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10 ways to stop being an annoying airline passenger

55 Comments
By Tracy Stewart

With summer in the rear-view, it's time once again to think about holiday travel arrangements. Sigh. I know, I know. It's stressful schlepping across the country to eat your body weight in gelatin desserts, candied yams, and smoked birds, isn't it? The airport is terrible. And the people! The people are annoying. Are you one of them? We've probably all been guilty of bugging someone at some point in our travels, but here are a few pointers to make life easier for your fellow travelers and flight crew:

1. You may find small inconsistencies here and there, but security regulations are pretty much standard across the board. Is it really a surprise that your cell phone will set off the metal detector? Help speed things up by placing all your metal and electronic doodads in a coat pocket or carry-on pouch, remove your laptop from its case, have liquids/gels/toiletries in the TSA-approved quart-sized bag, and have those shoes ready to toss in the tray. And yes, that nonfat macchiato you just bought does in fact count as a liquid. As does that 6 gallon vat of Gold Bond Medicated Cream you forgot to put in your checked baggage. Don't argue with the nice agent. Keep it moving.

2. Standing still on the people mover. Exhilarating, isn't it? Enjoy the ride! But at least move to the right so others can get around. And move those bags out of the way too. Thanks!

3. Carry-ons and overheads, bad news first: You may have to store your carry-on in an overhead bin other than the one directly above your seat. The good news? Every overhead bin on the plane is going to the same place you're going! Quelle coinkidink! Heck, even if you're asked to check your carry-on, you'll still see it again upon arrival. A slight inconvenience, yes, but no need for a meltdown. Just take whatever items you may need during the flight and keep them under the seat in front of you. No biggie.

4. Be accommodating to your seatmates and fellow passengers, without being creepy. Are they avoiding eye contact when taking their seat? If so, they probably aren't up for a get-to-know-you chitchat. Taking the redeye and notice everyone in your row sleeping? Then keep your shade down and turn the reading light off a little sooner. And would it kill you to swap seats so that family can seat together? Probably not. 5. Whoa there, Burger King, go easy on the smells. You wouldn't want your seatmate blowing stogie smoke in your face, and that steaming Whopper with onion isn't any better. If you're starving, forgo that grease-blotted bag of fast food for something a little more discrete. Have you ever in your life caught a whiff of M&Ms, or a ham and cheese, or a bag of trail-mix? No? Well, there you go. Buy those instead.

And this isn't solely a food offense. Remember, you're in a plane, not the hair & make-up trailer. While your attempts at getting beautiful are sure to be a hit on the ground, the nail polish and the Axe body spray aren't gonna make you any friends up in the air. At the very least, do your spritzing and fixing in the lavatory. Related: Armpits and feet...hellooo? Are you smuggling Doritos in those socks? Keep it clean, people.

6. Surely, you've heard? All portable electronics, mobile phones, laptops, etc. must be switched off during take-off and landing. Think this rule is just a bunch of hooey? Whatever effect your last minute call to the office might have on the delicate instruments of the aircraft is not up for debate. It's a risk your fellow passengers and their families probably don't care to take. So, whatever it is, it can wait. And please don't give the crew any lip if they ask you again to turn it off, mmkay?

7. Kicking and screaming. This is a delicate one, but not necessarily all that complicated. Parents traveling with children, please keep your child from kicking the back of the seat, slipping arms between seats, yelling, and being a nuisance to fellow passengers. You may be desensitized to this sort of thing, but the guy in front of you is not. Annoyed passenger, should the trouble persist and you have to ask the parent to intervene, do so in a polite and pleasant tone. Making someone feel like an inadequate parent will only make things worse.

As for crying infants...well, sorry, it happens. And there's not much to be done about it. One thing's for sure. Those pricey noise canceling headphones you passed up on the ground are looking puh-retty worth it about now, aren't they? Maybe buy them next time. You'll be so glad you did.

8. Clapping upon landing? Really? This one isn't so much annoying as it is baffling. How exactly did you imagine this flight would end?

9. Stay seated until the aircraft has reached the gate. Yes, the siren song of 200-something seat belts unfastening in unison is very exciting. You've landed, you want to stand up, and you want your stuff! But hang cool, teddy bear. Even if by some chance you've collected your things from the overhead the moment the wheels touch the ground... uh, where exactly do you plan on going? The door is still closed and there are about 60 people seated in the rows before you, all of whom are just as eager to deplane.

10. Once at baggage claim, all sense of personal space seems to go out the window. And it's no wonder, after having spent all those hours confined to such a tiny seat. But don't wriggle your way through a cluster of waiting people only to block their access to the belt. That's annoying. Those people are waiting on their bag too. The conveyor belt is long and winding, with plenty of room for everyone. Are we missing anything? If so, feel free to add your own travel annoyances.

© Airfarewatchdog.com

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

55 Comments
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No.2 really gets my goat. Ill never understand the mentality of the twits who just stand on the conveyer like its a damn Disney ride. Lazy, ignorant sods.

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Surely, you’ve heard? All portable electronics, mobile phones, laptops, etc. must be switched off during take-off and landing. Think this rule is just a bunch of hooey?

Yes I do think it's a bunch of Hooey. Because it's a load of rubbish. As I said on another article, not switching off a mobile phone has NEVER lead to one single aircraft accident! The only reason they ask you to turn them off is because idiots freak out because they believe that someone getting a call or an e-mail is going to make the wings fall off.

Whatever effect your last minute call to the office might have on the delicate instruments of the aircraft is not up for debate. It’s a risk your fellow passengers and their families probably don’t care to take.

Yes it is up for debate, but there is no risk.

Why do you think they're allowing them to be switched-on on some planes now?

People talking on phones before take-off etc, is annoying and I don't want them to allow call to be taken while flying because that would be annoying as hell. But keeping it turned on is not being "an annoying airline passenger".

Thank you for fear-mongering.

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I find nit picky travellers who expect the entire planet to accomodate their travel expectations. If you don't like noise, smells and inconvenience, stay home and quit complaining.

Travel is mess, noisey, inconvenient, crowded, filled with various people and their quirks and rules that are irritating. Before you buy that ticket, just ask yourself if you are up for these conditions. If not, quit griping and stay home. If you do venture out, deal with it.

Wasted web space with this silly article.

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On one recent flight the guy across the aisle from me got out his laptop and started playing a loud movie without using headphones. After a minute or so I told him to use the headphones, which he did. I wonder what he was thinking. He was like the youths back home who sit at the back of the bus playing dreadful music at full volume from their phones.

On another flight, in August, a boy of about 8 years old was running around in his underpants and screaming for much of the flight. It was cold on that plane too. Many a time I was just dozing off, only to be startled into a heightened state of alert by an ear-splitting scream as pants boy ran past. That was a long flight.

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Flying sucks, is uncomfortable, time consuming, cold, too hot, too crowded, can't sleep, bad food. So don't travel if it is so hard to adjust to these conditions. Stay home. Or deal with it.

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I have asthma and there is nothing worse then some stinking perfumed buffoon or some guy with enough after shave lotion to kill a cow. And seat kickers should be thrown out of the emergency doors. I hate seat kickers on 14 hour flights.

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"I hate seat kickers" Don't blame passengers for this one. Blame the airlines for packing as many cows into one car as they can. They don't care if you are comfortable or even able to fit in the row. Just pack-em-in.

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Once on a packed NW flight out of New Orleans, I was in a middle seat, my friend was on the aisle and a drunk looking fellow I didn't know had the window. On the runway everybody was just getting settled into their seats and this guy began to slowly shift about not looking to good. As the flight began to ascend, I noticed he put his hand up to his mouth a couple of times and I was thinking to myself, "Please don't throw up. Please don't throw up." Well, he lost it all over the side of the window, but he was very quiet about it and I was the only one who noticed it. He took out what looked like a towel or t-shirt and began to slowly mop it up. I kind of felt sorry for the guy, but I also wished I was sitting anywhere else on the plane but there. Then the stink began to spread. An elderly couple in front of me raised their noses in the air and began sniffing like "I hope that isn't the in-flight meal." It wasn't funny at the time, but it is now looking back on it.

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"Standing still on the people mover. Exhilarating, isn't it? Enjoy the ride!"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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I hate it when the person behind you pulls on your chair whenever they need to get up. Then they let it go wildly with no consideration. It really #isses me off especially if I am trying to sleep.

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Ill never understand the mentality of the twits who just stand on the conveyer like its a damn Disney ride. Lazy, ignorant sods.

Right, you have no idea what's going on in someone else's head. Could be that 'lazy ignorant sod' has already been travelling for yonks and is seriously tired. Or has blisters on his feet. Or has an ear infection that affects his balance and makes walking on a moving beltway difficult. Or severe backache from lifting a too-heavy bag. Or he may be wearing a prosthetic leg. Hopefully Mr I Don't Want to Walk will stand over to the side to let more energetic travellers pass, but just because someone isn't prancing down the conveyor like it was a cakewalk, don't mean they're lazy, or ignorant, or sods. If they annoy you, it's your problem, not their's. (Assuming they're standing to the side)

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I completely agree with tkoind2. The nitpicky, uptight person that wrote this article is worse than any of the other types to me. Id rather sit next to an average person that might make a little noise than some anal person like this writer. People have common sense and generally try to be polite while flying. There will always be the occassional person thats not pleasant to be around but in my 20 years of flying I have ZERO complaints about fellow passengers, but flight attendants are another story. And usually if you have a problem with a fellow passenger, if you politely and reasonably point it out, they will try to adjust but you also have to be willing to adjust and put up with a certain amount before speaking since the world does not revolve around our personal comforts and ideas of a great flight. I mean we cant ask someone to remove their scented deodorant if we are sensitive to smells or ask someone to brush their teeth if they ate a Whooper. And we have to put up with a certain amount of banging on our seats especially if theres a tall person behind us trying to get up or a small child sitting in a parents lap. We cant give a nasty look every single time our seat is bumped because there is so little room. If someone wants to clap on landing, let them be happy and clap. That doesnt hurt anyone except a Scrouge. As for the people mover, just say "excuse me please". Theres no reason to get all huffy. I usually never have someone in my way but a polite word is all that`s need if they are.

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I think the point of this article is tat if people try to adhere to the recommendations, flying would be a bit less "sucky, noisy, inconvenient and irritating". Settling for mediocrity or less and calling it the status quo is a huge contribution to the declination of society as a whole. People can always try harder to be more considerate of others.

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The nit-picker who wrote this article should add:

11) Idiots who keep their blind open.

I had a trip back to the UK and the manchild accross the other side of the plane wouldn't close his window, even though everyone else had and it was supposed to be "night-time" (but bright outside). Reflections off the wings kept shining right into my face so I asked the CA to ask him to close it, and the selfish idiot wouldn't.

You could rewrite this would article and just have 1 point:

1) Don't be inconsidderate of the people flying with you.

The end.

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I believe they have security check pints, no electronic devices on, overhead storage bins, baggage checks, seat kickers, sleeping passengers, staying seated until landing, and stinky feet on pretty much all flights, not just the ones to the USA. As this websight has a foreigner demographic mainly, I think International flights are a pretty universal topic. Not solely American.

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777777 Hope you never develop asthma.

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Discrete? I think the author meant to say "discreet."

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Tracy Stewart is writing like a school teacher talking to little kids.

Is this really the way to write if you want to talk to adults?

And - security regulations are not pretty much standard. At London Heathrow it is necessary to take off shoes and belt, when travelling between Japan and Germany, but not in Narita or Copenhagen, or Frankfurt or Duesseldorf.

About "Clapping upon landing" - this is quite common for holiday chartered flights to Spanish Islands. This tells, that the holiday really starts and the party begins.

About "Kicking". Sensible airplanes put small children at the bulkhead places. Then kicking is not a problem, because it is just the toilet.

However, I got somewhat angry, when the luggage rules where changed basically overnight in October for Scandinavian airlines. On the outbound flight, it was still the weight rule (20 kg per person), and on the return trip one week later, it was the piece rule (one piece per person).

The things I had arranged where in total not over the limit, but the number of bags I had used on the outbound flight (3) was no longer good for the return flight (only 2).

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Right, you have no idea what's going on in someone else's head. Could be that 'lazy ignorant sod' has already been travelling for yonks and is seriously tired. Or has blisters on his feet. Or has an ear infection that affects his balance and makes walking on a moving beltway difficult. Or severe backache from lifting a too-heavy bag. Or he may be wearing a prosthetic leg. Hopefully Mr I Don't Want to Walk will stand over to the side to let more energetic travellers pass, but just because someone isn't prancing down the conveyor like it was a cakewalk, don't mean they're lazy, or ignorant, or sods. If they annoy you, it's your problem, not their's. (Assuming they're standing to the side)

Cleo, wrong on all counts. If they somehow managed to make it off the plane without a stretcher, they can walk. Standing on the conveyer is flat out lazy and yes, a lot of the time these lard-a**** will stand right in the middle, mouths agape.

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Hoserfella, you are talking about a moving walkway, not a people mover. And by the way, it IS ok to stand off to the side on one. They are made to transport people, not only to help them walk faster. Do you walk up every escalator?

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Clapping upon landing? Really?

LOL, that's such a Filipino thing. That happens every single time I land in Manila. Yes, even when it comes to short domestic hops.

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goddog my mom has severe asthma and I did have terrible asthma at one point in my life so I understand scents causing one to go into a breath gasping, red faced coughing fit. But the fact is when we leave our houses where we can ask no one to wear any scents, in public we cant ask people to remove their clothes that have been washed in heavily scented softner, remove strong deodorants, perfumes, etc. If our asthma is this severe we have to wear a mask, take oxygen, go 1st class, etc. Its like the autistic child that is sensitive to a particular every day sound we cant ask the world to stop making that sound when we go into the general population. Somehow we have to learn to cope. With that said, because I grew up around asthma, I dont wear heavy scents but Ive never asked nor seen my mom ask a stranger to remove the expensive cosmetics because its a problem for us.

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bicultural - The "people mover" IS designed to quicken the pace. That, and an escalator are two different things. Although I don't have a problem with people who stand to the left, I still see them as lazy.

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The author touches on everything that annoys me on every flight I have ever been on. If you don't agree, you are selfish flyer, and the reason why the rest of us get upset. Oh and MrDog, do you really think a whole plane load of mobile phones and other computer devices would not interfere with plane communications if allowed. Maybe you should stop thinking just about yourself.

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all good points and if followed would make flying easier. however people are not the same and don't follow rules (or even common sense). So flying will always be a bit painful. The standing on travelators/escalators gets me. note that is not standing to one side but always have groups of cattle blocking up the whole ride. Question - this article weasn't written for a Japanese readership alone?

Moderator: The article applies to anyone who has ever flown in a plane.

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If they somehow managed to make it off the plane without a stretcher, they can walk. Standing on the conveyer is flat out lazy

OK, now I understand. Next time have a blister on my little toe, I'll demand a stretcher to carry me off the plane and through customs. I'm sure that will inconvenience a lot fewer people than hobbling off the plane and standing to one side on the moving walkway.

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cleo - the writer makes the point that standing to one side is required......

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mittsu - Yes, I know. I was responding to hoserfella who claims that anyone not walking on the moving walkway is a 'lazy ignorant sod', and that any one not needing to be physically carried should be skipping along like a lamb in spring. If I'm tired or hurting, I'm gonna stand not walk. If I simply feel like standing, I'm gonna stand not walk. If I'm in no particular hurry, I'm gonna stand not walk. I stand to the side outa the way of people in a hurry, and anyone who objects to that is the one earning themselves the 'ignorant sod' title. Not that I would call anyone an ignorant sod, it would be ignorant of me to do so.

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You are of course right Cleo. On all counts. i am seldom brusque with people but I do find my self using a pointed "Excuse me" when blocked by people standing two abreast..... and no, that wasn't a Hooters article pun.

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Although I don't have a problem with people who stand to the left, I still see them as lazy.

Good for you.

:-D

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i hate flying long distance especially coz i can only afford economy class. try to keep myself to myself.

when i was 21 i flew back to england from australia via los angeles. i got on that plane after a 40 hour bus ride down from cairns to sydney. had no chance for a shower as i had no money so just got on the plane. i smelt pretty ripe especially the old socks. the 3 ladies who sat near me promptly moved to other seats after take off. i am under no illusions as to the reason why. i arrived in london after another 30 hours of unwashedness. thought nothing of it at the time. had a bit of a drink in la airport and boarded smelling of fumes and not a little drunk. i remmember the american ground staff lady asking me to stand back sir 2 or 3 times as i invaded her personal space unbeknown to me.

what a mess i was.

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Clapping upon landing? Really? This one isn’t so much annoying as it is baffling. How exactly did you imagine this flight would end?

C'mon - this is done in many cultures. I have flown a few times with AlItalia - it is Italian culture. If you flew with an Italian airline- you'd applaud if the thing landed successfully too!

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Another thing - Infants flying. Please - for the sake of us all - keep your infants in their birth country, unless they have a medical /other emergency - until they are 5 or 6. Don't inflict their flying misery upon people who actually PAY huge amounts to travel!

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No.8 Clapping on landing trust me ,some airlines can be dodgy and the fact that a pilot has landed what eveybody realised is a pile of crap can be met by a round of applause i`d even feel like kneeling down and kissing the tarmac once i get off.

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Cleo, wrong on all counts. If they somehow managed to make it off the plane without a stretcher, they can walk. Standing on the conveyer is flat out lazy and yes, a lot of the time these lard-a**** will stand right in the middle, mouths agape.

Sad comment. Just ask the person to step aside.

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Clapping upon landing that I know about is something passengers did decades ago after tumultuous flights with turbulence and when pilots landed their aircraft manually. It seems silly to clap for the computers that do the work.

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clapping on landing is just a bit of fun. if it annoys you then you probably have some deeper issues.

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had a bit of a drink in la airport and boarded smelling of fumes and not a little drunk

Hmmm. Talking about deeper issues.

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Fat people. If you need to ask for an extension in your seat belt, buy another seat! I had one flight this year that I could not even out my food tray down because the guy next to me was so fat his leg stopped my tray form being flat. He also bubbled into MY seat which I paid for. I was stuck against the window and he took up all my leg room as well. He should not have been allowed to buy just one seat.

People who ignore the carry on bag restrictions. Sorry but I have a regulation carry on bag and those people who get through security with the carry on bag, plus a million others and then stuff them in the overhead bin near my seat so I can't put mine over the one above my head annoy me.

Add in people who complain about security. Deal with it or don't fly. There is no need to be rude to people who are trying to ensure your safety. I have no idea how the staff doesn't flip out on them.

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Clapping is especially OK if your landing in someplace like Hawaii.

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And I agree with tokyokawasaki about the pulling back on your seat by the passenger behind you. Also the newest annoyance are people poking too hard on the back of your seat touchscreen.

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Sad comment. Just ask the person to step aside.

presto345 - unless you are one of these people that treat the conveyer as a Disney ride, I don't see how its a "sad" comment. And by the way, I do give a very polite but firm "excuse me" on my way by.

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Standing still on the people mover. Exhilarating, isn’t it? Enjoy the ride! But at least move to the right so others can get around. And move those bags out of the way too. Thanks!

Um in Narita you stand on the left, and in Kansai on the right. . .so it depends not only on the country, but where in the country. Same with escalators.

I had a lady with a stroller standing on a very long slow escalator on the right, and when I said excuse me in Japanese, she told me I was wrong in English. Well, low and behold, other Japanese told her she was wrong. She still refused to move.

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I loathe the way the Japanese - we always consider those around us, not merely ourselves - fling their seat right back to the lowest possible angle of reclination the instant the plane gets off the ground, and lie there, draped in blankets like a swaddled child for the rest of the 14-hour flight, denying the person behind a) knee room, b) an angle at which to view the in-flight entertainment screen in the back of the seat, and c) the ability to put a drink down on the tray safely.

And I'm with the posters above. There is no either/or decision to make when it comes to escalators or moving walkways. Whoever spent years of his life inventing the machines didn't do so in order for it to take longer to get where you're going. But if you do decide to lose the use of your legs upon standing on the machine, move your sodding bags out of my way.

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How about not clapping, but crapping on landing safely after a horrible flight? Slow people on escalators, sometimes I am the slow one, because there are 1 million other people standing in front of me making it impossible for me to hurry, so I wait and if the idiot behind me is still bitching about how he or she is in a hurry a blew a nice big long SILENT but deadly FART! Right in their face! God, it is so nice to see these impatient idiots complaining about the escalator being too slow, and when they get a nice Mexican fart in the face, the way they wrinkle their noses and keep complaining! It is just so funny! So if you are really in a hurry, do not be a jerk, get to the blood airport say minimum 3 hours earlier, then you will not be the impatient jerk, causing problems for the rest of us who did get to Narita etc..3 hours earlier, you know, just in case the trains are stopped, accidents on the highway, etc...

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To all the fellow passengers on our flight back to Tokyo Saturday... "SORRY!!" but for how much it sucked for you, it sucked for us 100x more!

(our 10 month old twins screamed non-stop for the last 3hrs of the flight, it was the single worst experience we've ever had)

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No. 9 I always find that behaviour curious. I usually choose an aisle seat and have to get up to let the other people in the row out so that they squeeze together with everyone else in the aisle and stand around waiting for a couple of minutes. I just sit down again and don't get up until it looks like I can walk off the plane without stopping. I don't think my luggage has ever beaten me to the baggage claim so what's the hurry?

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Using the back of someone's seat to stand up should be a criminal offense, especially when they catch some of my hair under their hands as they do it. I don't need to use the back of the chair in front to be able to get up, so unless they are 80 years old, why do they?

I'm not so much bothered by people who stand on travelators as bemused, since I never use them when getting off a flight- you need to get the circulation in your legs going again after a long flight, so it's far better for you to walk. If you have heavy luggage...then you should have checked it, not taken it as hand luggage.

I can understand not wanting to walk up all escalators, especially when coming out of an Oedo line station, but why do able-bodied people stop on the way down and just stand there? (same thing at airports). Same concept as normal stairs, right, and shouldn't use up too much energy. It's especially perplexing when that escalator goes down to the platform and people will stand on it till the last second...and then sprint for the train which is just about to leave.

I agree with some of the comments above- while we can expect travelling to be a bit noisy and uncomfortable, if the people who do a lot of the things mentioned would just be a little bit more considerate it doesn't have to be a living hell for everyone. It doesn't take much effort.

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if the people who do a lot of the things mentioned would just be a little bit more considerate

if the people who do not do the things mentioned would just be a little more considerate, you mean.

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To all the fellow passengers on our flight back to Tokyo Saturday... "SORRY!!" but for how much it sucked for you, it sucked for us 100x more!(our 10 month old twins screamed non-stop for the last 3hrs of the flight, it was the single worst experience we've ever had)

I feel sorry for you being sorry. These things happen, has happened to me and my wife, has been witnessed by us as frequent flyers. We only need to feel sorry for the babies.

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cant you just drug the babies??

anywho, dont sleep the night before (or just a few hours), put on some headphones and enjoy la la land!

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As an adult passenger who has to listen to screaming babes, why should I have to endure that ? I paid a thousand dollars to hear your kids scream ? Oh right, I'm the jerk !

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Indeed you are.

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Frist thought that comes to mind if don't like the inconvience having to fly cattle class, pay more and fly business class. A lot of the aforementioned problems would disappear or at least lessen. If you can't or don't want to, then you'll have to follow the old sage adage "suck it up princess!".

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EbiChiri - Yes. Letting a 4 year-old run amok is one thing, but crying babies are another. Thats what babies do. Don't like it? Take a valium or 4 or go by ship.

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