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Airplane Etiquette

Thursday, September 01, 2011

It's writing prompt day at Mama Kat's. Today's prompt is to list your top 10 rules for airplane etiquette.

Just 10?! I could write a book on airplane etiquette; a bible, if you will. Let's not beat around the bush: flying sucks and squirrelly behaviour from Joe Public makes it worse. If everyone behaved themselves, flying could possibly be tolerable, civilized even. As it is, flying is barbaric. There is really nothing glamourous about flying anymore. The whole experience is humiliating, from getting patted down barefoot at airport security to being chastised about your seat position by a snotty stewardess. Here are some tips to make flying the "friendly" skies a little less painful.

1. Don't attempt to strike up a conversation with your seatmate if they're obviously just not that into you. Hints: headphones in, working on a laptop, reading - they don't want to chat. Just smile, say hi, and let them be. I hate making conversation on airplanes and have faked sleep to get out of these awkward exchanges.

2. Sleeping with strangers is one thing. Sleeping ON strangers is quite another. Hey-oh! If you're going to nod off, make sure your head isn't lolling over onto your neighbour's shoulder. Drooling on the chest of someone whose first name you don't even know may be OK for the Jersey Shore cast but it's not OK for the rest of us.

3. Don't poop on the plane. I KNOW, sometimes nature calls. Sometimes you're flying across the globe and you can't really hold it. I'm proud that I have never had to poop on a plane, and it's not just because I'm a girl and girls don't poop. Think of the rest of the people using that tiny bathroom! Think of the poor folks in the back rows! Think of them and hold it.

4. Don't dig your nails into your seatmate's arm. This happened to me during a bumpy landing in Saskatchewan. The old lady beside me actually inserted her fingernails into my forearm. Once we were safely on the ground, she removed her talons, looked at the five little half-moons that were now cut into my skin and oozing blood, patted my arm and smiled. Meanwhile I'm walking around with a scar that looks like a vampire bite, a permanent reminder of Grandma's trip to Regina.

5. Don't hog both armrests. You get one. Do not get into your neighbour's bubble!!

6. You know you're going to have to take off your shoes and belts at security. Do everyone a favour and wear things that slip on and off easily. Now is not the time for knee-high hooker boots with 18 buckles. Flats, Toms, even pumps that slide on and off easily are perfect - don't hold up the line while you remove your S&M garb. Same thing goes for your laptops, Blackberries, iPods and whatever other electronics you're packing. We get it - you're busy and important - so unpack your shit and have it ready to go through the scanner.

7. When you do get on the plane, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD FIND YOUR DAMN SEAT AND PUT YOUR BAG AWAY AND SIT THE F DOWN. Why does it take so long to board a plane? I'm not sure what people do. They find their seat and stand their with their bags and readjust them in the overhead bins for 10 minutes. People just looooove standing in the aisles for whatever reason. It's simple! Put the bag in the slot and sit down!

8. Do not let your kids run wild around the plane. This is a vehicle, not McDonald's Play Place. And nobody needs to use the bathroom six times in one hour. If you do, you should be hooked up to an IV in the hospital. My aunt used to give her kids "Christmas Pills" on Christmas eve to get them to go to sleep (it was Gravol...shhhh). Might I suggest "airplane pills" to encourage the little darlings to snooze through the flight? Yes, I am advocating drugging your kid before you travel. Yes, I fully plan on doing this myself. Call child services. Go ahead punk, make my day.

9. Ahh, boarding time. You know how, at the airport, they call for everybody who needs assistance first and you look at your gate and realize that three-quarters of the plane is lined up for "assistance"? Unless you're actually in a wheelchair or on crutches or have more kids in tow than you have limbs, sit down until they call your rows. You can jump up and be an early bird in the lineup all you like and guess what? You aren't getting on that plane any sooner. Have fun standing in line with your dorky little carryons like a bunch of unruly kindergarteners while the smart people are lounging comfortably in chairs with magazines and Starbucks waiting for you fools to get yourselves organized.

10. Don't poop on the plane. It's important enough to mention twice. Go at the airport. Anticipate these things.

Bon Voyage!

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  1. Amen, Sister! Some other tid-bids:
    1. Do not let your child stare at the person behind you over the top of their seat. Repeatedly. And here's a tip - children are physically small enough that you can pull them down into their seat if they are not listening to your repeated requests to sit down.
    2. You are going to be trapped in a tin-can with strangers for anywhere from an hour to several hours. Wear deodorant, use foot powder, brush your teeth....do whatever you have to do to NOT STINK!

  2. How about those people who put their bags in your overhead compartment....It seems like if they cannot fit it all in theirs something should be checked.

  3. I agree with everything - especially pooping. I can't remember if I've ever had to on a plane, probably because if I did I've repressed the memory as far back as it can go. And I think Kim's #2 is crucial.

    Love your blog! (found you from the writing prompts)

  4. I love this but have to comment on number 8. Before kids this was my point too, now two children down the line that have had to be on flights of more than 5 hours I have a different view. I am waiting to see if yours changes when your small one starts to move around. Keep writing, I love your blog!=

  5. I am seriously laughing my ass off! Could not agree more with every single one! That little old lady digging her nails into your arm and then just patting it! Complete insanity!

  6. This is hilarious and I completely agree with each one. The worst was when I had a window seat (I always request one) and the woman next to me thought it was my responsibility to hold her kid so the child could look out the window....for 2 hours....