FELLOW TRAVELLERS FROM HELL – my 10 worst gripes.

No wonder cabin crew are sometimes grumpy. Photo: Getty Images

I enjoyed the AAP article in the Fairfax press (disclosure: they sometimes run my travel stories) about the 10 most common complaints flight attendants have about passengers.

Clicking your fingers at them is what they hate most, apparently.

It got me thinking about the gripes I have about those whose very close proximity I’m sometimes forced to endure. It wasn’t hard to find a list of 10 ‘don’ts’ for people sitting next to me on long haul flights.

1. Don’t get drunk and throw up on my only clean pair of trousers. (Ok, it only happened once)

2. Don’t push past me to line up as soon as the Now Boarding sign lights up. Chill, dudes! Experience tells me the plane never leaves till I’m on board.

3. During boarding, don’t stop and block the aisle while you cram your hand luggage into the overhead locker. Put it on your seat and wait politely till everyone has filed past you. And while we’re on the subject…

4. Don’t bring far too much hand luggage, and…

5. …don’t stuff it under your seat so it spills over into my limited legroom.

6. Don’t boast to me in boring detail about how well you know the place we’re going to. (That’s my job, especially if the destination is Australia or Nederland.)

7. Don’t complain to me about the airline food. I’m going to eat it anyway and I can form my own opinion. We’re both sitting in economy, saving up for a nice meal when we arrive.

8. Don’t bring messy heaps of your own food. This usually happens on the no frills, no lunch Easyjet/Ryanair/Jetstar flights. They’re usually short. You can go an hour without a doner kebab with extra runny hommus, can’t you?

9. When we arrive, don’t stand up and drop your hand-luggage on my head as soon as the Fasten Seatbelts sign goes out. What’s the rush? They never let you out till the door opens.

10. Above all, don’t be rude, demanding and unfriendly to the cabin crew!! They are usually trying very hard to make you happy. If you’re not nice to them it makes me feel guilt by association and we all suffer the consequences if they get pissed off with the lot of us. If you don’t like the service, you’re welcome to step outside. Preferably when we’re over the deepest part of the Atlantic.

Anyone like to add a gripe or two to my list?


Filed under Travel

25 responses to “FELLOW TRAVELLERS FROM HELL – my 10 worst gripes.

  1. Don’t chew down cloves of garlic or wind inducing food in the hours leading up to your flight. Or cabanossi! Although maybe naturally your burps smell like a deli?!

  2. Don’t wantonly spray your newly-acquired-duty-free-perfume everywhere.

  3. Please don’t fall asleep and slouch over onto my shoulder.

  4. If you have a weak bladder request an aisle seat

  5. PS usually applies to older men !!!!

  6. This one is for the person in front: Don’t lean your chair as far back as it can go, smashing my knees and preventing me from using the tray.
    And for the person in the back: Seriously…stop kicking my chair!

    However, I have to say that I’ve done parts of #2,3,and 9. Not because I’m necessarily in a rush, per se. It’s more because I’m absolutely terrified of flying. For me, waiting to board can be very anxiety-producing, so I rush to try and get to my seat ASAP (so I can start breathing, relaxing, and trying to not cry). Then, once the plane lands, I can barely contain myself anymore and want to GET OUT… so yea… My apologies for being an annoying passenger =)

  7. Can’t resist sending you this link after reading your most enjoyable list above.
    Sounds like I might be your ‘flight neighbour’ from hell! Then….I’ll behave and leave you in peace! Promise.
    Wait a minute!!!……2 links!?! (embarrassing is not the word)

    • Very nice embarrassing stories, BM.

      I’m sure you’d be fine as a flight neighbour, so long as you have a sense of humour and apologise for any inconvenience.

      • Thanks for your kind words and taking the time to check out the links.

        I think a sense of humour is the main thing that helps me cope with long-haul flights. I guess you’re accustomed to them – dividing your time between 2 countries.

  8. Good list Richard but top of mine is people with mobile phones. I hate travelling by train because of this reason and dread the day people use them as much on planes. It really annoys me when everyone switches their phones on as soon as the plane lands.
    Hand luggage – I hate people who don’t stow their bags sensibly or neatly requiring the attendant to come along and sort out the lockers.

  9. Oh yes, those phones…

    I arrive safely, relieved at having survived another trip, and realise nobody is desperately waiting for my call. How unimportant my life must be, compared to those of the busy people around me!

  10. Couldn’t agree more! Complaining about not getting your choice of meal and complaining about not getting a meal as a result of turbulence on a short flight drives me insane, there are generally cafes and restaurants at your destination that serve better, tastier food.

  11. Ok – I have to add to your list….NO TUNA on the plane. And men – no peeing on the toilet seat in the lavatory…that’s all ;-).

  12. Don’t give your children sticky candy and let them touch the seats around them. Corollary: if the person behind you has a nose bleed (esp if its another child) don’t let your kids turn around in their seats and repeatedly say “How gross!” Actually, you really shouldn’t let them say such things about themselves, ever.

    These children are like the adult passengers who stare and complain about passengers with disabilities getting “perks” like early boarding.

  13. Also: the passengers waiting in line for the lavatory who think arm rest on my aisle seat was meant for their rearends.

  14. Felicia

    Loved this! HuffPost Live is hosting a web discussion where several guests share flying horror stories and we’d love for you to join us as a guest via webcam. Would you be interested in participating? If so, please email me at felicia.kelley@huffingtonpost.com. Thanks!

  15. warero

    Reblogged this on Javmode.

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