With the holiday season rapidly approaching, maybe we should all be thinking about an anger management course before we get on that fully booked plane. Here are the top five aggravating behaviours that we have to put up with on flights.
1. The great seat reclining stand-off
As space on economy flights gets smaller and smaller, there are few things more aggravating than the person in front of you reclining their seat as soon as the seatbelt sign goes off. This is the cause of so much conflict on flights, that some airlines are thinking of doing away with the recline option on new aircraft.
It’s not as though the recline is in any way significant for the person doing the reclining – it’s a matter of about three inches. But boy, those are three irritating inches for the person behind. It’s as though someone has said, “Yes we’re all short of space on this flight so I think I’ll just grab a bit of yours.”
Most enraging of all, is when the seat recliner is actually a child – one of those whose parents are happy for little Johnny to do exactly what he pleases, no matter how many adults he pointlessly annoys the process.
2. Bare feet
Why are people who go barefoot on flights, so annoying? Is it something to do with a lack of respect? It’s as though the person is shouting “I’m right at home here, this is my personal space”.
But there’s an even worse variation on bare feet – someone shoeless visiting the toilet and then coming back and sitting cross-legged on their seat so that you get a faceful of germs probably shortly before they serve the meal.
3. Seat kickers and tray pushers
If fate has decided to punish you for everything bad you’ve ever done, you will not only have a seat recliner in front of you, you will also have a seat kicker behind you.
Seat kickers are normally children but there’s an adult version of this sport. This consists of the person behind you constantly lowering their meal tray then pushing it back up with enormous force, so that you feel you are going to be propelled into the cockpit, only for them to put it down again five minutes later.
4. Middle seat grabbers
Brilliant – you’ve got an empty middle seat next to you. But the person on the other side immediately unloads most of their possessions onto the seat. You’ve now got a dilemma. You can get a whole bunch of your stuff and put it on the seat but of course this is going to look a little bit aggressive. So just smile sweetly, and say lightly “Do you mind?” as you place your bag, jacket, newspaper and anything else you can find on the seat. Just to make the point.
In February, two passengers became so is enraged with each other, in a tussle over the armrest, that they fell into a heated argument, followed by spitting. The flight crew attempted to separate them, at which point one of them reportedly said that they were a lawyer and knew their rights. To which the other retorted that so was he.
As in-flight entertainment this was pure gold and passengers can be heard laughing on the video taken by someone with a mobile phone.
It’s a wonder any of us ever fly again – but you know what? We’ll all be up there again this year, willing to put up with anything to get that precious fortnight of holiday bliss.
When you do fly remember to book your painless airport transfer with Holiday Taxis!