Friday, January 10, 2014

Travel Manners: Gone, Baby. Gone.

On a recent flight, I noticed so much rude and self-important behavior, it made my blood boil.  Admittedly, it doesn't take much to set me off.  But when people - adults who should know better - are misbehaving, how will future generations act? 

First of all, boarding a plane should be the easiest thing in the world to do.  Everyone is given a boarding pass that clearly defines when it is your turn to board.  But there are folks out there who don't seem to think that this process pertains to them.  On a recent flight, a businessman (dressed in suit and talking on his phone) in boarding group 5 tried to board the plane with groups 2, 3, and 4, each time being told by the gate attendant that he would have to wait until his group was called.  He didn't seem phased.  He apparently thought himself too important to wait his turn.  I've seen this behavior on just about every flight I've been on recently.

When my flight landed at its destination, the passengers bum-rushed the cabin door.  It used to be, when disembarking from the plane, that everyone exited 1 row at a time:  all 6 passengers in Row 1, followed by the passengers in Row 2 and so on.  The flight was actually a bit early, so it wasn't like people needed to tight connections.  Again, people just don't think they should have to wait their turn.

And on every flight since 9/11, attendants inform passengers that it is illegal for them to congregate in the forward cabin; that if the restroom is occupied, to please stay seated until the room is free.  This request - or should I say regulation - doesn't seem to prevent people from doing just the opposite.  And every time, a flight attendant has to approach the passenger and ask them to take their seat and the passenger argues with the attendant, essentially until the restroom is available.

There was a time, not really all that long ago, when passengers would actually dress to fly.  By that, I mean men wore suits or at least jackets, and women wore dresses.  Today, some passenger look like they are in pajamas.  And carrying their pillows, no less.  When did a flight become a slumber party? This is not a place to stretch across seats or curl into a ball in your jammies.  Sit up like an adult and act accordingly.

And I know the concept is tricky to grasp because although we are INSIDE a plane, it also feels like we are OUTSIDE as well due to being in the air, but for all intents and purposes, please use your INSIDE voice when you speak.  And since we are in such a tight space, make it your SUPER QUIET INSIDE voice.  I shouldn't be able to hear your conversation over the din of the engines 3 rows back.

While you're at it, please choose the correct seating for your situation.  If you are one of those people who has to "go" every 30 minutes, please take the aisle seat.  And if the sunshine bothers you, please take the aisle seat.  I don't know why people who either constantly need to get up or pull the shade closed immediately upon sitting down chose a window seat.  Ludicrous.

I personally don't care what kind of hoops I have to jump through when it comes to security.  If it prevents a hijackers or bomb-enthusiast from boarding my plane, I am all for it.  It's the passengers who have ruined flying for me.