Loud Talkers? Jackholes Who Bring Tuna Salad On a Plane?
AKA: Rules for Flying And Not Getting Your Ass Kicked
After making my way through the treacherous TSA lines and the cattle call that is Southwest’s boarding procedure (I know, I know, you get what you pay for), I boarded the plane that would (hopefully – after figuring out I was on the right plane and enduring a bumpy flight, as in, the captain announced before we even took off that he wasn’t going to let the flight attendants out of their seats for the flight because the weather had been so bad from their earlier flights this morning) whisk me back home to my children and fur babies.
I have just a little bit of flight anxiety to begin with, but I can usually talk myself out of it through skill sets my therapist taught me many moons ago.
However, there are a few things that still just rub me the wrong way when I get on a plane. It’s public transportation, people. Other people paid to be on the plane with you. It is not YOUR plane. So, for the sake of me not having to smell your tuna sandwich or your nasty cantaloupe as you sit in front of me, let me give you a refresher course on what you should not, as common airplane etiquette dictates, do on a plane:
- Thou shall not bring on a carry on bigger than you can lift. If you cannot lift it above your head and I am sitting in an aisle seat (which I always try to do, because I have long legs and I always have to pee, because, well, I birthed babies), I do not want your effing suitcase falling on my shoulder or my head. Yes, this has happened before. No, I was not conciliatory when I was given the lame “I’m sorry,” because guess what? The bag was actually TOO BIG to fit in the overhead bin. Check your baggage if it’s the size of a tuba, lady. It doesn’t fit over my head.
- Do not come to a dead stop and back up to find a seat because you don’t like the options ahead of you anymore. Granted, this applies to very few airlines, as there aren’t many other than Southwest where you don’t have a pre-assigned seat. But there are people behind you and that silly law of physics that an object in motion tends to stay in motion is actually a real thing. All of the people behind you are not aware of your intent to back that truck up because you do not have flashers on and do not make a beeping noise warning us that you are changing directions. Plus, you stepped on my foot and it’s summer and I’m wearing sandals. Not cool, man. Not cool at all. Your luggage isn’t going to beat you to the baggage carousel if you’re sitting in the back half of the plane. Believe me. Be thankful if it made it onto the correct plane.
- Do not bring stinky food onto the plane. I don’t even know why I have to say this. This concept should be as simple as walking on the right side of the hall or the sidewalk, but yet people don’t seem to comprehend something that we have all been taught since we first began our trips down hallways or on airplanes. Just like I will body check you if you are being a dumbass walking on the wrong side of the hallway, I am daydreaming about tossing your nasty sandwich out the emergency exit door along with you for being a dumbass who has no respect for other people’s olfactory sense.
- Speaking of stinking, for the love of the Queen’s jewels, put some deodorant on and bathe before you get crammed into a giant tin can with a couple hundred other people. This is just what you do in polite society. Nobody wants to smell your dirty pits.
- Keep your shoes on. Just do it. Feet are gross and you can take the shoes off when you get to your destination. If the shoes you are wearing are THAT uncomfortable, bring a comfortable pair to slip into for the duration of the flight, but nobody wants to see your feet.
- The person in the middle seat ALWAYS gets the armrests. They got screwed. They’re in the middle seat and if you don’t know them and the person on the other side doesn’t know them either, then they’re doubly screwed. Have some manners and give up the armrest.
- You aren’t actually supposed to use the seat recline button unless you’re on an overnight flight. If you have a two hour flight, don’t be a dick and put your seat back, because then you leave the person behind you with two options. A. Be a dick to the person behind them and put their seat back so they have room to breathe; or, B. Suffer in silence as they kick your seat until you get the fucking point.
- If I put a pair of earbuds in or even better, a pair of noise canceling headphones on, it’s a big hint. It means, I do not want to talk to you. Stop trying to start up a conversation. I’ll be polite the first time you interrupt whatever I’m doing. The second time, I won’t. And if it’s a long flight, I’m really passive aggressive and you won’t like me very much by the time we land.
- If you’re one of those people who knows you’re going to have to get up repeatedly during a flight, pick an aisle seat, even if you want a window seat. A. You’ll annoy everyone in your aisle because they will have to repeatedly get up for you twice each time you leave your seat; and B. You’re probably tugging on the seat backs of the people in front of you. And if it’s an overnight flight and people are sleeping, you are Satan and I will cut you.
- When the flight attendant says turn your devices to airplane mode, don’t be that douche canoe who thinks he or she is more important than everyone else on the plane and keep yours on as the plane takes off. These rules are in place for a reason, and regardless of whether you understand that reason (because your husband is a pilot and you have asked him to explain that reason to you and you therefore get really pissed off when you see people not following that rule), do what you’re fucking told to do.
- I don’t want to know what kind of music you are listening to if you’re sitting next to me or across the aisle from me or three rows up from me. If I can hear your music, it’s too loud. You don’t need it turned up that loud, and also, get off my lawn.
I’m sure there are more rules, like that time I was flying back from Dubai and woke up to a woman sleeping on the floor underneath hers, her husband’s, and my seats because we had a bulkhead row and I actually had to kick her to wake her up and make her move so I didn’t step on her head, but basically, don’t be a dick, follow the general rules of normal life and travel, and for the love of all things holy, do NOT bring nasty smelling tartar sauce based products on board. If you do, and you are flying with a small child, I will give them a chocolate bar and a pack of gummy bears as we deplane.
Like I would do that during the flight? Please. I don’t want to endure the torture you brought upon yourself.