by John Wilson
This post (for the most part) is being written at about 18,900 ft on a flight to Atlanta. We’re flying through a storm and this is keeping my mind off of the turbulence. Typically, I use my Jedi mind tricks to keep the flight smooth, but the Claritin is blocking the pathways.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the air traveler’s bill of rights (protecting passengers from airlines), and new legislation surrounding wait times on the tarmac. Below is my manifesto on airplane etiquette (protecting passengers from each other). If everyone would follow these simple ten rules, no one would mind a little extra wait on the ground.
- Know how to go through security – This is the fastest way because it lets you put everything back together (from the ground up):
- Shoes on the belt first
- Then carry on
- Then liquids in a bag, in a “hat bin”
- Then your computer bag
- Then your computer in a bin
- Then your jacket, sweater, etc.
- Security applies to you, too – Yes, you have to take your shoes off, no we don’t care that you have to completely unpack to remove your liquids. Have you been living under a rock for the last nine years? Just do it.
- Carry-ons – A few simple rules here:
- if you can’t lift it over your head, and you’re less than 70 years old, leave it at home.
- It’s called carry on because you need to carry it on to the plane. Your roller board will not roll down the aisle, and you will hit me with it.
- Put your computer bag under the seat in front of you. I don’t care if it is your only bag, no one wants to have to put their luggage behind them or have to check it.
- Personal Music – I appreciate that you purchased headphones that are loud enough for me to enjoy, but I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t. Simply remove your headphones and if you can still hear the music, it’s probably too loud.
- Head Phones as a Signal – If I’m wearing headphones, I don’t want to talk to you unless I have to. I’ve probably had a long day, I’ve probably been on multiple flights, and I’m probably trying to avoid listening to your music. Don’t bother trying to talk to me, I’m ignoring you.
- Please don’t touch my seat – Use the arm rests to stand up and the overhead bins to balance yourself in the aisle. And, for the love of God, please tell your kid to stop kicking me.
- Stay in your seat – If you don’t fit in your seat, buy two or sit in first class. You can also call the airline and ask which flights are partially full and then you can typically sit by yourself (I call this “Poor Man’s first class”. If you do fit, stay off of my side.
- Get out of your seat – Be ready to deplane as soon as possible when it is your turn. Have your under-the-seat-bag ready and have a light enough carry on to be able to pull it out on the move. We all have connections to get to.
- We all have connections – Don’t bother asking to get in front of me in the aisle as we deboard. One – you don’t fit. Two – it will save you about 12 seconds. Three – I have a connection, too. Four – the guy in front me of is going to ignore you.
- Have a nice day – All the above rules aside, just be nice to your fellow passengers, and treat them the way you expect to be treated, and we’ll all get there with our sanity. (Also, don’t take your shoes off and pick your toe jam – the guy beside me is doing that RIGHT NOW.)
Like my rules above? Think I’m ridiculous? Put your own stories or additions to the rules in the comments below.