Weird Things People Do on Planes

Last week was a heavy travel week for me, with 3 meetings in 3 cities in 3 days. The travel itself isn’t bad and I’ve got my tried and true methods of making it as painless as possible, but it’s the other people flying with me that do tend to get to make things…interesting.
Case in point – on my flight back to Toronto, the person sitting behind me reached over the seat and stroked my hair, as though I was a cat. I whipped around slightly horrified but mostly confused as she pretended like nothing happened, while the gent next to her shared my look of disbelief. On one of my flights earlier in the week the man in front of me had a chunk of hair sticking straight up and I had to fight the urge to pat it down, so maybe it was a similar situation? Who knows, but general guidance: don’t touch other people on planes.
While we’re at it, some additional recommendations that really shouldn’t be necessary but sadly seem to be based on my personal experience:

  • Don’t clip your nails on an airplane…or in public, ever.
  • Don’t pick your nose and wipe it on the seat. EVER.
  • When the flight attendant asks you to finish your conversation and turn off your phone for takeoff, yelling at them is not going to get you any more phone time.
  • While I appreciate chivalry, if someone says that they actually don’t need help lifting their bag into the overhead, don’t try to yank the bag out of their hands to “help” anyway.
  • If you’re traveling in a group but aren’t sitting together, yelling over the people between you and throwing things back and forth is not an acceptable solution. At the very least, stop throwing things once you’ve hit someone in the head with a bag of cookies.
  • To my fellow frequent business travelers, I’ll share an eye roll and sympathetic sigh when the tourist in front of us at security says “what do you mean I have to throw out my shampoo?” but I’m not going to join you in verbally abusing the woman. We’ll get through eventually, so just join me in quietly wondering how she found her way into the pre-check lane.
  • Don’t take your shoes off, put your dirty feet on the tray table, and go to sleep.
  • Don’t spread your work out on my tray table just because I’ve left a couple inches free.
  • Finally, after someone offers you some overhead space for your coat try not to let them see your phone when you send insulting text messages about them to your friend. Better yet, after they’ve seen you call them a “dumb valley girl” don’t ask them about the tech specs for their cool iPad keyboard.That’s right 12B, I’m talking to you.

Compressing a bunch of stressed out people and all of their junk into a small metal tube inevitably creates some awkward situations, and I’ll happily share the more entertaining moments with you here.


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