airplane, air travel, flight, flying, airline etiquette, flight etiquette
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The Air Traveler’s Guide to Not Being a Giant A**hole

airplane, air travel, flight, flying, airline etiquette, flight etiquette

There are a lot of perks to air travel. I mean, there are the never-ending lines. The confiscation of personal possessions. The full-body invasion of privacy by TSA. WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? But perhaps most wondrous about traveling through the atmosphere at 800 miles per hour in a hermetically sealed fart canister is the other passengers. They’re a real joy.

A good portion of fellow airline travelers really are swell. They mind their own business, keep to themselves, and simply try to survive the whole ordeal with their sanity intact, just like the rest of us. But some of them? Some of them need a refresher course in airline travel etiquette. And it would seem the number of people in need of said course is steadily increasing.

So here it is. The Big Kahuna. The Holy Grail of Flying. The Air Traveler’s Guide to Not Being a Giant Asshole.

1) Under no circumstances should you shit your pants for the entire flight.

In all my almost 40 years of air travel, I’ve suffered an errant poot here and there. Hell, I’ve probably even let a few rip myself. But I have NEVER been held hostage for 5 hours while a fellow traveler repeatedly shit their pants until recently. I’d heard about this. And until I experienced it myself, I really had no idea how horrific it can be.

Well, trust me, it’s beyond horrific.

Listen, we can’t always control our bowels. Sometimes shit happens (literally). But maybe take a few precautions, mkay? Like don’t eat a loaded bean burrito before boarding or pass on the eggs until you’re safely back on the ground. I mean, look, buy some of those pills that make your farts smell like chocolate if you’re prone to ass-trumpeting on the reg. But never, EVER just sit in your seat while your twinkle star leaks noxious gases over every state in the Union. For Christ sake, some of us would like to hold on to our nose hairs for use back on Earth.

2) Do NOT throw your trash anywhere except in a garbage receptacle. 

I’m looking at you, guy who spit his sunflower seeds all over the plane floor. Were you raised amongst livestock? Is your dad a neanderthal? WTF could possibly be going on in your head to think this is OK? There is no shortage of opportunity to throw your crap in the trash. The flight attendants come by 37 times between the 2 seconds after they’ve served your drink and landing. And when all else fails, there’s a barf bag right there in the seat pocket in front of you. Shove your stuff in there and take it off with you. Animals.

3) For the love of God, keep your damn shoes on.

This is not your living room, and the rest of us don’t want to see or smell your foot fungus. It’s like nobody ever taught you how to public. Disgusting.

4) Never go full recline.

Is there an adult or juvenile-sized human sitting behind you? THEN DON’T RECLINE YOUR FUCKING SEAT BACK TO 180 DEGREES. It’s not a La-Z-Boy, and you’re not the only person whose knees are situated somewhere between their collarbone and uvula. This is just an unspoken common courtesy. I bet you don’t hold doors for other people or say thank you when they hold doors for you, either, do you? Ingrate.

5) Quit scream-shouting into your Bluetooth.

Oh, you have a super important call to make before takeoff or immediately following landing? Cool, cool. Nobody cares. Worse yet, why are you creepily staring at other passengers while belting commands at your intern, bruh? WE GET IT. YOU’RE A HANDS-FREE BIG SHOT. Here’s a medal.

6) Eat your stanky-ass food before boarding.

I understand the need to bring food on the plane, especially since they’ve stopped serving anything that passes for a decent meal for under $35 these days. But could you not open up a can of sardines mid-flight or start mincing garlic back there in 33B? Stick to crackers and pretzels, friend. None of the rest of us ordered Mediterranean cuisine with our tickets.

7) Get whatever wares you need out of your carry-on before buckling in.

Think you might want your iPod, tablet, book, or Sudoku game at some point during the flight? Then for the love of everything that’s holy, get it out and keep it on your person while we’re still touching asphalt. Nobody sitting near you appreciates constantly moving or getting repeatedly knocked in the head every time you rummage through your luggage in the overhead bin in search of the next item to pass your time.

8) Put your 1s and 2s in the designated hole.

While we appreciate you taking care of business in an actual toilet rather than in your seat, could you at least pretend to aim? Those bathrooms are nastier than a frat house loo after a raging kegger these days. It’s like you’re not even trying. I know they’re small (mile high club is almost impossible these days), but make an effort here. Cretins.

9) If someone repeatedly returns to reading or listening to earbuds as you try to converse with them, STOP TALKING.

So you’re a friendly person who wants to chat. Nothing wrong with that. Except when you continuously ignore fellow passengers’ social cues and jabber jabber jabber jabber OHMYGOD JUST STAB OUR EARDRUMS OUT. It’s like John Candy came back to life and decided to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles us all to death. Not everybody is a social butterfly. Respect the introversion.

10) Quit bum-rushing everything.

This is a process. A long, hellacious, drawn-out process. So lining up right in front of the gate before your zone is called to board and blocking others or trying to be the first person off after landing when you’re seated in the back is not going to make it go any more quickly. Stand back until you’re called to board, and let the people seated in front of you deplane first. Good God, it’s not a race, and you’re just hurrying up so you can wait some more someplace else.

There. Now, that’s certainly not all, but it’s a start. Study up, and happy flying, suckas!