The anticipation of flying. So many unanswered questions, endless realms of possibilities, the brief excitement. Yet your fate lies in the hands of the countless unknown identities that will surround you for the following several hours. Just one irrelevant yet inconsiderate passenger can have a detrimental effect on your flying experience. In no particular order, drawing from my own horrific hauls, we have 8 of the characters you notice throughout the duration of your flight, and thank the sweet heavens that you escaped, this time anyway.
Beginning with the obvious – The Baby (or if you’re super unlucky, plural, BABIES)
There is nothing more disheartening than watching as more and more new(ish) mothers shuffle their far too many baby ‘necessities’ towards the priority queue. Dad does as he’s told, attentively picking up the dropped blankets and bottles, probably dragging their tired, red-faced, snotty-nosed toddler behind him. With every minor indication of a potential outburst of wailing you pray quietly to yourself that maybe, just maybe, it can go the duration of the eight hour flight without making a squeak, right? And of course it’ll be just your luck that they’ll be sat right in front of you..
What’s worse than babies? How about the dribbling snorer on your shoulder? Or the woman with the tickly cough in front of you that shakes your entire food tray and its contents every time she does so? Ever found yourself next to someone that insists on repeating the unpleasant wretching sound that clears your throat? No? Count yourself lucky, nine hours of interrupted sleep is not on everyone’s bucket list. However, the trapped wind plane neighbour just HAS to take the biscuit here, noises AND smells? Excuse me, flight attendant, please, I need to get off, RIGHT NOW!
Sly Seat Swappers
There’s something extremely untrustworthy about these snakes. If you love flying as much as I do, the window seat is a luxury not to be taken lightly, especially on those scenic short haul trips. I’ve also convinced myself that the slight extra space being allocated the window seat offers you makes the world of difference to your comfort for those long haul treks. So, when someone decides to attempt to rip your beloved away from you, you are certainly not having any of it. Yes, that’s right, shuffle along and let us indulge in the valuable time we have together, me and the seat that is.
I mean just take a look at that fluffy candyfloss blanket, I’m not giving that tastiness up for ANYONE.
Personal Space Intruders
When travelling with friends or family, this is a.o.k, and especially if it means you get to stretch yourself across all three seats to fall into a deep, comfortable slumber… Yet there is something so incredibly awkward and uncomfortable about making contact with the stranger that’s beside you. Maybe their head has slowly slipped down onto your shoulder, and you don’t know whether to jolt away or awkwardly angle yourself so there is no touching. Maybe your neighbour is slightly on the larger side, spilling over and reducing you to half a seat. And just imagine the horror when the precious little room you’ve been allocated is being invaded from your left AND right! No, stop, it’s not even worth thinking about!
Flying as part of a group, amazingly fun. Flying next to a group, I don’t remember passing the gates to hell? Hen do, stag weekend, lads holiday. Whatever the delightful occasion may be, it’s most likely they’re foul mouthed, flirting with the flight attendants and causing the utmost stress for everyone on board. Passengers fire disapproving glares around the cabin whilst everyone wishes that one brave will person will sacrifice themselves and give them a piece of our collective mind, but of course that would never be you, never, oh gosh no.
“To ensure the comfort and safety of all passengers on board, all feet must remain in shoes for the duration of the flight. Thank You.” Ingraining this into flight procedures wouldn’t go amiss. But if you really must insist, at least prepare beforehand. Did you have a pedicure in the airport? No? Keep them on. Do you take extra care with your tootsie hygiene? Do you have socks on? No and No? Then most certainly REMAIN SHOED. If you ignore my pleas then I’ll just have to sit here in silence being highly miserable and resenting you more and more every second. And please, PLEASE, whatever you do, do not cross your legs and bring those thick yellow nails even closer to me! I do NOT need to experience the full blue cheese aroma, what are you thinking!?
Yes, unfortunately this was the sorry state of my feet after insesent bite scratching, a run in with a motorbike that chomped off my toenail and, just to top it off, my nail clippers decided to break up with me. But would I ever have dreamed of even wearing these sandals on my flight home? No I certainly would not.
Aw is it your first holiday together? How long have you been dating? Awww you’re married, how lovely. Surel if you’re married you can refrain from lunging your tongues down each others throats for at least a couple of hours? Having consistent wet, salivating bubbles in my ear just doesn’t really appeal to me I’m afraid. Hands on top of the blanket please, keep them where I can see them, please and thank you.
Staying hydrated on a flight is vital and I cannot promote this enough, having to endure seven hours flying, a four hour layover and then another nine hours with a dull aching brain is not something I would wish upon my worst enemy. However, be considerate. Don’t continuously sip down more and more liquid once it starts passing through you like a tap, and ESPECIALLY if you’re in the window seat. Constantly having to awkwardly excuse your way past TWO people, interrupting one just as they’e managed to nod off and the other in the climax of the new action film they’ve been dying to see all year. Not cool.
If you recognise any of these experiences then I truly am sorry and I can only hope that to make up for it, the next flight you take will be gloriously empty for you to lay back, relax and enjoy.
If you recognise these trivial traits of annoyance in yourself, then you have been warned…no one will say or do anything. Oh but in their heads…
I’ll leave that one for you to spitefully conjure up yourself, but I know exactly what would be running through my mind…