With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us are going to be celebrating the annual pilgrimage to our favorite airport (worst airport in the world). Braving the big-city bramble of LAX is no easy feat, but making it through the security checkpoint is only half the battle these days. Losing your luggage, flight delays, and even turbulence can ruin your mile-high experience, but those inconveniences pale in comparison to the worst kinds of people riding on planes.
The Crying Baby / Family With Young Kids
If you poll pretty much every living person in the world, the first type of annoyance experienced on a plane has to be with the crying baby, or the loud family whose parents don’t seem to care about keeping their kids quiet. When it comes to air travel, we think we speak for everyone in saying that we’d really really really appreciate if you parents could please be responsible and either give your kids a toy or make them stay up all night the night before so they can sleep soundly on the flight and let the rest of us have the piece and quiet we deserve. There are some parents that seem to care when their child is screaming for 5+ hours, however the vast majority just let it happen while the other 300 passengers wish we had ear buds to drown out the constant wailing.
Believe it or not, there was a time in our collective history when riding the friendly skies was considered a luxury. Unfortunately, in today’s world, things have drastically changed. These days, you can show up in a pair of pajama pants and last night’s shirt and nobody will blink an eye. We don’t mind if you’re comfortable on the three-hour ride, but for the love of everything holy please take a shower before we are forced to sit next to you. With this type of person, it seems like they either don’t care whether or not they leave a permeable stain of stink-juice on the seats that refuse to recline or don’t know what a shower is. Even worse, they’re usually the ones bringing bags full of greasy cheeseburgers or tuna salad sandwiches for the flight. Included in this category are those with bad BO, rank halitosis and overall disgusting hygiene.
Where are you headed today? Who are you seeing when you get there? Why are you flying? What do you do for work? Do you like turtles? On a long flight across the country, light conversation isn’t a terrible thing. In fact, in some circumstances it’s even welcome! We really don’t mind talking about our families or why turtles are so terribly cute. The only problem is that the Constant Talker on the plane isn’t really interested in what you have to say – they’re only interested in hearing their own voice. This type of person asks open-ended questions only to interrupt your story with a better one. Or, they talk about how they always order cranberry juices on flights, that they wanted to be a pilot but decided to get into online marketing instead, but then they decided to get into real estate. “Do you like apartments or condos better?” Please, just stop talking!
Two-hour puddle skipper back home? It’s the perfect opportunity for a nap! Just a slight recline of the seat, put in some headphones…wait, why is this person placing family photos on the tray table? Oh no, now the shoes are coming off. And did they really just ask the flight attendant for milk and cookies? Looks like you’re sitting next to The Homer, or the frequent flyer that likes to upgrade their seat into a teeny, tiny apartment. Complete with home furnishings, the Homer might even ask you to scoot off of the armrest because they need the extra room to place the TV remote. What these people don’t realize is that a flight is not meant to be your home away from home and for it to inconvenience and annoy everyone around them.
The Frightened Flyer
Once you’ve done it a few times and gotten your wings, flying on an airplane is much less stressful. Take a few trips over middle America and you’ll stop noticing any lick of turbulence. However, there are some flyers that are so nervous, so fearful, so panic-stricken that they shouldn’t be allowed on an airplane. Somehow, they always end up seated next to us. Crumpled tissue in hand, constantly mumbling that they hope they make it out alive, some shrieks and clenching fiercely of the armrest in horror, and you have yourself the Frightened Flyer. Don’t bother telling them that there were only 12 accounts of commercial aircraft crashes in the past year, because that’s 12 too many and now we’re all definitely gonna die. Sitting next to this person makes it a thoroughly unenjoyable trip.
Be wary of the Pusher as they’re the hardest ones to identify until it’s too late. In fact, they may not realize they’re a Pusher at all! These fiends think flying is a short-but-sweet rager. They’re the ones you overhear saying, “Who flies without drugs anymore?” The Pusher takes two Xanax with their Pinot Grigio and has no problem offering you (or the row in front of you) anything from their personal stash. Want to sleep? Want to roll? Want to gossip? Want to dance? Get ready to do it all because the Pusher won’t stop pressuring you to let loose and spread your wings until you black out and wake up in a puddle of your own drool.
Constant Complainer AKA “The Bumped”
We know, we know: first class is nicer than coach. We walked through it on our way to the regular section. In fact, everybody walked through it. We don’t care that you usually ride in the front of the plane, and we especially don’t care that you hate riding in the back with us. We don’t feel sorry that your merit of luxury has been stripped away for a few hours. We’re just happy that we could afford a ride on the giant “bus of the sky” to visit our family and give them gifts. This obnoxious sort of humblebrag may not be opulent, but they will take every moment to remind you that they deserve extra-attention and usually fly first or business class.
If you’re going to listen to your music, put your headphones on. If you’re going to play games on your phone, don’t do a victory dance every time you beat a level. And, if you’re going buy the WiFi so you can chat online, please don’t live tweet about the dude seated next to you writing an article called “8 Worst Kinds of People On Airplanes.” Guess what, now you’re on the list. Loud, obnoxious, and flashy, the Technophile is the one impatiently twitching during those ten precious minutes of takeoff when electronics have to be stowed and away. Enjoy those short-lived moments, because as soon as the seatbelt sign comes off, hallelujah they can start sending selfies again. Ever seen economy duck face? It’s terrible.
Violation Of Space Person
Have you ever sat next to someone that doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of personal space? We have, and it’s not an enjoyable trip when you have someone reaching over you to open the window and then take photos of the sky while they are still reaching over you. Most people understand the etiquette that if you’re in the middle seat, that’s your space and it’s against the rules to have anything to do with touching the window. There’s a unspoken rule that the person sitting next to the window owns that window. They get to decide when its open or closed, and how open it is. Every once and a while though, you’ll get someone who doesn’t seem to understand this. They’ll reach over you, they’ll take up the entire arm rest, and they’ll invade your personal space. Given that space is considered to be pretty much as valuable as gold once you step foot onto an airplane, this type of person really is the worst.
Window Seat Bathroom Break Person
We pretty much don’t even need to describe this person and why this is so annoying as we’ve all experienced this type of person. This person decides to sit in the window seat or the middle and practically guzzle as much water or other types of beverages only to have to wake everyone up 20 times throughout the flight so they can get up and go to the bathroom. If you know that you’re the type of person that likes to drink a lot, why couldn’t you have done all of us a favor and picked the aisle seat? You don’t need to drink that much water throughout a flight.
by Jordy Altman