13 June 2010

Don't Be Like Bob.

Do you know what makes you a good co-passenger on a flight? Do you consciously implement standard good manners and courtesy? Or are you just rude and clueless? How do you really know...

My picture, my picture. Do not take.
Last week, I took a flight to Minneapolis for work and as always, except for a little rain on one day, the trip to Minneapolis was gorgeous -- in the spring/early summer. Any other time, you have to dig deep down into your soul to see what makes you a strong person and use that to trudge through a winter visit, even if it is for one day. I lived in St. Cloud many years ago, which is about an hour and half northwest of Minneapolis, and three winters there secured my immediate travel plans to move somewhere South when I was told that the winters that I'd just experienced were the mildest winters ever. The mildest. Like 5 below is mild? Yep, that was my time to move.

So a trip to Minneapolis in spring/early summer is really the only way to go. And that's what I enjoyed last week. I would say the trip back to Florida was...interesting. Suffice it to say that I encountered an odd mix of Twilight zone passengers, and I'm going to highlight one in particular, and then move on to the list of "How to Not be a Clueless Airline Passenger."

I'll call him Bob. Bob sat next to me on my Southwest connection flight back to Florida, and Bob was clueless. Bob was one of those passengers that it was clearly obvious he was not actually talking to anyone on his cell, he was just pretending. Pretending so that as other passengers filed onto the plane, he was using that quiet moment when we were boarding to do a free commercial of the website and company he was selling. I won't give Bob the airtime to announce the website address. I visited the site, and *yawn* it's a waste of time. Won't bother you with that here.

Anyway, Bob proceeded to finally answer "sure" after I asked him three times if anyone was sitting in the seat next to him. So, since it wasn't clear if that meant yes someone was sitting there, or yes, feel free to sit, I sat, and he then decided cluelessly that the armrest we "shared" was really his, and no amount of me gently, subtly, and then outright pointedly moving his arm would get him to understand that just because he scored the armrest first does not mean he can then keep his arm hanging over it, and encroaching into my seat and my bubble. This isn't a recliner, Bob, and this isn't home. Somehow, I was able to sneak this picture of Bob, and I think you get the idea of my two hour flight.

So here goes my list I've managed to check off in my head on my many flights over the years:
  • If you score the armrest first, well lah-dee-dah for you. Can you please keep your arm on your side of the armrest? Don't be like Bob.
  • Just because a person sitting in the aisle seat is small and you have the inner seat, don't just assume you can slide past that person and put your nasty butt inches from their face. Politely let the person know the seat next to them is yours. More than likely, the person on the aisle will stand up and you can easily get to your seat without any infringed and unwanted intimate moments.
  • Don't argue with the flight attendants. You just look like a loser.
  • When getting off the plane, and you are walking up the jetway to get into the terminal, don't be like Bob, and forget that there is a line of passengers behind you that more than likely have to pee, make their connection, or are just claustrophobic, and they don't want to dilly dally behind you because you're walking slowly, talking on your phone, and basically just taking your sweet time to get into the gate. Move to the side and let us pass.
  • Please don't be the guy who got drunk the night before and somehow crawled onto the plane. Your secondhand drunken air coming out of your mouth makes fellow passengers sick.  Skipped right from drunk to hungover and that's just not cool, or fair.
  • Men: Don't check out the hot chick so your girlfriend or wife sees it. Lame. (Women: Don't start an argument with your boyfriend or husband. Lamer.)
  • Your little teeny tiny purse or shopping bag does NOT go in the overhead compartment area. You more than likely just screwed over the guy who needs to hustle to make his next connection, but had to check his bag because your shopping bag was more important.
  • Perfumes and colognes that are overpowering (you know who you are) are just annoying. Don't be like Bob.
  • Don't roll your eyes if a kid is bawling their eyes out. Get over it, it's life.  The kid is a KID for cryin' out loud and they probably don't know how to pop their ears and that crap hurts. It's hot, crowded, their ears are hurting, and more than likely you'd probably cry your eyes out too if it was socially acceptable.
  • And please. If you're on Southwest and a parent and a kid get on and they can't find two seats together, can you and your gooey love of your life take two hours to sit in different seats so that the mom or dad can sit with their kid? Seriously. Give up your seats.
But whatever you do, the only way to run away from these total ridiculous moments on flights? Just nab a good book and read away. You'll need it when Bob is pushing into your seat with his gross arm and burping up orange juice. Trust me.


  1. Well put! I don't travel nealy as often as you, but I've been in that seat for sure! You're such a great writer. Love the new format!

    Click for the cure: http://pages.teamintraining.org/va/rnrh10/lselby

  2. LOVE THIS!!!!! We travel all the time and I can't tell you how many times these things happen!!

  3. Love this post. People crack me up.

    The only good thing about these rude travelers is that it's fun to share the stories later.

  4. The only thing that calmed my irritation and made me giggle hysterically was trying to get a picture of "Bob" without him or anyone of the other passengers seeing it -- ahhh, good times! :)

  5. Haha, thanks for linking me to this! Hilarious!! And yes, I'm impressed that you got that picture without anyone noticing! That person I wrote about in my post was also complaining about a crying baby which irritated me (him not the baby). I agree about escaping into a book!