment #8: If thou is in a window seat, share the view.
Not everyone can have the window seat. And while some cities don't have much of a view, other destinations like Las Vegas or New York City have skylines that people want to see regardless of their seat on the plane. If you are in a window seat and someone else wants to look out the window, don't plant your face on the window blocking everyone else's view of the scenery. 
Recommended Payback: Throw something at the offender's head.
Commandment #9: Thou shall use inside voices.
The whole plane doesn't need to hear what you are saying. In fact, the only people who should be able to hear you is the person you are speaking to and maybe the people in the rows behind and in front of you. Do not scream across the plane to your friend/family member who is seated in another row because you booked your flight and/or check-in at the very last minute. Let's revisit what we learned in kindergarten and use our six inch voices.
Recommended Payback: Butt into the conversation.

Commandment #10: If thou snores, don't fall asleep unless you are taking the red-eye or flying overseas.
No one wants to not be able to fall asleep because the person next to them on a flight is snoring so loud that the people on the ground can hear them. Attention snorers: we are not your spouse or your friend - sleep at home and let us enjoy our flight in peace.
Recommended Payback: Hold the person's nose so they can't breathe. When they wake up, pretend you are sleeping.

No one wants to be this lady.
Follow these ten commandments of the air and you will be in good shape to get a great start to your trip to come. On behalf of our captain and crew, we thank you for choosing this blog. We hope to see you visit us again soon.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more! I fly pretty often and it blows my mind how much the general population sucks, specially when it comes to air travel!