Travel Tip Tuesday: Be the Most Hated Person on the Plane

The possible Travel Tip Tuesday themes to evolve from my latest stateside adventure are too many to list today … lost luggage, stolen contents, airline strikes, airline accountability … ahhh, but don’t worry. We’ll get to those.

Today’s tip covers the most intrinsic rule of all seemingly common sense rules of travel. And yes. There are rules.

You might be surprised, as I was on my recent 9 1/2 hour intercontinental voyage, to discover there are still people who rejoice at the obnoxious, who embrace offensiveness and who do things that are Just. Plain. Wrong.

And I’m not talking about children either.

So now. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you are the most despised passenger on the plane.

– Tell your Business.
Just before boarding my flight, I scanned my horoscope and discovered it is not my fault I abhor attention-seekers. I’m an Aquarius. It’s in the stars. That being said, I unknowingly jinxed myself to sit directly in front of the two most obnoxiously attention-craving gals women on the plane. I could have made it without knowing that a spider bit Sara on the chimichanga. I’m just saying.

– Forget how to Whisper.
Along the same lines, Sara and “Girrrrl” chatted incessantly throughout the flight. Long after dinner had been served and lights were dimmed these gals played travel games, told stories and, I’m not joking here, sang to each other.

Spray your Perfume – Often.
Ok. Some people, yours truly excluded of course, can get funky-smelling on a long haul trip. I get that. But it is just not cool to spray perfume or a scented body spray throughout your flight. Your fellow passengers are already breathing dull, recycled air and many people have allergies or get headaches from certain odors. Not only was I on the verge of a migraine for the last two hours of the flight, but I suffered throughout my layover and halfway into my next flight because of the above-mentioned sprays. I’m not really the confrontational type, but when Sara told her friend, “I need another spray,” I almost lost it. (Tip: If you are feeling a tad stanky, go the lavatory and freshen up there with your wipes and a non-scented deodorant.)

What are your airline passenger pet peeves? What is the one thing that sets you off when traveling? Do tell!

Until next time … Buon Viaggio!

15 Responses
  1. Sally

    I always seem to have bad luck on airplanes… I sit next to one who is horribly sick, coughing and hacking (at the beginning of my trip!) Or some extremely tall man wants to exchange seats because his legs are too long for his assigned seat. So, the person in front of me raises their hand and I spend the rest of the flight trying to not have him break my legs as he tries to push his seat farther and farther back into my space, or have some lady say she is having a heart attack, only to recover hours later and want to smoke a cigarette… Who is the patron saint of airplanes? I always say a prayer before takeoff and landing but maybe I need to pray to the saint of airplanes so this quits happening.
    I always say a prayer, too. And, btw those stories made me laugh. Sorry….

  2. oh poverina!!

    Sorry but if you a big person, please buy two seats, or don’t sit in coach. The last few trips bet. Los Angeles and Italy (a veeeeery long flight) I was sitting next to people who spilled over into my seat. Not fun.
    Yea, that is definitely not a comfy flight!

  3. Hi C-

    Thanks for the nice words about my new design:)

    Hmmm, I hate when the person in front of me has to recline the seat constantly by slamming their entire body weight into it. This is especially *rude* during meals when my tray table shakes and spills my food all over. Hate that. Don’t get me wrong, you should recline, but just be nice about it 🙂
    Oh yea, that is bad, too. On this last flight, my seat must have been broken. It wouldn’t recline at all!!

  4. If you have a bladder the size of my little fingernail…please don’t request a window seat. About the 5th time you have climbed over me it becomes a trifle annoying. Amen on the perfume.
    I hear ya, Jan. That is especially tough on those night flights!

  5. Try flying to Australia…24 hours…

    I was stuck on a flight for 24 hours with an old British couple who decided to start drinking in the first hour and then continue to sing loudly opera like songs for the next 20 odd hours.

    And then there are those people who want to talk…and talk some more and you have to then pretend to sleep for the whole 24 hours as if you ‘wake up’ they start talking to you since they are flying solo.
    He he….

  6. Piccola

    My worst flight ever was an 8 hour flight to Hawaii wherein I had the “good fortune” of sitting next to the bathroom AND the lady sitting in front of me kept opening a jar of some kind of pickled rotting fish…..OMG, I could barely breathe the air around me. The stench was indescribable!
    See? People who make unnecessary odors in already close quarters are just wrong!

  7. I thought I was the only one who goes ballistic when people spray perfumes on themselves, REPEATEDLY, on transatlantic flights. Now, I love perfume when I am on the ground, BUT on planes and in such large doses, my eyes are watering and I’m sneezing violently 🙁 Plus, if someone sprayed on this much perfume at home and went outside, they would be considered over-perfumed. So why is it ok on a plane? Ok, rant over — I discovered you through Bleeding Espresso. I love your blog.
    Thanks for stopping by. Bleeding Espresso is one of my favorite ways to find new blogs, too. And rant on… anytime you wish!

  8. the combination of the lavatory and pickled fish . . oh my!! And the British opera-singing couple!! I’m not so much of a perfume person myself — I mean, I normally wear it, but I do once remember reading in a letters to the editor in a travel magazine or somewhere a woman’s complaint about her allergies/breathing problems and how they are terribly exacerbated on planes where people are wearing scent. Since then, I’ve tried to remember NOT to spritz when flying (which seems counterintuitive). I make sure to have some wipes so I can freshen up, I really like the l’Occitane ones, but they are expensive.

    In the defense of solo travelers, some of us ourselves don’t want to talk/bother others/be bothered!

    Anyway funny tips and a fun post. You’re sweet to keep your sense of humor about what was clearly a very trying flight(s)!!
    Ha. Thanks, Kim. Sometimes all you can do is laugh!

  9. I just read today about your having met P in Paris! Did you reorganize your blog lately? Or am I just now figuring my way around?? I loooooved the story – and it definitely WOULD make a movie, heck you were dressed as a Disney character the first time you saw him if I understand correctly??? And you ended up together after knowing each other mainly long distance and supporting each other through some really tough times?! Definitely very romantic, true love (as evidenced again by the computer gift!).
    I did, Kim. I just realized I didn’t have an “About Me” page since I moved from blogger. Glad you like the story. And yes. I was a pirate. he he

  10. Perfect! Well, it worked (the new ‘about’ page). I’m from small-town Oklahoma so get where you’re coming from from home, too. Thanks for visiting!
    So glad people read that page! Thanks, Kim!

  11. OK I know I may sing a different tune if/when I have children, but I really, really hate when children run around the plane and are generally disruptive. A lot.

    The perfume, though, is my absolute biggest pet peeve. It’s bad enough in elevators, in line at the store, etc., but at least that exposure doesn’t last for hours and hours….
    Did you hear about the family who got kicked off a Southwest flight b/c the kids were disruptive? It pays to make your kids mind, people!!

  12. My husband travels from March to October with his job in Formula 1 and all over the world. He cannot stand people who recline their seats all the time, slamming them back, and yes worse when you are trying to eat. Noisy children, people who have BO..and overly large people. He is a big man, but not fat. 6’3 with wide shoulders, you can imagine that he is a nightmare traveller. There is just not enough room and mostly the seats are all squashed together, and never enough leg space. He trys to pre-book his seat before travel. But somehow he manages to sleep most of the way, puts his ipod on and his isolating headphones and he is off!!!!!
    Oh yes. Those noise-canceling headphones are the way to go. On another note, I am 5’2″ and NEVER have enough leg space. I don’t know how tall people manage!

  13. my most not-fun flight was phl to fco (you know where that is!!). we had an empty row behind us & mid-overnight flight a momma brought her baby to the row to lie down. so far, so good…until a young male relative of mommma/baby joined the fun. he was running around the plane (not so bad)…& every circuit he made, he would poke the very sleepy baby. the baby, in turn, would let out a blood curdling scream & all of us within earshot (the whole plane) would be awake again. on one of the little bugger’s rounds, i turned around & gave him a good dose of mal occhio! the kid ran for his life back to the general direction from which he had come!!
    Ha! Well, now I feel sorry for the poor kid!

  14. Ah, where to begin! Two weeks ago I was on a flight from hell, which was made even worse by our proximity to a woman with VERY strong b.o. who decided to take her shoes off as well. I wish I had had a gas mask because I was feeling nauseous!
    Oh, Linda. THAT is horrible. 🙁

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