Ahh flying. A classic love/hate relationship. You always know after the flight is done and you exit the airport, the excitement of a new destination awaits. However, you also know, standing between you and that feeling, is an airport and an airplane where you will inevitably have to deal with idiots of all varieties.
Which leads me to write about commonalities within the idiotic behavior of people within airports and planes. I will go through these in the order in which they normally occur. If you recognize any of these actions as your own, please, for your own sake, eliminate them from your travel routine as quick as possible.
If you are the perpetrator who violates ALL these actions, then God help you.
The Ticket Illiterate Passenger
This happens way to often. You board the plane to find someone sitting in your seat. When confronted, the person immediately takes the defensive at claims you are the idiot who doesn’t know 22B from 22E.
Well, dick, I do. I know I have a ticket for 22B and your neanderthal ass is sitting in it. When this person is finally proved to be in the wrong, they still refuse to accept any blame, cursing the airline attendant who showed them to the wrong seat, or a similar bullshit excuse.
Worst yet is the person who comes after you are already seated in the correct seat and gives you the ‘oh come on’ look and tells you that you are in their seat. This often is my favorite due to the fact it sets said person up for biggest embarrassment. I tend to play this out to its fullest, thoroughly apologizing, loudly, and trying to draw as much attention from other passengers, so when the guy’s facade falls through, they all know about it.
Often this type tends to be the macho man escorting his girl on their first trip outside of Jersey and is trying to play the ‘well-traveled, cultured man’ to impress the girl, as opposed to the -sly slallon wannabe who has never been outside of the state except that time when he picked up his cousin from LaGuardia, and still wears the yankees hat to prove it-who he really is.
Listen, dude, I know that you are balling out of control bringing your chick over to London, but better be reaaallll sure that you are correct before calling me out of my seat. You may have the Ed Hardy shirt, but, i’ll make you feel real small in it.
Oh, and, PS: I hear you loudly bragging about all the destinations you have planned for around London. I also see you and your girl giggling as you examine the Euros you just exchanged all your cash for at JFK. Good luck with that combo, jackass.
The first time I got this experience was in Colombia flying from Bogota to Leticia down in the Amazon. As the wheels touched down and we began to reduce speed, the entire plane erupted in clapping. I initially began searching around the plane back and forth to see if someone was proposing to their girlfriend, someone had just successfully executed the heimlich maneuver on a choking grandma, or an equally impressive feat.
Finding no evidence of the above, I asked the person next to me what just happened, to which he responded “el avión aterrizó” I assumed something was lost in translation and forgot about the event. That is, until it happened again upon our arrival back in Bogota. Deducting that this was some peculiar Colombian habit related to narco-terrorism and the likes, I wrote it down in my journal as something learned in Colombia. The initial journal entry was one of more bewilderment more than annoyance.
However, as the number of countries with stars on them (to indicate I have been there) increased, as did this occurrence. Its embarrassing. If you clap when you land, I mean, what were your expectations going into the flight? Guaranteed crash? Perhaps I am jaded because I am from America and our planes usually stay in the air and touch down, but wtf people. It makes me cringe. Every time.
The Premature Stander
“Where are you going. Really. Relax.” My thoughts every time this happens.
So after the clapping subsides, the guy next to you at the window immediately rises, not fully able to stand up due to the over head compartment and gives you this hunched over stare as if you should stand up and begin waiting with him in a similarly uncomfortable position for the predicable 30 minute wait until the cabin door is opened, and people begin exiting.
In his hunched over posture he will begin inching slowly towards you, screaming as loud as body language can, that you need to get up and get ready to get off this plane.
Fucking kills me. If you are one of those premature standers. I hate you. I really do. Nothing makes me more irritated, not the ticket illiterate row mate, not the clap, but the premature stander.
Correct etiquette, which consequently will eliminate that kink in your neck from standing hunched over as I do not stand and more, is to SIT motherfucker, SIT until the plane taxis to the gate, and the gate door opens. EVEN then, there is going to be down time before the people file out the door in front of you.
There is, in no circumstance, any reason to stand prior to this moment.
Anyways, these are a few observations from my time in and around airplanes. I really hope you take these to heart, and never be ‘that guy/girl’ who does any of them. Oh, and if you see any of these, feel free to laugh loudly, flick off, or chastise as you feel appropriate.
Another one, which I did not fully touch on is the ‘im not familiar with current TSA regulations guy’
Refusing to give up the 20 oz Coke in his hand, or take off his shoes, he proceeds to walk through the medal detector 14 times each time getting irritated at the machine, and calling it discriminatory. Fuck you too.