The 7 Deadly Sins of Air Travel

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by Steve Holt on June 7, 2013

I have done a fair bit of traveling lately and I have at least a half dozen more trips to come before the year is out. So being the informative and ‘sharing’ kind of guy that I am, I thought I would take a few moments to share with you the bone-headed things that I experience as a regular air traveler. If you travel yourself, then you will probably be able to relate to all of these, and perhaps share some experiences of your own. I call this my ‘7 Deadly Sins of Air Travel’. Don’t do any of these. Like ever.

Sin #1: Taking a ‘carry-on’ onto a plane that has no business being a carry-on.

I get it. Most airlines charge for bags, so you carry your bag on to avoid the fee, right? The trouble is that your carry-on isn’t a carry-on. It’s a small suitcase. And it won’t fit inside that overhead no matter how much you cram it. So we all get to stand there and watch you hold up the line while trying to cram it up in there, and you clearly haven’t accepted that it won’t go. Or better yet, you did it on purpose so you could check it at the gate and avoid the fee. Look, just pay the fee knuckle-head, like the rest of us. Or better yet, fly Southwest cause they don’t charge for bags. Oh wait, there are knuckleheads who fly Southwest too. Sigh.

Sin #2: Putting your carry-on in the overhead bin in the front of the plane, then walking to the back to find a seat.

Seems to make good sense, except that now the person who has to sit in the seat under your bag doesn’t have a place to put their bag because you were a jerk and put your bag someplace other than above your seat. That’s lame. But hey, at least you have it easy now when we de-plane, right?

Sin #3: Passing gas on planes.

I shouldn’t have to say any more. We can’t get away from it. Don’t do this. If you do, you are evil.

Sin #4: Bringing food on the plane.

Ok, I love burritos. I do. But I don’t want to watch you eat one next to me, trying to keep all the beef, cheese, and rice inside that styrofoam container. And I certainly don’t want to smell it, which we will all be doing over the next hour because…. surprise…. planes are tiny cramped spaces which is no place for smelly burritos. Do like everyone else and enjoy the crackers and peanuts. What, are you special or something?

Sin #5: Talking incessantly to those around you.

Not all, but most people don’t like to jib-jab for the entire flight. I don’t mind pleasantries. That’s nice. We have to sit beside each other for the next 4 hours, so let’s be nice to each other. But for heaven’s sake, you don’t have to gab for hours. Especially when you gab, and laugh, and snort, and go on and on and on so loud that people in the rows in front of and behind you can’t even get a moment’s rest. There is a reason I bring my noise-cancelling headphones on flights. It is part of keeping my sanity.

Sin #6: Meandering and strolling in the terminal.

Most people who are in the airport are going someplace. They don’t have time to lollygag (that means goofing off and wasting time for those not from the south), so it is extremely annoying when you are pulling your gigantic carry-on behind you while you meander from side to side, unsure if you want the fruit smoothie or the chicken taco. So you pretend as if you are the only person in the entire terminal and there is noone behind you who might be… oh, I don’t know… rushing to get to a plane. C’mon people, pay attention to those around you and for heaven’s sake walk on the correct side of the terminal.

Sin #7: Not being prepared in the security checkpoint.

I mean, seriously. How many times did the security person tell you to remove your belt and empty your pockets? Like 12 times? So why didn’t you do that already? I now have to wait while you hold the line up and try to catch that plastic bin before it goes through the scanner. And don’t even get me started about shoes. Why did you wear those lace-up boots when you KNEW you were going to have to take them off? You’re the guy who is gonna bring that food on the plane, aren’t you?

Honorable Mention: Popping your gum.

I must admit, this is one of my personal peeves, so I have to give it an honorable mention… people who make that little popping noise when they chew gum. When you pop your gum loudly like that, you are audibly annoying those around you. Much like a smoker who blows smoke at those around them without regard to whether they like the smell of smoke or not. Do it on a plane, and it’s like you are pushing little needles in my eyeballs. Don’t do that. If you can’t stop, spit the gum out.

There… I feel better. Now, where’s my burrito?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Bratcher June 9, 2013 at 7:26 am

Great advice. These should be posted in every airport across America!

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steveholtconsulting June 11, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Amen Dave. Makes me want to scream every time I travel!

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