7 Things You Better Not Do On A Plane

7 Things Not To Do On An Airplane

You’re a mess from gate to gate and you make flying even more miserable than it already is on cramped planes with overpriced, slow-as-a-snail WiFi.

Yeah you, I’m taking to you.

There are small signs that the airline industry is trying to make domestic travel at 35,000 feet enjoyable again but the emphasis here is on the world ‘small’. American Airlines now hands out complimentary imported cookies and United gives away miniature snack bags, but they could cover me in cookies and pretzels (wait, can we just pause on that beautiful thought for a moment….), and it won’t help make flying pleasant once again unless you get your act together.

Here are 7 airline etiquette fails made by you, and WAY too many other passengers too, that piss me off.

7 Things You Better Not Do On A Plane

Don’t Pull Down On My Seat To Get Out Of Yours

Seriously dude, you look relatively able-bodied so let’s work at least a few of your thigh muscles to stand up without using the seat in front of you — MY SEAT! — as a crutch. I totally get that you’ve got to pee, I mean you did pound three Jack and cokes already and we’re not even half way to our destination, but surely there’s some semblance of strength in your legs to help prop yourself up without yanking down on the headrest of my seat after I finally managed to fall asleep.

Shut The Bathroom Door

Somehow I find myself in 20D a lot, which is almost always directly across from the middle bathroom in coach class and while this is generally okay, I do find myself having to reach over at least 3 times per flight to shut the bathroom door after your little pee break is over. This drives me insane because of the light during evening flights, the clear view of the still warm toilet seat (of course you left the lid up), and the sight of little flecks of toilet paper on the ground which I can only assume have come in some contact with your down-belows.

Don’t Use Overhead Bin Space In The Front of the Plane If You’re Seated In The Back

If you’re seated in 34A, put your damn bag above 34A or 33C or somewhere else near your seat. Every time you sneakily toss your bag over 10D or 13E on your way to the back of the plane you make air travel suck because the poor lady in 10D or the unfortunate chap in 13E now has NO PLACE TO PUT THEIR CARRY ON! This means they have to put it behind them, above 15A or 17F, which means it takes 3x longer to get off the stinkin’ plane after landing because those same people you screwed over by stashing your bag 20 rows ahead now have to battle to go backward to retrieve their luggage. STOP DOING THIS.

*Note: It is totally okay to squeeze your carry-on luggage ANYWHERE you can fit it if you are one of the last people to board, those poor suckers in boarding group 3 or 4 (which is actually boarding group 17 or 18, after all the priority, preferred, gold, silver, opal, sapphire, platinum, linoleum, diamond, teak, and cubic-zirconia levels of pre-boarding).


We’ve all been stuck in a flying tin can for hours. When we land, there should be only one goal: move as swiftly as possible to GET OFF THE DAMN PLANE. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’ve touched down, so don’t wait until we’re cruisin’ to the gate to start collecting your iPad, magazine, shoes, snacks, water bottle, phone, neck rest and whatever else you unpacked during the flight.

Bring Your Own Laptop

What I’m doing on my laptop IS interesting, sir, but you’ve got to stop rubbernecking across the aisle to read the article I’m writing or the website I’m perusing. It’s super creepy.

Don’t Talk To Me

Believe it or not, I don’t fly across the country to meet new people on airplanes. While I do enjoy a riveting conversation with a fascinating stranger from time to time (like Neil the bright mechanical engineer-wannabe Hawaiian mango farmer I met coming back from Vegas via Houston last week), when my earbuds are in place that should be an obvious sign that I’m not interested in how your business meeting went earlier in the day.

Don’t Apologize For Your Crying Baby

They are babies — crying is one of the four things they do, so there’s no need to apologize to me or anyone else when your baby cries. It’s not your fault and you don’t owe anyone who didn’t invest in noise canceling headphones a thing. As a dad of two kids who traveled a lot together from an early age, I applaud your sense of adventure. If anyone dares to give you grief or so much as a judgemental side-eye should your baby cry during the flight, let me know because I’ve got your back.

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One Comment

  1. Fantastic post! These things needed to be said. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about thrusting my elbow into the kidneys of someone who treated my headrest like a springboard for my noggin.

    Item #4, however, is my newest pet peeve. Just the other week I was coming home on a flight with my family. Of course my six year-old son recognized a need to pee just as the plane was starting its landing approach. God love the kid… he held it for the entire landing, the 5 minute delay on the tarmac, and the taxi to the gate. But I nearly lost my mind waiting to get off the plane – my son doing a cross-legged tribal dance beside me – because some passenger’s butt was blocking the aisle as they slowly collected their crap.

    Thanks for the laughs, Jeff.


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