We beg of you: Please stop doing these stupidly annoying things on airplanes


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Air travel: it’s like a social experiment at 35,000 feet. We’re all packed into this flying metal tube, and we have a way to do what humans do best: be annoying.

Flying is already a stressful experience, and recent data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report for June 2023 only underscores that fact. While the DOT has initiated rule making and enforcement activities to enhance passenger experience and has even managed to bring down the cancellation rate to 1.6% for the first half of 2023, flying still has its share of challenges. From fee-free family seating commitments by three airlines to new rule making aimed at mandatory passenger compensation, progress is being made. Yet, despite these strides, it seems some travelers are determined to make the experience less than pleasant for everyone else onboard. And that’s saying something.

Here’s how not to be the person everyone wishes had missed the flight.

Image Credit: iStock/Ivan-balvan.

1. Reclining the seat without warning

We get it; airplane seats recline for a reason. But a sudden recline can feel like a mini earthquake to the person sitting behind you, possibly leading to coffee spillage or a laptop crash. It’s simple: before sending your seat back into someone’s lap, give them a heads-up. It’s not rocket science, per se

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

2. Talking loud

The airplane cabin isn’t a bar. People have flight anxiety, others have a connecting flight and are already jet-legged, and some are trying to sleep, so not everyone is in a mood of listening to your jiber jaber.  And you know what?  No one cares about Susan from work being a total b-word that other day. So keep your conversations at a volume that won’t serve as in-flight entertainment for the whole plane.

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

3. Playing media without headphones

Again. There are people on that plane, that are either terrified of flying or exhausted so they rather not listen to that podcast  you find interesting. If you’re listening to music, watching a movie, or doing anything involving noise, use headphones. Forcing everyone else to partake in your media choices is a cardinal sin in confined spaces.

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

4. Hogging the armrest

We get it, everyone wants their space. But let’s set the record straight: the armrest is a shared entity, not your personal territory to conquer. If you find yourself in the middle seat, you’ve already lost the airplane seating lottery, and a general rule of thumb is that you get both armrests. However, this doesn’t mean you can sprawl out like you’re on your living room couch.

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

5. Complaining about crying babies

Yes we went there, and yes crying babies can be annoying during a long flight, but you know what else is annoying? A grown human being whining and making a scene over something that cannot be controlled by anyone, let alone the parents. No, they cannot make the baby stop crying. It’s. A. Baby. It cries. That’s what they do. They don’t have a developed brain to make a decision. But do you? Do the right thing and don’t be a baby, too!

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

6. Constantly getting up

Look, we all understand the need to stretch your legs or use the restroom on a long flight. However, continuously popping up from your seat like a jack-in-the-box isn’t just annoying; it’s disruptive. Every time you rise, the person sitting next to you has to pause what they’re doing, whether that’s eating, working, or enjoying an in-flight movie. Not to mention, if you’re in the window seat and keep getting up, you’re basically making your aisle-seat neighbor do an involuntary leg workout. If you know you’re someone who likes to roam around, consider selecting an aisle seat when you book your flight.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

7. Ignoring the seatbelt sign

When the seatbelt sign is on, stay put. It’s for everyone’s safety, not just a friendly suggestion.

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8. Blocking the aisle during boarding

Boarding a plane is a bit like a choreographed dance, requiring each passenger to move efficiently and considerately. Unfortunately, some people use this time to rummage through their carry-on luggage, rearrange items, or have a leisurely chat, all while blocking the aisle.  You blocking the aisle is the airplane equivalent of a car breaking down in a one-lane tunnel; you’re causing unnecessary delays and frustration. So if you need extra time to get settled, let people pass or step into your row temporarily. Don’t be the human roadblock that starts everyone’s flight experience on a sour note.

Image Credit: Yau Ming Low/iStock.

9. Taking off your shoes and socks

Anyone who’s watched “The Good Place” will understand why taking off both shoes and socks on a plane might just earn you a spot in the Museum of Human Misery. No one wants to smell your feet or see your toes wiggling about. Sure, we all want to be comfortable during a flight, but there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed, and this is it. Keep your shoes on, and if you absolutely must remove them, the socks stay on too. Remember, flying is a shared experience; let’s not make it a scarring one.

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10. Leaving a mess

You’re not at home, and flight attendants aren’t your personal cleaning crew. Leaving a mess in your seat area is not only disrespectful to the cabin staff but also to the next passenger who will occupy that space. Whether it’s crumpled napkins, empty bottles, or random food crumbs, clean up after yourself. It takes minimal effort to hand over your trash to the flight attendants during their collection rounds or to take it with you when disembarking. Keep the “friendly skies” friendly for everyone by maintaining a clean personal space.

Image Credit: iStock.

11. Kicking the seat in front of you

Seriously, what is your problem? Seat-kicking is the airborne equivalent of poking a sleeping bear. It’s distracting, annoying, and borderline aggressive. Whether you’re a restless adult or a parent with kids that love to explore the tactile world with their feet, just don’t. Remember, the person in front of you is also trying to get through the flight with their sanity intact. Your foot jabs aren’t contributing to a harmonious journey for anyone. So let’s keep the kickball on the ground and your feet planted firmly beneath you.

Image Credit: Douglas Rissing/iStock.

12. Standing right after landing

We all feel that burst of excitement when the plane touches down at our destination. But standing up right after landing? Really? That’s a rookie move. You’re not going to get off the plane any faster; you’re just going to stand hunched over in an awkward position, bumping elbows with the equally impatient passenger next to you. Plus, let’s not forget the overhead bins. Someone’s bound to swing one open and catch you off guard. So, sit back, relax, and wait for the cabin crew’s signal.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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