Frequent fliers have to sometimes deal with awful situations on their journeys. From seemingly inexplicable flight delays, to lost luggage – there are those days when the little bottle of airplane vodka is just too little. While I’ve had the distinct displeasure of experiencing these woes; even being served an inedible mush in tin foil doesn’t come close to the following pet peeves:
1. Gate attendants not enforcing priority boarding:
It frustrates me when airline officials fail to follow their own boarding principles. After I’ve waited for them to wheel in the passengers requiring special assistance, then the numerous passengers with small children (and even that one family that assume their 8 year old qualifies as a toddler!), I expect that priority boarding rules be enforced. What good is it to stick a bright red sign on my boarding pass that screams “PRIORITY” (yes, I’m talking to you: Air France officials at CDG), if you’re going to make me queue in the same line as those passengers in row 27!?
2. Blocking the aisles when the plane is boarding:
I loathe those people that leisurely walk into the cabin and spend quality time in the aisle; hunched over their backpacks, deciding which book they may want to read during the flight. Then there are those that take a full 5 minutes to fold their jacket or coat just so, before placing it delicately in the overhead bin. During this time, the boarding is halted, whilst the ever-so polite woman standing behind the offender just shrugs and says nothing. Perhaps I despise her more than the actual offender.
3. Airlines charging for checked-in bags:
Ok, so I’ve paid a few hundred euros for a plane ticket; now I have to pay what? 45 euro to check a bag? Either add the cost to the actual price of the ticket, or don’t charge it at all.
4. Putting your carry-on luggage in an overhead bin that’s rows ahead of where you’re actually seated:
Whilst I admire your efficiency Einstein; did you ever stop to think about where the luggage of those actually seated in the row beneath that bin, will go? Everyone’s time is wasted when the poor man sitting in the second row spends several minutes searching for a space to plonk his bag. Worse so when he’s forced to stash it in a cabin several rows behind him, causing chaos during disembarkment.
5. Noisy passengers:
Whether you’re the boor who’s having an animated conversation with the person across the aisle from you, or the infuriating teenager playing music on your phone without headphones, please try to have some common courtesy on your next flight. I’m not a big fan of Tupac anyway.
6. People standing up by pulling on the backrest of the seat in front:
It’s not a defiance of gravity to stand up without touching the seat in front of you. Apart from annoying the person sitting in that seat, it’s incredibly rude! We understand that airplane space is very limited, so why not try practicing at home before you even set foot on a plane again?
7. Tapping too hard on the touch screen:
It’s a touch screen, not a thump screen. Enough said.
8. Reclining a seat on a short haul flight:
I personally feel that airlines should have the option of disabling the recline function of seatbacks for short haul flights. Not only does it create a domino effect, it usually means people are struggling to eat their quick meal with a backrest in their face. No one needs to nap on a flight less than 2 hours.
9. Annoying kids parents:
Sitting next to, or even near, a screaming baby is no fun when trapped in a metal tube, thousands of feet in the air; but unless the parents are completely ignoring said screaming baby, the situation probably can’t be helped. Babies will, after all, cry; and as such I try to be empathetic. On the other hand, parents that allow their children to kick the back of seats, fidget incessantly with the tray tables, run wild in the aisle or play with toys that make any sort of noise – should be sent to airplane jail. Seriously, there should really be such a thing!
10. Standing up when the plane hasn’t yet come to a complete stop:
Yes, you’re a very important businessman who’s late for a very important meeting. That won’t make the doors open any faster, and it surely won’t make the people in front of you disembark any faster. Apart from it being dangerous to unbuckle your seatbelt and stand up whilst a plane is still taxiing, you’re just going to look like a fool if the steward reprimands you.
In case you’re wondering, I’m savng up to buy a private jet 🙂
My article was first published in A Luxury Travel Blog: 21/07/13