‘A Dutch airline recently diverted to Vienna during a Dubai-Amsterdam flight when someone refused to stop breaking wind and was attacked by passengers…’
This got me thinking. I started the thinking as soon as I’d stopped giggling like a child. I’m at a loss to work out if continual farting is justification to attack another person and, subsequently, change the direction of an entire flight. I can’t say I’ve ever been in that situation, but there are a host of other things that occur on flights that drive me to distraction. In my defence, I have *never* attacked a fellow passenger over any of them. I haven’t as much as nudged someone off my arm rest, although God KNOWS I’ve wanted to.
The Loud Mouth
Often a guy; often a girl. As it happens, loudness is an unfortunate trait that strikes both genders equally. This is a passenger whom I often feel very close to following a journey because I’ve generally been privy to everything they’ve said. While the volume of their voice might be bearable in, say, an auditorium, on an Easyjet flight, it’s really not. I’m never sure if this person realises how loud they are and just don’t care, or whether they just have no concept of lowering their voice to fit a particular situation. Strangely, this loud person is often accompanied by a tiny, introverted person. I like them much better.
In the Lounge at John Lennon in March, I had the good fortune to be sat next to a guy and his girlfriend. The guy was quiet and minding his own business. His girlfriend was on her phone, chatting to her mates through the use of a single ear bud. Now, I have issue with that. People talk on phones; that’s what they’re for. What I did have issue with was her conversation.
During a Sky News report about the Beast from the East and how Glasgow Airport had been closed, she lamented (loudly) to her friend that it didn’t really matter as, who’d want to go to Scotland anyway? Ahem…. I’m fairly certain my words were ‘OI!’ and the look on my face forced her into a hurried apology.
The moral of the story is this: If you’re a loud mouth, make sure you’re not insulting an entire nation while someone from that nation is standing right next to you, having to listen it because there’s no way to escape your incessant banal chat. Also: WTF?? She left very quickly after that. I hope someone on her flight had terrible wind and she had to be rerouted to Edinburgh. Aaaanyway..
Whether in a group or alone, these are the passengers you pray you don’t end up next to. Screaming child? Yes! Drunk guys on a stag do to Barca? OMGPLEASENO. They’re likely lovely when sober and at work on a Tuesday morning but, full of beer and excited about which lamp post they’re gonna tie the groom to on Las Ramblas? Not so much.
To make things worse, at least when Ryanair weren’t charging extra to sit next to your travel buddies, you knew where they all were. Now, they’re split up, shouting across the aisles, and avoiding them is far harder.
I have to say, though, I recently flew to Madrid with Easyjet and my Welsh bestie and I were rolling our eyes when we realised we had a Stag party right behind us. However, regardless of how many they’d had before they boarded, and how many on the flight, they were funny and sweet and genuinely lovely. This is what happens when you fly from Liverpool, people. Always fly from Liverpool.
The Person Who Refuses To Sit Down
On a recent flight home from Morocco, I experienced one of these passengers. He stood up all through boarding, directing his seemingly endless family members to seats they hadn’t booked. He eventually earned a sharp talking to from the flight attendant, which he ignored entirely. Unfortunately for me, he was in close proximity to my aisle seat, so I got a great view. His standing around caused a jam every time anyone had cause to try making it to the toilet and it was actual chaos when the drinks trolley was on the move. I’m willing to bet he’d be the first to bitch if there wasn’t an empty seat on his bus.
The One Who’s Rude To the Attendants
I hate rude passengers. I hate them with a passion. There’s no amount of frustration or tiredness in the world that can justify someone acting like a complete idiot. The attendants have a job to do and, part of that, is keeping you safe. And that’s not to mention complying with regulations. Put your bloody seat back in the upright position, your tray table up and your seatbelt on when you’re told. It’s not difficult and being asked to do it really doesn’t deserve any attitude.
The Call Button Enthusiast
I imagine these people are the ones you hear about that make calls to emergency services because McDonald’s has run out of Big Macs. Or write to Points of View because someone is openly bisexual in Eastenders and they’re aghast at the breakdown of society. The passengers who use the call button frequently are often petulant adults who wish something other than what they accepted when booking their flights.
The long-suffering attendant will smile sweetly, tell them, no, they can’t have nuts instead of pretzels. When glared at by the bemused passenger, they’ll then be forced to explain the whole ‘anaphylactic shock’ thing. The passenger will then undoubtedly ask: But will it *really* kill someone? I mean, for goodness sake, there are only 8 peanuts in the bag! My friend Margot thinks these new fangled diseases are mostly made up, anyway…’ Simmer down, Elsie, no one wants your opinion.
The Chair Kicker
Nothing gets me more riled than the chair kicker. I firmly believe that the death penalty should be introduced for anyone who has broken the cardinal rule of NOT KICKING THE BACK OF MY SEAT CONTINUALLY FOR THREE HOURS. It’s rude; it’s odd, and it’s drives me completely insane. When it’s a child enough when it’s a child but, an adult?? Give me strength! Keep your feet on the floor and we’ll all get along swimmingly. Also; if you have a kid who’s a chair kicker, I will not hesitate to have a quiet word in your ear after the first 15 minutes. Possibly 20, if the child is particularly cute. But mostly 15. And sometimes only 10 if it’s an early flight.
The One With All The Luggage
When the airline says passengers can take one piece of hand luggage, that’s what they mean. They do NOT mean one piece of hand luggage plus a handbag which is bigger than a small child. That, people, is almost certainly two pieces of hand luggage. And I know that because a) I can count and 2) I’m always watching…
I am forever annoyed when I can’t find a space in the overhead bins because a passenger has taken all the space with multiple bags they shouldn’t have in the first place. If you have a bag, say, for a child, by all means, literally do with what you will. Put it in the bin or in front of your seat. Hell, put it in front of my seat, if you like. If you need it, you need it. However, if you don’t need it, get it the HELL out of my way. If I have to literally squish everything I need into hand luggage because these are the terms I agreed when I bought my ticket, then so do you.