Airplane Etiquette: 10 Commandments for Flying the Douchebaggy Skies
My sister just accepted a promotion this week (yay, sissy!). Her new position as a trainer requires a lot of traveling, which is an exciting part of the job. Having had to do a bit of traveling myself for the position I’m currently in, however, I know what’s ahead for her, at least in part — as in the annoying, dealing-with-morons part. Traveling is fun, but it’s also exhausting — especially when the people around you complicate the matter simply by being the inconsiderate ignoramuses they are.
This blog is written in honor of my sister and her new adventure. Herein, I set forth airplane commandments to all those aforementioned dunces who will undoubtedly test my sister’s patience as much as they’ve tested mine. (In fact, maybe we should both print this out and tape it to the lap tray of every plane we fly in for the moronic travelers to read — assuming they’re literate and English-speaking, of course. Guess we’ll have to hire translators to come up with an equally offensive version for the others.)
1. Thou shalt have luggage awareness. How many times in life has someone’s purse bumped your arm as you walked by? Now shrink that space in which you and Purse Carrier had to pass by each other by, like, 500; that’s how much room baggage has to make its way to where it will be stowed for most of the duration of a flight.
Plus, since people snatch up aisle seats like they’re Adele CDs (speaking of which, pardon me while I use my barf bag now), it is unlikely that, now seated, baggage will hit their arms… and far more likely that it will hit their heads instead. So why anyone still insists on carrying bags over their shoulders or behind them where the behavior of said bag cannot be observed is beyond me.
And as if a boot to the head isn’t bad enough, the douchebag carrying the offending bag might even sit next to you, placing said piece of luggage or contents of it on the nearest open seat in which no one will be sitting. Really? No, really? If I’m not saving the seat for anyone, and you’re not saving the seat for anyone, why does your jacket, for instance, suddenly get to lay claim to the extra space we both could’ve used for our arms, etc.?
Ever hear that bit by Dane Cook about coats? Yeah, don’t be surprised if, when you come back from the bathroom, there’s a stinky little mark on your jacket that wasn’t there before. It was me. I crapped on your coat.
2. Thou shalt STAD. I love it how some people act like as soon as they’ve crossed the aircraft’s threshold, their work is done. Keep movin’ along, pal. Stop texting on your phone, talking to the person behind you and find a seat in which to sit thy arse down. Then try to keep it there for the duration of the flight.
3. Thou shalt STFU. There are few things worse than a person who has no sense of the social cues that say “leave me alone.” Being as well-practiced as I am at these passive-aggressive hints, I can attest to the fact that such a statement can typically be made quite effectively and easily via glaring or rolling eyes, crossed arms, a disdainful curl of lip, or a combination of all three (for the really stubborn folk).
But every once in a while, The Clueless sit down next to people who just want a little peace and quiet and proceed to dictate their life stories. Unless we’re going to be your future biographers, spare us, and shut the eff up. The sound of a plane is annoying enough as it is without your mouth adding to the cacophony.
4. Thou shalt control the fruit of thy loins. And then there are the Parents Who Should’ve Been Sterilized Before They Could Procreate. They who bring their temper-tantrum-throwing monsters high on sugar and low on manners aboard should be fully equipped with muzzles, chloroform, or both… or allow me to assist with mine.
If it were up to me, there’d be a special space on an airplane — like a public restroom on land — to take the ill-behaved for some well-earned corporal punishment. And don’t think for a second I’m being ageist, because I’m happy to see that old wank-yank in aisle 9 who won’t stop harassing the flight attendant get his wrinkled a** beat, too. I call dibs on that paddle duty.
5. Thou shalt not recline thy seat. I know, I know — you probably disagree with me on this one, especially if you’re a dude. But seriously, the space between seats is small enough, and you about half it when you put your seat back even that mere three inches. (And really, guys, besides with respect to what’s in your boxers or briefs, what difference does an extra three inches make at the end of the day?)
It’s even more annoying if someone already has the lap tray down with a full glass on it when the person in the seat in front decides to recline.
Just say no to seat reclining. I do.
I also don’t grab the seat in front of me as I get up. You shouldn’t either.
6. Thou shalt not spread thy legs before me. Since we’re on the subject of seats and space, keep your legs closed. Most women already know and practice this, but guys need to follow this rule on planes, too. I know some of you are Bunyan-esque and all, but seriously, grab the aisle seat, because when you’ve got one knee up against me and the other up against another passenger, you look like the big D you’re airing.
7. Thou shalt not hog the armrests. Don’t be that guy. That guy who thinks he’s entitled to both armrests. That guy who deliberately seeks out seats next to small women like me so he can spread his legs (thereby claiming half my leg room), then adds insult to injury by taking a fourth of my seat room by letting his big old hairy arm brush up against me because he’s stolen the armrest. I can’t tell you how many times some buttclown has done this, and it’s like no matter how far away I lean from the hairy arm, I cannot escape. And I know you see me leaning, hairy-armed dude. What did I ever do to you to incur your furry wrath?
8. Thou shalt keep thy shoes on, wear deodorant, and bring mouthwash. We can smell it if you haven’t showered, have been drinking, won’t stop drinking, or all of the above. Just keep this in mind, wino.
9. Thou shalt not pass gas in thy seat. Do not ever feel it is appropriate to fart in your seat. Ever. Seriously. I know I make a lot of jokes about farts, and I myself have intestinal issues, but still, there must be a line drawn somewhere, and the airplane seat is that place. I once sat next to a dude on a plane who kept gassing me out — grossest thing ever, especially considering I usually feel nauseated on planes just by virtue of the motion anyway. This guy’s beefs brought me painfully close to ralphing on more than one occasion, and that just ain’t right.
The bathroom — albeit modest — is on a plane, so make good use of it… and bring spray to follow up. I prefer vanilla.
10. Thou shalt not join the Mile-High Club. Getting back to intestinal issues and folks with gas problems, people need airplane lavatories in the capacity for which they were specifically designed. And I know I’m a big fan of the LSR, but if you really find anything about an airplane bathroom stall sexually arousing, you got problems… which hopefully include infertility, for all our sakes.