What is it with all of the anger and stupidity on planes these days? It seems like every day a plane is diverted over a fight caused by something that should be a matter of simple respect. Clearly, some people need a reminder of how to act on a plane, so let's look at what assholes do when they fly.
Assholes use Knee Defenders.
These news-making and cheap little freedom clamps attach to your tray table and prevent the person in front of you from reclining their seat. Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza said "If you need more legroom, go pay for it at another airline." Spirit is the most hated airline in the country, but they're consistently profitable, so there's a lot to be respected about their business model. Knee defenders have been the cause of some air rage lately, but people just need to lighten up and use common courtesy. Airlines can't build out their cabins based on the height and girth of the exceptions to the average traveler.
Assholes hog the overhead bins.
Just because your roller bag fits up there doesn't mean it belongs up there. All airlines have set size limitations for carry-on bags, and you should follow them. If you have a compliant-sized bag, it goes into the bin lengthwise, not sideways. And don't put your "personal items" in the bins either. The briefcases, purses, and backpacks go under the seat in front of you. If boarding is done and there's still space in the bins, then you may put your extra stuff up there.
Pic via shutterstock.com
Assholes touch the flight attendants.
Flight attendants hate when you touch them. Don't ever touch them to get their attention while already they're busy serving someone. They can't just ignore you, so you're forcing them to put away the evil eyes and compose a smile in the time it takes to do an about-face. Would you like it if someone came up and poked you on the shoulder while you're working? If they're all gabbing in the rear galley of the plane, approach them and wait patiently to be acknowledged. If you're at your seat, wait for one to come by, or press the call button. You know you've always wanted to press that button. And for crying out loud, say "please" and "thank you" when requesting and receiving something from a flight attendant!
George Carlin absolutely nails it with his bit on the absurdity of preparing to fly.
Assholes groom themselves at their seats.
People actually clip their fingernails and toenails at their seat! That's repulsive. Were you so busy before coming to the airport that you couldn't spend a few minutes doing this at home? If you're on a long-haul overnight flight, of course you want to look presentable when you arrive, but go to the lavatory to clip or brush whatever needs attention.
Pic by Jared Jennings on Flickr (CC Commercial License)
Assholes get up while the 'Fasten Seat Belt' sign is on.
Just keep your butt in the chair while the light is on, with your seat belt buckled. It's on for a reason, and that reason is your safety. People are injured every year when flights encounter turbulence. Unless a fractured skull, broken neck or vertebrae sound like fun to you, stay seated and buckled. You should have emptied your bladder before boarding.
Pic by Sarah Ackerman on Flickr (CC Commercial License)
Sorry, Dierks Bentley, but "buying drinks for everybody but the pilot" and "rocking the 737 like a G6" is not cool. By the way, the G6 is a car, not a plane. It's a fun song, but let's step back into reality. The flight attendants won't party with you. They will hate you, and they will cut you off. Being the crazy, loud drunk guy on a flight is a great way to get yourself arrested when you land, along with ending up all over Twitter and YouTube.
Assholes complain about the air travel experience while not doing anything about it.
When you have a bad experience at a restaurant, what do you do? Unless you're a glutton for punishment, you don't go to that restaurant anymore. You eat somewhere else next time you're hungry, because there are other choices just across the street. And just like dining out, air travel is a luxury. If you're one of those "I hate flying" people, spare the rest of us the misery of sitting near you and stay home, drive, or take a bus. We don't want to sit by you any more than you want to be in that middle seat. Otherwise, suck it up and keep your negativity to yourself.
Illustration by Tara Jacoby