People are really, really annoying. There’s no doubt about it. Despite my desire to maintain the overly sunshine-and-rainbow delusion that all people are lovely individuals who almost never clip their toenails in public, it’s just not reality.
Chances are, the majority of the people you have encountered and will encounter on a plane have been perfectly normal people who don’t talk to you nonstop on a nonstop from San Francisco to Paris. Most likely they’ve kept their mouth breathing to a minimum, and they didn’t seem to ooze odors from every orifice. Most likely.
Sometimes, you’re not so lucky. Sometimes you get Del Griffith as a seat partner.
Behold, four airplane travel types that no one likes (please don’t be any of these people):
1. The Cougher
Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze is covered in Kindergarten and is practically a curriculum standard. However, some people don’t retain this information into adulthood.
When you’re on a plane, it’s already bad enough that you’re confined in a space that’s 50% recycled air. It’s perfectly ghastly and inexcusable that a grown adult chooses to blast their germ-riddled spittle into the air and onto every surface around them in such a confined space.
Sharing is NOT caring on an airplane.
Cover your fucking mouth like the civilized human you are pretending to be with your Ann Taylor pant suit.
And, for your convenience:
2. The Farter
OK. Lemme be real a minute. We all have to fart. In fact, I’ve heard holding in your farts can be hazardous to your health. So, it’s unreasonable to expect anyone and everyone to cease farting the entire length of their flight (especially when you’re flying halfway around the world on a 9+ hour flight).
However, if after your test fart (the little baby toot you let out to test the waters, er-air) you’re met with something that could melt the fuselage, I hate to break it to you, you’re gonna have to hold those in.
When you have one of those metal melting farts, this better be you.
Some things you can do to prevent excess gas during your flight are:
- Eat smaller portions the day before and immediately leading up to your flight
- Take Beano or other gas-reducer
- Avoid greasy, fattening foods, as well as wheat, lactose, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, lentils, beans, carbonated soft drinks, onions, pears, and all other foods
- Essentially, eat NOTHING before a flight
Really, it’s for the common good.
There are no private trees to fart behind on a plane. I repeat: THERE IS NO WHERE TO FART (other than the bathroom, but do you really want to be the person who destroys the bathroom on a long flight? No, you don’t).
3. The What Was That(er)
Farts aren’t always the worst thing that can come out of someone sitting next to you on a plane.
Sometimes, your next door neighbor sounds like they are working on an almighty hair ball. Sometimes, your seat partner coughs up mucus and spits it out in their barf bag. Sometimes, people moan/whisper/belch/mouth breathe/mumble/groan without end or for any discernible reason.
My favorite idiot. This was on a bus, but you get the idea.
No one wants to listen to the plethora of noises your body makes. If you can’t help it and your repetitive throat clearing is a verifiable tic, I feel for you and you’re excused.
But, if you can hold in your whispered devil worshipping incantations or that weird belch/cough thing, quit being an annoying asshole already. Please and thank you.
My favorite annoying asshole.
4. The Groomer
In case anyone here wasn’t already aware, it’s not proper etiquette to do any sort of extreme grooming in your seat on the plane. Basic freshening up, like running a brush through your hair, applying a covert swipe of deodorant, or wiping your greasy face down with a face wipe can all be tolerated.
What should never be tolerated, however, is:
- Clipping your finger or toe nails
- Filing your finger or toe nails
- Cleaning wax out of your ears (especially when you place your wax-coated q-tips on the tray table)
- Popping zits or squeezing black heads out of the end of your nose
- Scratching excessively anywhere below the belt
- Picking crusted crap out from under your long, brown finger nails
This last one I actually had to endure during a 9 hour flight from Vancouver to London. A man sat down in the aisle seat next to my boyfriend, settled himself in his spot, and then proceeded to pick his long, poop brown nails the ENTIRE FLIGHT.
It was a real test of my gag reflex not to barf all over him.
If you have a gross habit that is not exactly socially acceptable behavior, IT DOESN’T BELONG ON AN AIRPLANE WHERE YOU ARE INCHES AWAY FROM A STRANGER FOR HOURS ON END.
*Bonus* When I was *that* person on the plane
Sometimes, we really have no intention of being *that* person, but it just happens.
Years ago, on a domestic flight with my then-boyfriend, I tried an Airborne immune supplement for the first time. Both my boyfriend and I had no idea how to take one. We popped them into our mouths, feeling pretty smart and proactive about our health.
Just seconds later, we discovered our horrific mistake as our mouths ballooned with ever-growing fizz. Pretty quickly, we were literally frothing at the mouth.
The fizz was growing ever bigger and we both tried to swallow it down, hoping to minimize the embarrassing mistake we had made. Instead of swallowing it all quickly and silently, because the fizz was coming and coming with no end in sight, we both gagged and coughed and spit as orange-tinged froth overflowed and spilled down over our chins and all over our clothes.
The people next to us and across the aisle looked at us, shocked and disgusted, as we literally looked rabid.
The boyfriend was irate that I didn’t read the packaging and didn’t know you were supposed to put the tablet in a bottled water to dissolve before ingesting. Oops.
So, even without trying, one can be shocking, disgusting, and annoying.
If we all just read label directions more thoroughly, tried breathing through our noses more, and picked the dried crap out of our nails before getting on the plane, air travel would be so much more enjoyable.
What annoys you the most about the people you have to share a plane with? Let me know in the comments.