Commercial air travel in its heyday was a more refined affair. Gents wore ties and hats and ladies donned their finest. Blame lower airfares, more accessibility, more competition — whatever scapegoat fits — but the Walmart-ization of air travel is a very real thing. Your seat mate is more apt to be decked out in jogging pants and a hoodie than upmarket attire these days. And while comfort is perfectly okay, does one really need to be wearing Daisy Dukes and flip flops? A private jet charter just looks more and more appealing every day.
In a better world, I’d be taking a private helicopter taxi to the airport, sashaying into the VIP flight lounge to sip martinis and talk pork bellies with the other well-heeled, Louis Vuitton’ed globetrotters. Until that day comes though, I’m part of the unwashed mob waiting it out in coach.
To dull the flight pain, I try to snooze through all my flights (let’s all just take a moment to thank the Lord for sleeping pills shall we?) The only problem with that is I snore. Like really, really loudly. It’s not a problem for me mind you, but if you happen to be in earshot, well, I hope you brought your earplugs.
I’ve written before about the different types of annoying people you find at the airport, but now that I have confessed my own irritating in-flight behaviour, it’s time to a chat about some other annoying types of people you’re likely to behold at 25,000 feet.
1. The Fearful Flyer
I was once on a flight with a lady that was so scared of flying that she started praying before we took off, along with every time there was a little turbulence, when she had to go to the bathroom, before her meal, and of course when we were about to land. The lady got me so paranoid that I started praying as well — praying that those sleeping pills would kick in. If you’re afraid to fly, perhaps a bus is in order.
2. The Pillow Seeker
Airplane seats were designed to recline so people like me, who enjoy taking a nap on planes, can sleep without disturbing their neighbour. Unfortunately, some folks think it is cool to fall asleep and rest their head on your shoulder. No matter how many times you try to wake them up, their heads still end up on your shoulder and in some cases their drool as well. Definitely. Not. Cool.
If you need a travel pillow, and you really should get one (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) check out my guide to the best travel pillow here.
3. The Arm Rest Wrestler
During flights where I’m able to fall asleep, these people don’t bother me. When I can’t fall asleep, they drive me nuts. Granted the arm rests on planes aren’t very large, but they are large enough for two people to share. For some reason, these people believe the arm rest belongs to them and won’t give you enough room to rest your arm comfortably.
4. The Chatty Cathy (of Blabbering Bob)
For some reason, there are people that feel a need to talk to the person sitting next to them on a plane. If I’m not asleep, it’s a great opportunity to binge watch TV shows on my laptop or read a book on my trusty Kobo. The last thing I need is some stranger wanting to my new best pal. At ground level, you can easily make up an excuse and hightail it out of there. On a plane, there is no such luck, so you have to sit there and listen to them yammer on until you can find a suitable to casually fish out your earphones.
5. The Weak Bladder Guy
This is the reason why I always pick the window seat — I only have to get up when I want to. The bladder challenged should be booking an aisle seat. Instead, more often then not, they get a window seat too, and you have to get up every 10 minutes because they have to use the bathroom. Good luck trying to sleep with someone like that sitting next to you.
6. The Walking Petri Dish
Almost everyone that has been on a commercial flight has been seated next to someone who spends the whole flight sneezing and coughing. The problem with sick people is you don’t only have to deal with the nasty sounds they make when they sneeze and cough; you are also at risk of catching a cold and ruining your vacation, Thanks a lot, guy.
7. The Crying Baby
Don’t get me wrong — I love kids. Just not enough to have my own. And flying next to a passenger with an infant is pretty much tantamount to plain (or is that plane?) torture. And suddenly I’m the bad guy for eye-rolling and maybe hinting some Children’s Nyquil will do the trick. A stint in Guantanamo Bay sounds more appealing.
Who are the most annoying people you’ve encountered on a plane?
*This post was written in collaboration with Air Charter Service