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15 Ways to Not Be an Asshole When Flying

We are literally zooming through the air at a million miles an hour (or something like that), so actually complaining about anything while on board such a magical convenience is absurd. With that being said, I will throw a complaint out there: some people are assholes when it comes to flying and do things that slowly suck the joy out of the journey. Apparently flying used to be a luxurious adventure, now it seems akin to a greyhound bus or an E.R. in the sky.

Here’s a list of ways to not be an asshole while flying:

1- Poor Bastard in Middle Seat Gets Both Arm Rests

As much as you want to lay claim to it, don’t. Seeing how no one wants this shitty seat, this poor bastard probably had to book this ticket last minute. Maybe they’re flying somewhere for an emergency, or just paid $1000 more than you for their flight. Just let them have it. You’re not in the middle seat, so you already won.

2- Don’t be Overly Chatty

If you’re a chatty person, throw your row mates a casual hi to feel them out. No need to force a convo. And even if you and another person are getting along great and chatting up a storm, be mindful of others who are choosing to remain quiet.

3- Refrain from Reclining

Do you really need to recline your seat? Really? Keep in mind that it doesn’t make that much of a difference for you but decreases the already negligible legroom for person behind you and messes with their ability to use the tray table. If you really want to recline it, ask person behind you if they mind and if they plan on also reclining and taking a snooze. In a perfect world, you’re both reclining.

4- Pee Before the Flight

‘Gotta go potty?’ Do it before the flight. Even if you don’t have to, try. Yes you can take care of biz mid-flight, but it’s annoying to those in your row. If you know you’re someone prone to several bathroom trips, opt for aisle row seat so your business doesn’t become anyone else’s inconvenience.

5- Pack Your Carry-On Luggage with Purpose

If you’re bringing two bags on board, pack with purpose. Put the items you know you’ll want mid-flight in the bag stowed under the seat in front of you. Limit how often you access the bag above you in the cabinet. It’s annoying to those who have to make room for you in your row and also clogs the aisle way.

Also — don’t try to carry on a bag you suspect is too large. The flight attendants will likely make you check it and it will delay the boarding process.

6- Don’t Get Drunk

I get it, one drink — maybe two. Don’t be ‘that guy’ or ‘that chic’. Know your limits and stay in the pleasantly buzzed realm. You’re not actually as funny, charming or attractive as drunk you thinks.

7- Don’t Offend People with Your Food

Is your snack smelly? This is no place for your tuna, spicy peppers and other bold, smelly foods. Is your snack noisy to eat and/or are you a naturally loud chewer? Don’t give person next to you reason to suspect you’re chomping on gravel. If your snack comes in noisy, crinkly packaging, remove it before the flight.If you’re unsure about any of these, wage on the side of conservative and leave your stinky, noisy foods for a time when you’re not basically cuddling with people who are trapped next to you on a flying tube.

8- Keep Your F*cking Shoes On!

Even if you think your feet don’t smell — they might to someone else.

9- Don’t be the Smelly Person Everyone Later Talks about

Shower, wear deodorant, and brush your teeth the day of the flight. Nope, you don’t smell ‘manly’ or ‘earthy’ — you just stink.

10- Entertain Your Offspring

Remain mindful of the fact that not everyone thinks they’re as adorable as you. Entertain them: coloring books, movies, quiet and non-smelly snacks, maybe consider taking them for a long run before boarding the flight so hopefully they’ll sleep. And if you’re a passenger aboard a flight with a fussy baby or kid — be patient and try to cut the parents a little slack. Odds are, the parent is doing the best they can and feel bad their kids are being fussy.

Also parents, don’t change your baby’s diaper at your seat. I’ve had this happen on my flight at it’s gross.

11- Spare the Flight Attendants

Sure they’re there to make sure your flight is comfortable and safe, but don’t take advantage of them. Be mindful of the fact that you’re one of several people they’re serving. Ask for little and be grateful for whatever you receive. And be sure to say please and thank you.

12- Don’t Fart (I swear to God, don’t fart)

Having some stomach issues? Go kick it in the bathroom. Sure people will be annoyed that you’re hogging the lavatory, but guaranteed they’d prefer your stinky ass in there then out with the gen pop.

13- Don’t Be a Weird Sleeper

On a flight a few weeks ago, the guy next to me kept getting super active in his sleep. I finally had a redeye with no stops — a slumber was certainly in my future, or so I thought. First he was flailing his arms in front of him; he woke himself up with his ‘excited guy on a roller coaster’ movement and told me he dreamt he was taking a picture (I can’t imagine what his pictures look like). Then a few minutes later he lunged his whole upper body, arms first, diagonally in my direction. I nudged him and he told me, while looking a little visibly distraught, that he dreamt he was being pulled into water. This continued on for the whole flight. At the end of the flight he asked me if I was finally able to get some sleep … I told him “nope, you’re extremely hard to sleep next to.” The guy was nice, but what I will remember him by was his crazy weird sleeping. I finally had a non-stop redeye flight, which I cashed in 45,000 delta skymiles for … and I couldn’t sleep, or even relax.

14- Germs (Everyone’s Gross)

If you’re sick, consider getting one of those weird masks. Bring kleenex to sneeze and cough into — and do your best to refrain from sniffling the whole.entire.flight (that’s annoying). Now’s the time to see what all those huge pharm companies are pushing, and get to dosing up on those meds. Even if you’re not sick — same rules apply.

15- Be Cool, Motherf*cker

Freaking out about delays? What about your connection?! You have a meeting! You have to be somewhere! We get it, we are all trying to get places. You freaking out only results in added stress, to yourself and others around you. Your energy becomes toxic and people are less likely to be extra accommodating.

Breathe. Be cool. We’re all trying to get someplace, and we all will, so check your aggression and passive aggression along with your luggage.


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