Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't be THAT person

One of my least favorite parts of flying is watching people board the plane. WHY is it so difficult? It really doesn't have to be.

On my last flight to Seattle, I witnessed a woman trip over a bag left in the aisle. WHY would you leave your bag in the aisle and walk away from it? Leaving a bag in the aisle is a definite no-no, which seems like common sense, but clearly...

I thought I'd share a few more tips that could help you avoid mean mugs from fellow flyers and flight attendants:

I believe there is some method to the madness of the system of seat numbers. I don't understand why there is at least one person in the wrong seat on every flight. Upon entering the aircraft, how about checking out which side your letter is on, and then when you get to that magical number sit right under it. (It also helps to know seat number prior to boarding.) This will decrease the chances of anyone sitting in your lap or trying to fight you for sitting in their seat, and ultimately minimizes delays in the boarding process.

Attention: Bag lady! Okay, yes you're allowed to have a carry-on and a personal item. If you must travel with two large items, please do not try to squeeze down the aisle with your bags at your sides. You will hit people, and they will hate you (and may hit you back). How about holding your bags in front of or behind you? It is a good idea to assume this position upon entering the aircraft. If you wait until row 7 to change your strategy, you would have already pissed off six rows of people, and now you're delaying the boarding process for everyone behind you.

Loading bags is where it gets tricky. Here are a few tricks:
  • if the plane has two seats on one side and three on the other, guess which overhead compartment is bigger.
  • put bag in wheels first, which maximizes the amount of bags that can fit and makes it convenient to grab for deplaning.
  • it's unnecessary and inconsiderate to put items like coats and small backpacks in the overhead when it can fit under the seat.
Do not be that person walking against the traffic. How about holding bathroom breaks until later. Or going before boarding?

Please refrain from conversations, laughing, sneezing, or unnecessary breathing if it will in any way delay the boarding process. Please focus on your seat destination and execute quickly to keep it moving.

Fighting to board first gets silly because everyone ends up waiting, and the plane will not take off until everyone is boarded and seated.

I think it is important for everyone to remember that it is not only about you. Your bag is not more important than hers. We all have to board and no one is going anywhere until we all cooperate. It is already not an ideal situation, filing into a tight space like cattle, but it can work well if done efficiently.

Happy flying!

What tips can you offer for a more pleasant boarding experience?

1 comment:

  1. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of the suitcase hanging out of the overhead compartment. In the moment, I was so annoyed with the situation, but it would have been so appropriate for this post.


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