My Top 10 List of Airplane Etiquette Offenders | By


When I started this blog, I told myself that After Orange County was going to be a positive place in the blogosphere.  I have run across blogs written by whiny, complainy types and vowed that my blog would never become an outlet for negativity. After all, nobody likes negativity.  But hey, I have a bone to pick today and it’s about airplane travel.  So, I was thinking that maybe we could commiserate, because if you’re like me and you like to travel, perhaps you can relate to my disgruntlement?

You see, I travel a lot and I really love to do so. But as airplanes are getting fuller and seats are getting smaller, I am getting a bit cranky.

Is it just me or are things getting to you too?  The skies just don’t seem so friendly anymore.  I could complain about most every flight I have taken as far back as I can remember.  Each flight brings back a particularly unpleasant recollection. So, I hope you don’t mind if I blow off some steam and share with you…


These people exist and, regrettably, I have shared the not-so-friendly-skies with these very folks who I would like to erase from my memory bank.

NUMBER 10 |  The Idles-in-the-Aisle Flyer

You know, this is the guy who thinks he is the only one boarding the plane. He stands blocking the aisle while everyone else waits for him to leisurely stow his bags, remove his coat and find his seat, only for him to realize that he needed something out of the bag he just put in the overhead compartment.  And you wonder why on-time schedules are seldom met.

NUMBER 9 | The Grab-and-Go-Globetrotter

This is the passenger who thinks the seat in front of him is his personal bench press.  Each time he gets up he uses the seat in front of him (which many times happens to be my seat) as his pull-up bar.  This is particularly unpleasant when hair pulling is involved.

NUMBER 8 | The Trembling-Tray-Tabler

The tray table is not a play table people.  Every time the tray table shakes, the seat in front shakes too.

NUMBER 7 | The Seat Kicker

This traveler has forgotten that his kickboxing class does not take place at his seat. Leave the seat-sparring for the gym.  (I am reminded of my last trip to Europe when a teenage girl kept her foot pressed against the back of my seat for the duration of our transatlantic flight.)

NUMBER 6 | The Personal-Space-Perpetrator

OK fellow travelers, here’s how I see it.

  • If you are left handed, sit by the window on the left side of the plane, or on the aisle on the right side of the plane.
  • If you are seated on the aisle, you get the armrest on the aisle side.
  • If you are seated by the window, you get the armrest on the window side.
  • If you are seated in the middle, heaven help you!  You get 2 armrests!

NUMBER 5 | The Fragrant Flyer 

The aromatic-air-traveler, the one who commits these odorous offenses is not a welcome seatmate when he has:

  • Forgotten to shower
  • Forgotten to put on his deodorant
  • Forgotten to brush his teeth
  • Worn way too much cheap cologne

NUMBER 4 |  The Flatulent Flyer

Remember, they may be silent but they are still deadly.

NUMBER 3 | The Reckless Recliner

The back of your seat has only one place to go, in the lap of the person behind you.  If you must recline, do so slowly.  And please, bring your seat to an upright position when food and drink are being served.

NUMBER 2 | The Chatty Cathy

You may be a very sweet person and all but, hey, I really don’t need to know your life story.  Can’t you see my headphones are in and I’m trying to get caught up with my reading?

NUMBER 1 | The Obese Occupier

Do the math people.  If your body will not fit in today’s very small airline seat, as I see it, you have 1 of 4 choices:

  • Don’t fly
  • Buy a 1st Class Seat
  • Buy 2 (or perhaps 3) seats in coach
  • Upgrade me to 1st Class

On a recent 5 hour flight to DC, my seatmate occupied his seat as well as half of mine.  He was so large, the armrest between us had to be kept in the upright position.  And his stomach protruded to the point that I could not fold down my tray table.  I kid you not!!!  It was a full flight and there wasn’t another seat to be had.  By the time we arrived at our destination, I was having heart palpitations!  Kudos to Virgin America for awarding me a free flight for my suffering!

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.  I feel much better now!


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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ and may not be reproduced without specific permission.