Travel Manners & Airplane Gripes – Excuse Me, Your Butt is in My Face!

travel manners
Thanks to Tripit for this fun photo!


Airplane gripes & travel manners ~ Excuse me, your butt is in my face!

Most of the time traveling is awesome and exciting and people are mostly cordial and polite however, sometimes it’s annoying and frustrating to deal with the inconsiderate and clueless on a flight.

To be crammed into such a small area with strangers is a lesson in patience and personal restraint. As a frequent flyer I have become acutely sensitive to my immediate surroundings. I am small so I don’t really threaten to take over other travelers’ personal space, but I am exceptionally considerate to other people. I am kind, offer my help, and often assist stowing baggage. Oh, but the big people sometimes have no clue how their size infringes upon my ability to get comfortable.

Sheesh, there are travel manners and common courtesy rules…

Why does the extra-large husband always sit in the center seat of me and his wife? If she sat in the middle we women would have so much more room!

Why do many of the first class passengers take their sweet ass time putting their one bag in the overhead? They poke around, peruse, contemplate and then take their seat. I see this with the men mostly. Hello? There are 109 more passengers waiting to get on the plane. Common courtesy is not that difficult. Get going! Be Considerate Man!

Is it cluelessness? Arrogance? Aloofness?

“Hey you, with the three carry ons, I see you!  Why can’t you check your third bag like the rest of us?” Why don’t the airlines keep a closer eye on this huge problem? With the new bag charge many travelers cheat and bring on three bags and most of the time they are overstuffed! I fly Alaska Airlines up and down the west coast almost every month and on every single flight they announce that “we have a full flight, would you consider checking your bag free of charge?” This flight won’t have room for every bag.

It is not that there isn’t room, it is actually because so many passengers abuse this carry on privilege. Play by the rules everyone and we all benefit.

How about this one… “Would you mind if I painted my nails?” The woman sitting next to my daughter actually asked her this! Hmmmm let me think… Yes I mind!! Can you imagine the fumes and the smell? Forget the fact that it is flammable! Have you ever heard of this?? Seriously this happened!

Fun with the Incredible Hulk ~

My most recent experience prompted me to write this post. Upgraded to first class from New Orleans to Los Angeles, I sat comfortably minding my own business and noticed a very tall attractive man in the window seat across the aisle.

Yep, Lou Ferrigno, the Incredible Hulk. He is a massive human being and still in great shape. He is quite tall and seemed jovial and nice. However… when I was standing waiting to depart the plane he spent at least 3 minutes bent over looking around inside his bag, completely unaware he was sticking his butt in my face the entire time!!

Even if it was a nice celebrity backside, I was still very embarrassed and uncomfortable. The other passengers were watching him and I was mortified. It is funny now that I look back on it.

Here’s the bottom line, there are rules in place to help this process run more smoothly, many individual travelers have no clue that they are infringing upon other passengers’ rights. They don’t fly often enough to gain the experience to know what to do and what not to do. I know that most of these complaints can be fixed with simple logic, but evidently a little tutelage is in order. I believe that flight attendants have a duty to police this activity a little more than they do, but every situation is different. Venting helps, so thanks for listening, but honestly, the more you travel the more stories you have.

I bet you have stories… do you? Email me your favorite quirky/ pet peeve/ funny airplane travel manners story and try to limit it to 200 words and we can share our pain and the humor in travel for an upcoming post.

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7 thoughts on “Travel Manners & Airplane Gripes – Excuse Me, Your Butt is in My Face!”

    • Seriously Lori – Not much you can do about that. We spin the roulette wheel when we choose our seats! I would put my sweater over my face (politely if possible) and listen to my music. UGH!

  1. On a flight from Honolulu to LAX, the woman across the aisle from me was using nail polish remover to remove her nail polish (sure, a 5-hour flight might seem like a good time to do a manicure? Duh!). After filling the cabin with noxious polish remover and almost all passengers complaining about it, a flight attendant finally approached her. Some people just don’t think. My last 4 cross country flights (SEA-ATL-SEA, x2), I was stuck in middle seats – talk about cramped! My remedy was to sleep through each of the flights. Typically, though, I have good experiences on planes. My favorite flight was on a very small plane from PBI to TLH. That flight made me appreciate why pilots love flying, and made me wish I could fly, too. The weather was perfect – not a cloud in the sky. And I had a front row seat!

    • So funny that you experienced the nail polish issue! UGH! Middle seats are perfectly awful. We had a flight like you were describing. We flew from the Big Island to Maui. The plane had 8 seats and it was bright sunshine and clear. When the wind changed you floated with it, just like a bird!


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