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Rantings of a Too Frequent Flyer

by Greg Ruby on February 6, 2012

airline 150x150 Rantings of a Too Frequent FlyerAs I was growing up, I remember watching scenes on television of people traveling on airplanes that seemed to make it very glamorous. In the last 12 months, I have been on planes nearly 50 times and can most assuredly guarantee you that it is not glamorous.  It really may have been at one time, but nowadays it is anything but.  Unfortunately, over the past year, I have developed some pet peeves about being on an airplane or in an airport.

  • Are there really any adults that don’t know how to fasten and unfasten a seat belt?
  • I was lucky enough to fly business class on a trip to Barcelona and was somewhat surprised when I was the only one boarding the plane when business class was announced.  I was even more surprised, upon boarding the plane, when I discovered that every other business class passenger went on during pre-boarding.  Just because you spent the extra dollars for a business or first class ticket, you are not that special than those that truly need the extra time…
  • When getting out of your seat for the fifth time to head up to the lavatory, how about pushing up from the armrests on both sides of you, rather than grabbing the seat in front of you where I am trying to read.  If you insist on grabbing the seat, just grab it and not my hair (I need to keep what I have left). Also, try gently releasing the seat back, rather than just letting go and catapulting me forward two rows.
  • After I turn down the offer of peanuts from the flight attendant, don’t ask them if you can have mine in addition to yours.
  • If you fly Southwest Airlines, understand their boarding procedures and don’t act surprised that the three of you probably won’t be sitting together when you get on the plane in boarding group C.
  • If you press the call attendant button more than twice on a flight, federal marshals should be allowed to take you into custody.
  • You are allowed to take two carry-on bags onto the plane.  Learn how to count and stop at two.
  • I understand the desire to carry on your luggage to avoid the fees that some airlines charge (hey, check out Southwest….) but they really should fit in the overhead bins and not be the size of my Mini Cooper car.
  • Learn how to walk down the aisle of the airplane without hitting every person sitting in an aisle seat with your carry-on luggage.
  • When they told you five minutes ago that all electronic devices needed to be turned off, that was your clue to end the cellphone conversation.
  • While walking through the airport concourse with your rolling luggage, walk in a straight line rather that weaving about like a navy ship trying to avoid a submarine attack.
  • Don’t be complaining about the delay at security screening checkpoints and then have to take items out of four different bags when you get to the x-ray machine.
  • TSA, I am sorry but I am still not convinced that a small jar of Jif Extra-Crunchy Peanut Butter is a liquid.  You might have convinced me if you were able to pour it out.
  • If you are going to rip pages out of the in-flight magazine, just take the copy with you when you arrive rather than leaving the remnants behind for the next passenger.
  • Last time I checked, all U.S. currency contains the statement that “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private,” yet most airlines won’t accept it when I want to have an adult beverage.   I’m thinking class-action lawsuit on this one….

My friend, Bill Geist, has posted a series of Air Laws over on his excellent blog that you really should check out if you have any interest in tourism and destination marketing.

What have I missed?  Feel free to add to this list by making a comment below!

Enjoy your flight! As they say as you are deplaning, buh-bye!

buhbye Rantings of a Too Frequent Flyer

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Marvin McTaw, Sched.org February 7, 2012 at 2:09 AM

This post was hilarious and I can completely empathize with you on so many of these. I think my favorite one was the one about cell phone conversations “When they told you five minutes ago that all electronic devices needed to be turned off, that was your clue to end the cellphone conversation.”

Marc Urselli February 7, 2012 at 2:59 AM

Hey Greg, loved your little rant! I’m there with you all the way!
I could add a lot to this list… I hate the TSA and I could rant about them and their inefficient screenings all day, but if we are talking strictly flying, how this as my number one complaint?
Leave your children at home, they are not supposed to be on flights until airlines either make a family class that is acoustically separated from economy or have multiple flights per day to the same destination (one flight for families and the other flights for adults that don’t wan to be inconvenienced by families)… and until then, actually DO your job as a parent and make your brats behave because it is unfair that we all pay the same price but I have to be annoyed by your screaming brat for 5 hours (and NO, this is NOT the time to try the ‘ignore-IT-until-IT-calms-down’ method, you inconsiderate moron!)

Melissa February 8, 2012 at 11:55 AM


Loved the article!

Marc, Amen! Worst flight ever recently was a short one (2.5 hours) where the child behind decided to use mine and my husbands head rests as a bouncy castle. Her parents thought it was charming. We didn’t.

Also, generally I hate people who are spacially unaware. You know those people…. when you’re standing to board or at security, they are so close to you that they continuously touch you. If I am going to be touched that much, buy me a drink first! Oh and they also think they are entitled to use both arm rests and put their legs where yours should be.

And lastly, groups of people (usually on long haul flights) who have to gather and talk loudly for the entire 10 hours. Loudly. Just wait until you land and save your exciting news for then!

Anyway Greg, thanks for allowing us to rant!! Loved the blog :)

Carey February 21, 2012 at 2:17 AM

I don’t know, Greg, the food that airlines provide is so miniscule that I would be happy to share my peanuts with the person next to me if I don’t want them! (Actually, why are they serving peanuts anyway, with so many people allergic to them?)

Otherwise, right on target! Carey

Marc McIntosh July 28, 2012 at 6:52 AM

TSA: Thousands Standing Around

Karen Brown July 28, 2012 at 7:27 AM

LOVE this Greg!

One insight:
Are there really any adults that don’t know how to fasten and unfasten a seat belt?

Sadly, yes. Traveling with my 80-year-old mother recently, halfway through the flight, I realized she didn’t have her belt fastened. She was too embarrassed to admit that she couldn’t figure it out. It had been a number of years since she had flown, and plane seatbelts are no longer identical to the car seatbelts. My guess is that she’s not alone.

And my pet travel peeve:
A month or so ago, on a VERY small plane, we were all treated to a young twenty-something’s endless account of the week she had just spent in an in-depth training boot camp. She didn’t skip a beat when the flight attendant came on, making it impossible to hear anything the flight attendant had to say. I kept thinking that this is why my mother had no idea what to do with her seatbelt – she couldn’t hear the instructions because of the people who talk over the announcements.

The real irony – the boot camp she had attended, and couldn’t shut up about, was on Etiquette.

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