Bad Behavior on Airplanes--are YOU guilty??

May 08, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

One of my online pleasures is Scott McCartney's column in the Wall Street Journal. Scott writes about air travel from many perspectives: the passenger, the pilot, the flight attendant, the investor, the airline, and the regulatory agency. His column this week hit very close to home for me.

Entitled "Flying Foul: Passengers Behaving Badly", Scott writes about some of the behaviors one sees on an airplane:

"You'll never look at, or reach into, an airline seat-back pocket the same after reading this.

Besides being a repository for magazines, newspapers, books, iPods and air-sickness bags, seatback pockets get stuffed with all kinds of disgusting trash, from toenail clippings to mushy meals.

People do things on airplanes that they would never do in other public settings. They pluck eyebrows, polish nails and pick noses. They stick chewed gum in places only other passengers will discover. They blow noses into blankets that get folded up for the next weary traveler. They prop bare feet up on bulkheads and seats. Sometimes they even engage in sex acts

I had to write Scott and tell him about a couple more bad behaviors I've seen:

" I see people at least every other week, contorted in their coach confines, clipping their toenails. Bing! Bing! The shrapnel flies about the cabin! I used to try to call attention to the bad behavior, and hand them a plastic cup to catch the "leavings" but it never really worked. Now, I just ask the passenger to stop.

Or, how about the people that get airsick into the "sick sack (aka barf bag)? They neatly fold over the top and "seal it"--then place it into the seat back pocket. Only to be discovered by me, when "tidying" the aircraft. Many people use the sick sack to store their garbage--banana peels, gum wrappers, etc.--so, I go to remove the full sick sack, not knowing what is in it, and it is still warm! Gross! Worse is when a little of the "contents" spills onto my hand.

I carry Clorox wipes with me, and when sitting as a passenger on an airplane, always wipe the top of the tray table off with one. People change their babies on the tray tables--and I generally don't catch it until they are finishing up. Please tell people that there is a big ol' baby changing table on most airplanes in the lavatory! Other people (usually teenagers) curl up into a weird position and put their bare feet on that table. It is nasty! (Another trick is to use the hot towel in First Class to wipe your tray table off, too. Less offensive stuff up there, but still, rarely cleaned!)

And, a less frequent behavior--but still inappropriate:
Important Flight Attendant Announcement."

Don't get me started on airplane blankets--unless it comes in a sealed plastic bag, it won't touch any part of me!

See? It is a glamorous life!


2 What's YOUR view? Click here to comment, please!

Write What's YOUR view? Click here to comment, please!
May 9, 2008 at 12:52 PM delete

Ewwwe! I don't even want to fly now! lol Good tips for when I do have to, though. Thanks!

May 9, 2008 at 5:11 PM delete

Hey, check out my Air Sickness Bag collection!