How you behave on an airplane impacts people around you

Breath Easy

The air on a jet is disgusting. To save on the cost of heating the cabin air from -40 degrees, (no scale needed here. It's the same in F or C) airlines bring in very little fresh air. The air is full of germs and stink. So don't add your own. If there is a chance you will cough or sneeze, bring a handkerchief. Heck, bring a towel. Don't put your fingers in front if your face and pretend that you are catching all of your germs.

Also, please don't wear perfume or cologne and don't eat three-bean salad and drink stink-beer beforehand. Don't open a bag of beef jerky. Don't change a diaper.

Fortune Cookie
"Please don't tamper with the smoke
detectors in the lavatory."


Flying Nicely

Be a Gentle Traveler

I am writing this at 30,000 feet because it has happened again. The buffoon in front of me slammed his seat back like I was not even here.

I once had the person in front of me recline their seat so fast that the tray table catch nearly cracked my screen as it shoved my laptop into my stomach. If you are going to recline your seat, be considerate of the person behind you. They may have their knee against the back of your seat, may be resting their head on the tray table, may have a full drink, or have a laptop on the tray.

Here's a better idea for reclining: don't. Let's admit that no one likes it when the seat in front of them leans back into their space. It always makes us at least a little sad. So why would you do it to the person behind you? It is selfish. At least ask the person behind you if it's okay. If you can't do that, then at least warn them. You wouldn't do anything like that to people at home or work, so why do it just because there is a button in the armrest?

Feel free to move about the cabin, but...

Airplane seats are not rigid. If you push on them, they move. If they move, so does the person sitting in it. The airlines make them as lightweight as they can. Even arching your back with just your head and feet touching, tips the seat way back. So don't plop yourself down like you are falling into your couch at home. And don't yank on my seat back as you get in the row behind me. By all means, steady yourself, but avoid jarring other people. It's horrible to be jarred awake from airplane sleep.

Not done yet. Be friendly but don't assume that I want to hear your whole life's story. If you do find someone who wants to talk, talk quietly, no one else wants to hear your amazing tales of last night.

Speaking of indecency. Don't watch R-rated movies where kids and others can see them. Feel free to be ashamed in public.

Also, don't slam the overhead compartment shut. Yes, stewardess on the flight from Chicago, you too.

You know the rest, right? Cutting in line, pretending you don't see me. Boarding before your turn. Bringing huge carry-on. Selfishly sitting in the wrong seat on purpose (causing a lot of anxiety to another person who immediately starts to wonder if they won't have a seat). Trying to leave a bag that won't fit in the overhead compartment down by your feet hoping the stewardess won't see it. Leaning on the person next to you. Hanging parts of your body way into the aisle. Playing loud music. Taking your socks off. Putting your feet up on the seat or arm-rest.

How about at the airport terminal itself? Don't not suddenly stop walking and stand in the way of everyone. At the gate, if your zone has not been called, don't block the way of people who should be boarding.

Have some respect for the people sitting next to you and for the person behind you and in front of you. It's a lot of people in a really small space. Move gently.

There, now I feel better.