Human beings do disgusting, dirt-nasty things while traveling in an airplane. DO NOT BE THESE SLOBS. Here are 19 in-flight no-nos to remember the next time you’re flying the friendly skies.
1. Removing footwear
This is your captain speaking: The first person to take their stank shoes or socks off on this plane will be ejected at 35,000 feet. Even if you think your feet don’t “stink,” somebody else probably will. But besides that, what kind of adult person thinks it’s appropriate to kick their footwear off in tight quarters among strangers? Somebody didn’t raise you right, number one, and number two, if your feet hurt or your shoes are too restricting, buy more comfortable shoes. Please don’t act a fool at everyone else’s expense.
2. Using electronic devices without headphones
Here is the total number of scenarios where it’s appropriate to use your electronic devices on a plane without headphones: ZERO. In zero scenarios is this appropriate.
Whether you’re watching a movie, browsing cooking demonstrations, letting your children play games, listening to music, or engaging in the other hundreds of things you do that go beep, boop and screech, please do it with headphones. If you forgot them, ask your flight attendants for a pair; they have them and they’re generally free.
3. Watching adult movies
Watching porn that other passengers can view is probably illegal. In fact, I’d even suggest that you steer clear of R-rated films – even those with the most innocent nudity – while traveling on a plane. It sounds prudish, yes, but you never know how someone else is going to react these days to seeing those images, and you don’t want to get caught up in a #MeToo moment because a bare ass flashed across your screen for a split second.
4. Putting your feet between seats
Where do your feet belong on a plane? Repeat after me: On. The. Floor. (with your shoes ON.)
5. Letting your kids run amok
Fair warning to all you moms and dads out there: If you’re letting your out-of-control kids run screaming up and down the aisles of the plane, there’s a good chance they could be drop-kicked. By accident, of course. My general life rule about children is that if the parents don’t discipline them, I should be able to take a stab at it. Literally. It takes a village, right?
6. Blowing your germs all over the place
Sneeze and cough into the bend of your elbow. Use tissues and discard them properly. You know, like somebody with common sense.
7. Constant rustling
When you board the plane and find your seat, this is the time to start getting comfy. Get out everything you’ll want for the flight – magazines, devices, snacks, medications (whatever you need to be happy for the next few hours) – and sit your ass down, buckle up, and relax. Once you’re in the air, avoid the temptation to move around. Chill, wait for your free soda, choose the movie you want to watch, and stay in your space.
8. Taking a window seat if you like to get up a lot
If you like to move around or have to use the bathroom frequently, don’t opt for a window seat. You belong in an aisle seat, and that’s the seat you should choose. If you have the window seat by circumstance, do the passengers in your row a solid and let them know that you will need to get up frequently. If they choose to stay put, it’s not your problem anymore.
9. Reclining the seat
You’re not getting that much of a recline – about 5 degrees in economy – so why not do the courteous thing and stay upright? It’s really not fair to the person behind you who can barely move when you recline, especially considering that there’s only about 30 inches of pitch between seats to begin with. Lean against the window or your tray table for a nap, or buy a neck pillow so you can sleep upright more comfortably.
10. Excessive flatulence
I get it – sometimes a little toot-toot sneaks out. But if you’re excessively gassy, go to the bathroom and do some business to help alleviate the issue. Or just hold it in until you explode. That’s better than toxifying the recycled air for hours on end.
11. Carrying on loud conversations
If I can hear you more than three rows in front or back of me, you’re being too loud. The person to whom you’re speaking is literally right next to you. Library voices, please.
12. Using your phone during takeoff
I was once on a flight with a guy who gave the person on the other end of his call a play-by-play of takeoff until we were too high in the air for the signal to continue. Frankly, I was surprised at how long he was able to keep talking. It was pretty annoying, but it also was a source of anxiety – I’m a nervous flyer – because the airlines have convinced me that if a cell phone is on during takeoff or landing, it probably means certain death. I survived, but he was still a D-bag.
13. Wearing powerful scents
Given that everyone on a plane sits extremely close to one another and the air is recycled on airplanes, please save your pungent colognes and perfumes for alone time with the one person who thinks you smell amazing dipped in flowery toilet water.
14. Trying to board strange “support animals”
Don’t hold up the flight for hundreds of other people because you’re trying to pass off a two-headed dragon as a support animal because you don’t want to pay the fee for it to travel separately. Dogs and cats are support animals. Ligers, peacocks, alligators, and whatever else you’re dragging through the airport on a leash are not.
Save your lovers’ quarrel for where it belongs – your honeymoon. Don’t engage in an altercation with other passengers, either. If you’re squabbling about something on an airplane, you shouldn’t be on it.
16. Bringing odorous food on board
Cold turkey sandwich, sure. Freshly prepared salmon, no! Honestly, even more innocuous foods like pizza and fried chicken can be offensive to others. Eat your meal before you board and then snack on the plane if you need to.
17. Standing up to deplane as soon as the seatbelt light goes off
WHERE ARE YOU GOOOOING?! There’s no reason to jump out of your seat and start removing bags from overhead storage as soon as the pilot parks the plane. You don’t need to push and elbow other passengers, either. Just sit calmly until it’s your turn, get up, grab your belongings and exit. Manners 101, folks.
18. Taking up overhead bin space for things that can fit under your seat
Don’t take up space in the overhead bins with backpacks and shopping bags if those items can fit under your seat.
19. Making a mess in the bathroom
A hundred and 50 people have to use that tiny space. Keep your bodily functions in the toilet and paper towels in the trash. If you’ve made a mess in the bathroom doing you-know-what, try to clean it yourself, otherwise alert a flight attendant discreetly.
Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He spends his time writing from the beach with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyrox