10/26/15

Airplane Etiquette . . .

No. Not my photo. But it could easily be.
Several months ago I talked about the awe that is air travel. And I meant every word of it but I traveled for work last week and I have to add something to my list of air travel insights . . . the greatest failing of air travel. Two things, technically and those things are simple - the boarding and deboarding of a plane.

Let me get in front of this . . . I know that part of this is fueled by the airline industry and their horribly flat efforts to gain more revenue with false incentives like frequent flier miles, loyalty points, and purchased priority boarding but I'm going to blame most of it on the flying masses. Let me get this off my chest.

BOARDING - 

  1. Just sit. The airline employee specifically said "In a few minutes we will begin boarding." There is truly NO rush at this point. No one is getting on that plane just yet. You're just going to give me angst and trigger someone else's IBS when you start crowding the gate at this point. Simmer down, simmer down, simmer down. Now.
  2. If you're in boarding group three - there is no need to stand three feet from the check-in scanner person. It just makes the approximately 66% of the travelers ahead of you squeeze by you.
  3. Fun Fact - The airline employees rarely to never check what boarding group you are in and they allow "those needing extra time" to go earlier. If you're that neurotic - just go get on the damned plane. You're pissing me off.
  4. WHY, dear airlines, do you do the thing where you have two colored runner carpets and/or velvet ropes to make people walk to board the plane. We see you at the end of these two journeys and we don't feel special as (insert precious metal or semi-precious stone)-level members or (insert four adjectives that modify each other on the way to)-members status. 
  5. You have about 30 yards between getting your boarding pass scanned and you hitting your chair. Use them to get your headphones and iPad out or to stash away whatever, etc. NO need to stand in the aisle and do that.
  6. If you can't lift your roller bag above your head - don't take it on the plane. I'm looking at you, weak armed people. Seriously. HOURS are wasted every day in America by people struggling to lift their own stuff into the bins. And - if you're behind one of those people, help them. It is good for karma and the least you can do to keep us all moving.
  7. You have a bin above YOUR seat. Use it. If it is full, put stuff under your chair. The people in row 18 don't get to use the bin above row 23. It is not specifically stated/written but it is implied and the right thing to do. Sidebar - Does your nylon, weather-proof Chiefs jacket really need to be neatly folded and laid careful in the bin? Can't you just shove it somewhere, like the garbage, so the rest of us can put our stuff up?
  8. The arm rest between the chairs should stay down. If you're traveling with a companion and want your thighs to touch - go to town. But I'm a fat man and I don't want that arm up even if it gives me a little extra room. We're all ready sardines. Let's not melt in to each other's space.
  9. You got an aisle seat on a flight that has already been stated as full? Good for you. Do NOT bother to settle your soda and magazine in the seat-back pocket nor buckle your seatbelt. There is at least one and likely two more people coming to fill those seats adjacent to your seat. You're just going to slow the flow.
  10. If you're not going to read or solve puzzles, leave your overhead light off. What are you, afraid of the dark? Just need to feel to glow on your scalp? Stop it. That being said the air control vents should be tweaked and played with until you get it right. I'm fine with that so long as you're not harming or delaying other people.

DE-BOARDING - 

  1. WHY are you jumping up the minute the pilot turns off the "fasten seatbelts" sign? Did you know that, on average, it is over three minutes from the time that light goes off to the time that the door to the jet bridge is opened and people can exit the plane? Sit down. Calm down. Keep your crotch out of my face.
  2. If you're in row four and at your final destination and you're not in a rush to get home to the suburbs, let the people in row 23 with twenty minutes to get to the next leg of their flight and a thousand miles before they are home get off the jet first. It is good for karma. And a basic human courtesy to extend. I'm looking at YOU, Dallas. You're the WORST.
  3. Yes. By alllllll means. Turn your phone on and immediately start texting, calling, updating, retweeting, foursquaring, swarming, Tindr-ing, and otherwise going back to your solitary, digital life. NO need to stay focused long enough to get off these giant metal birds first. The three minutes delay might freak your wife, in bed in the suburbs and hour's drive away, out. 
  4. Let's go back to elementary school and go one row at a time - left then right. And let's be ready. When you see the row in front of you standing and exiting - start getting yourself together. 
  5. If you stuffed your too-big-for-the-overhead bag in a bin four rows behind you . . . that is a YOU problem. You can and should wait until everyone else is off the plane and then you can go get your crap.
  6. If you notice the person next to you left half a Diet Coke in the seat-back pocket, let it ride. If it is a tablet or paperback . . . let them know. It is the second level of decency and also good for karma.
  7. To that end - take your crap with you. If you were too good to give your junk to the flight attendants the 91 one times they went through the cabin to collect it during the flight - don't make them pick it up later. That slows the next flight from getting up in the air. And it is rude.
  8. Hey, flight attendants, zip it. We don't want or need you to look every one of us in the eye and mumble well wishes, thanks, or other random babble. We don't think you mean it and we truly don't care. You did your job. You got us here safely. Now let us go. 
  9. If you had to check your bag plane-side, note that we ALL did. You don't need to jockey for position and/or ask the crew if you are in the right spot to get your bag. That 45 of us are also crammed in this non-air-controlled tube should be sufficient proof that you are.
  10. When you get to the top of the jetway and are in the terminal walk another 20 feet past the door and then stop and repack, jigger, and arrange your every possession. You need not do it right there at the top of the tunnel. The rest of us are trying to get outta here.
There. You're a better air traveler already.