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Don't Be THAT Person--Airport Etiquette

I have been doing a crazy amount of traveling over the last couple months. Which I guess isn't that different than usual. I started flying sans adults at 4 years old, and the horror stories I could tell you are endless:

  • There's the time I was 8 and turbulance hit and the beverage cart spilled and I was burned by the coffee. (I could be a millionaire!!!)

  • The time my father forgot to pick me up and I was stuck in the abandoned children's room (yes, that place does exist).

  • The time when I was 14 and I was snow-storm stuck in Philadelphia, pre-cell phones, and the airline gave me a taxi voucher (I lived in New Hampshire, I had never gotten myself a taxi IN MY LIIFE!), and sent me to a random hotel where I couldn't even call my mom to tell her where I was because all the phone lines were down so I spent my night in the bathtub because I was certain if anyone broke in they wouldn't look for me in there. Oh, AND an NBA team was also stranded at my hotel and kept playing ding-dong-ditch at my door. I, of course, was terrified whereas today I'd answer the door with the mini bar wide open! Finally the next morning some stranger took such pity on me he let me use his probably $15 a minute cell phone to call my mom who was beside herself, simultaneously having me paged throughout the entire airport.

  • Or the time I had such a severe allergic reaction I was flopping like a fish in my seat and grinding my teeth so bad I chipped a tooth.

  • And let us not forget the poor soul who had a drug overdose two rows in front of me...we needed to emergency land in Denver for that one.

Needless to say, I've seen it all. However, lately, I'm more irked than ever by other passengers. Here's who not to be when traveling.

Gum: Sweet baby Jesus. I get helps your ears and you're anxious so you just wanna chomp, chomp, chomp. But if I can hear you smacking on it over the sound of my music and the plane's engine...we've got problems. Please...Misophonia, and more specifically Chiclephobia, is real...and for those of us that have it, gum chewing is reasonable cause for a TSA violation.


Strolling through the airport: This isn't the park and there's no stopping to smell the flowers here. This is the Autobahn and some of us aren't pumping the breaks...we got places to be and, more often than not, limited time to get there. And if you're traveling as a group of five stop walking side by side and taking up, literally, the entire walkway. Wake up!


Middle seat: The armrest belongs to the person in the middle seat. It is an indisputable fact that the middle seat on an airplane is the worst situation ever. If you have the window or the aisle and you aggressively stake claim of your territory by assuming the armrest too, you're an asshole.


Food: I'm not exaggerating when I say the person sitting behind me on a flight a few weeks ago was eating what I can only assume was a straight onion sandwich. It was the most horrific experience of my life. This equally includes your fragrance, and sadly, your hygiene.


Your phone: I'm certainly not advocating you never speak on the phone, that's crazy. But not everyone wants to hear the drama you're having with your aunt or the downfall of your company's entire reporting system. And if you're going to text message, text. Don't scream your message into the phone to be typed out...if you're going to do that you might as well just use your phone for the function it was originally created--ya know, as a phone.


Clothing: Now...this here might cause me to lose some friends but I vowed to speak my truth so I'm about to smack you with some. Remember the days of yonder when traveling was so chic and people actually dressed for the occasion? Well, thanks to the lovely airline people it's definitely not a glamorous experience any longer but we don't all have to be animals so let's at least start by doing our part and agree to not wear pajamas in public.


Exiting off the plane: If I'm in row 10, and you're in row 13, why are you in front of me? Because you're rude and think you're more important than everyone else...that's why.


The overhead compartment: First, not everything needs to go in it. If you have a small enough bag to put it in the seat in front of you, do that. But let's say, for example, you're going to use brute force to jam your bag on top of another (aka mine)...don't let it have liquids that will leak out of your bag onto someone else's (aka mine).


Snoring: If you know yourself to be a snorer, and let's face it, you've probably lived long enough for a person or two to mention 'hey, you snore' I suggest you don't fall asleep on the plane. If you do, I don't care if you're unconcious...control that shit. No Snoring.


Honorable mention: Don't...for the love...DON'T be the guy who's drunk at 5am and security only lets through because your poor girlfriend happens to know one of the TSA people. And if you are that guy...pull it the fuck together real quick and kiss her ass! Don't proceed to nod off on the lap of some total stranger who keeps giving your girlfriend sympathetic looks mixed with judgmental ones while she continues to pull your drooling face off his lap before kind neighbor finally says to her, 'It's fine...just leave him. But, I must say...I have a daughter your age. You're a beautiful, young lady. What are you doing with this guy?'


In fact, better yet...don't be the girl with that guy!!!!


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