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Reader RantReader Rant by Gretchen Henne

A friend of mine recently wrote this after four flights and a 20-hour work day. I guess you can say she had reached her limit! Below are the pet peeves and annoyances that she encountered. It’s pretty funny and true. What do you think?

After all my years of travel, I’ve seen some stuff that has driven me nuts. The following observations/complaints/rules are things that I think everyone should know before they step foot in an airport or on an airplane! Maybe we should call this Mastering Aviation Travel 101.

1. Fashion in the US is apparently dead! Gone are the days when people dressed up to fly. Pajamas and sweats seem to be the new norm. Tip: It helps to look nice. You get upgraded, free drinks and many other perks. But whatever, more for me.

2. People leave their manners at home. They think it’s ok to constantly elbow you and never say excuse me, sorry, pardon me. This IS NOT OK. But this leads to #3.

3. Armrests are shared! You are not at home lounging on your couch. I paid for all 18 inches of my seat, and I’m pretty sure that didn’t include your elbow over the armrest in my lap!

4. People in First Class suck just as much as people in coach! And if I see one more person in First put their briefcase in the overhead bin, along with their large suitcase, when other people are desperate to find space for their suitcase, I am going to lose my mind! Don’t be greedy! You have plenty of room under the seat in front of you. (Same with you in the exit row.)

5. Adults wearing backpacks. How do you not know that if you even slightly turn sideways while walking down the aisle, you nearly knock out everyone who is sitting in an aisle seat? HOW do you not know this?

6. If you don’t have an aisle seat, sorry, you don’t get to stand in the aisle once we land and are parked at the gate! If you want to stand up early, get an aisle seat next time! I usually get an aisle seat, and trust me, I don’t enjoy getting hit by everyone who walked down the aisle during the flight. So the only perk of that seat is … I get to stand up once we land. Get it?

7. If you are sitting in the window or middle seat, don’t try to climb over someone who is sitting in the aisle when boarding. AWKWARD! Just say, “excuse me, my seat is in there.” They will get up. They WANT to get up.

8. If you are sick, don’t travel. End of story.

9. Flight attendants are there for your safety, not to be your servant. You don’t want to know what I have seen! Be nice to these hard-working people.

10. Put your phone on silent while in the airport. No one wants to hear CeeLo Green or cricket sounds! And turn off your phone/computer when they tell you to before takeoff. Because … news flash, you are not that important. Those are the rules. You don’t like it? Don’t fly.

11. If you are on a flight any time before 8am, don’t be that one person who is talking through the entire flight. Why Mr/Ms Special, who is yelling about their job, how they’ve never flown before, and how terrible their life is, does not realize they are the ONLY person talking while everyone else is trying to sleep is BEYOND me. Get sedatives if you are a nervous flyer.

12. If you have children, do research. Don’t get on a plane without pacifiers, drinks, lollipops, all of which help their ears. (Airplane ear is the most common ailment for children on flights.) And don’t take early flights that disrupt their sleep! Babies cry to express how badly they feel. That is not fun for an entire plane. AN ENTIRE PLANE. Don’t be that parent.

13. If people drove the same way they walked in a terminal, there would be a million more car accidents a day. Food for thought.

14. Have you ever been late for a connecting flight? How about this … empathy. Get out of someone’s way who is running in an airport. They are not doing it for their health.

15. Don’t be that person who holds up boarding because you are now taking something out of your luggage that you are putting in the overhead bin. I especially love seeing this after being delayed! You mean after all that time we spent in the terminal, it didn’t occur to you that you NEEDED that ONE thing in your luggage?

If you have done any of the above, yes, people have talked about you. So in summary, just use your brain and be kind. I feel the world is lacking these two things. I know this has all come about because I was just on four flights and worked a 20-hour day. But for now … aviation travel rant over.



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