If you read this blog often or even semi-often you know that the BF and I fly a lot. As a result of these travels I often observe those around me for sport. While admittedly sometimes these people are boring, sometime you get a few gems that give you great stories to share once you are back on land. With all this flying though I have realized that there rules of 30,000 feet that no one tells you about, but you need to do out of respect that you are all cramped into a large (but incredibly small for this many people) tube that is headed towards your destination at a frightening speed if you think about it for too long. The other night a colleague and I were discussing some of these rules and I thought that I would share them so we can all be on the same page while flying.
Here are the rules according to Shannon in no particular order.
Reclining your seat
If you are on a flight that serves a meal (internationally) don’t be a douche and recline your seat prior to the meal. We have approximately enough space to open our peanuts and drink our ginger ale when your seat is not reclined, so you can imagine how much space I have with your head on my lap to eat an actual meal (I try not to eat meals on a flight as a rule, but still).
If you are on a domestic flight or want to recline your seat at all any time after a meal be mindful and go slow. It also doesn’t hurt if you can look before launching yourself in a backwards motion that scares the crap out of the unfortunate person behind you. Be kind and we can all survive this flight without me feeling the need to constantly shift my legs so that my knee is positioned right in your back through the chair.
The more I think about this, unless you are sleeping or on a long flight, just don’t do this at all. Everyone would be happier.
If you have an aisle seat
Dude, for reals go to the bathroom at least once or at least don’t look like you want to murder me every time I have to (I do try to keep it to a minimum). I go to the bathroom a lot so I always try to get an aisle seat, but sometimes they are just not available. We have to coexist together for a few hours, lets bring some courtesy to this place and not make my bladder want to burst simply because I am waiting out to see if you will get your butt up.
If there is a middle seat next to you, FOR THE LOVE OF KITTIES DO NOT USE THE MIDDLE ARMREST!! The middle seat sucks unless you are a kid or sitting next to someone you know and even then it’s not the best. So imagine you’re sandwiched between two strangers and can’t move your arms without touching someone. It sucks. So keep one arm in the aisle and the other within your seat and we there will be no ill will.
If you have a window seat
When the person in the aisle goes to walk or the bathroom, you go. Don’t wait for them to return and then go. I have had this happen on one of my last flights and I swear this guy survived the trip only because I was so exasperated by the entire flight he just wasn’t worth the breath it would take to tell him what a butt mitten he was being. This a rule that you need to follow always.
As with the aisle seat if you have a window seat with a middle person, don’t take the armrest. It’s rude and people will hate you. If you have a two seater this is a sketchy area, but hopefully you can work it out with your seatmate so everyone is happy. I suggest the back/front approach. This is where one person takes the back part of the armrest and the other takes the front. You can casually work this out by just placing your elbow towards the one area, keeping the opposite area free for them to use at their leisure.
If you have a middle seat
You may think that because you have the crappiest seat in the plane that rules don’t apply to you, but they do. We all have rules otherwise we are an uncivilized plane. First and foremost, don’t be a complete area and seat hog. We are “sharing” a space and we all have limited areas so keep to your seat and armrest please. It’s not like being on the aisle or window have any actual space differences, we can just adjust a little bit more on one side.
Same rule with as window seat and bathroom. Go with the flow and don’t be a complete jerk and need to go every hour on the hour. It’s rude.
Also please don’t act all offended when I won’t trade with you so you can sit next to your friend who is also on an aisle. Middle sucks and if your stuck with it, man up and deal.
If you like to roam a plane during the flight that is great, but please don’t stand next to my seat and do your lunges, leg lifts or whatever the heck that was. Keep in mind I am at junk level and it’s not cute to shove yours in other peoples faces. Also hanging out at the bulkhead row is rude to those seated in the most uncomfortable seats on the plane (at least if it is a 747). How could you focus on your movie or sleep if someone was standing right in front of you? You can’t, because it’s almost as creepy as Edward watching Bella sleep. Almost. There is the middle of the plane and the back of the plane for hanging out. Use them.
The guy reading my screen as I type this on the plane
I am writing, not looking at porn so lets pretend that you aren’t reading over my shoulder please.
Flight Attendant Respect
Last, but definitely not least, be kind to your flight attendant. They have nowhere private to talk crap about you, so do them (and me) a solid and realize that you are just one of many, aboard a tube with a destination that you get to go out and enjoy while they sleep, turn around and have to deal with more of the same. They are kind to you, even when I would vote you off the plane. Please consider that the next time you feel entitled to cause a scene because you didn’t get the seat you wanted.
Coincidentally I wrote this post while flying and saw evidence of people breaking these rules left and right. Apparently everyone needs to read my blog.