Thursday, December 13, 2007

Airplane Etiquette

Update - Finished my exams - woohoo!! Thanks for everyone's kind comments and encouragement about my team grade dilemma. No one will fess up who gave me the bad grade but I made it quite clear to the entire team that I was angry, so at least this person knows I did not agree with their assessment. As the professor wrote me, 'some of us like to have open discussions when a problem arises, some people are better at hiding behind.' Ie was nice to know he confirmed that this person was a coward and I shouldn't worry about it, cause in the end I got an "A."

Now onto happier favorite actor, Nathan Fillion recently posted on his myspace page about airline rules. As long-time readers of my blog know, I use to give tips on air travel. Reading over Mr. Fillion's post about airline etiquette got me thinking...this summer I traveled on a plane extensively, at least once a week, recruiting for non-descript airlines. While I could probably add to his list, its more fun to comment on his tips.

Tip One: Enjoy your journey - I could not agree more. This is an adventure, something you don't do everyday, treat it like that and you'll find the trip much more pleasant.
Tip Two: Get up early. Be awake and relaxed with lots of time - ok I don't really do this but I'm a seasoned traveler, I'd like to think I know the system. But if you are not an airline employee, I concur with Nathan Fillion, be relaxed with lots of time, yelling at the Customer Service Agent when you are 15 minutes late to a flight will not get you a seat, I can promise you that!
Tip Three: Be Clean - this goes without saying, no?
Tip Four: Dress Well - a fellow airline friend of mine once reminisced about how people use to dress up when traveling and now you find people who look like they just rolled out of bed. Some of the stuff I've seen on my travels, indecent! I always try to dress better than usual, here's my thinking... at the airport you never know who you'll meet. This summer alone I saw John Kerry three times, John Ashcroft, Vanessa Carleton and Hilary Clinton!
Tip Five: Be Organized - good lord I couldn't agree with Nathan Fillion more! I can't tell you how annoying it is to be behind someone who doesn't have their act together, especially when you are ready. I just want to go up and push them aside. This includes keeping the tickets and your id out during the security line (don't get me started on the stupidity of people as they wait for security).
Tip Six: pack a bag that can fit in the overhead bin.
Tip Seven: keep to your seat, don't take over the seat or space next to you.
Tip Eight: Avoid Grossness - being a sniffler, I do bring my own tissues but sorry if I wig you out, I promise I don't have ebola.
Tip Nine: Be smart about getting up out of your seat - hear hear, the seat in front of you is not there for you to pull down on as you get up and I don't like my hair being pulled when you do that either. If you can't get up without leaning heavily on the chair in front of you - ask for the bulkhead seat (which has no seat in front).
Tip Ten: Deal with the fact that kids on a plane will cry - here I disagree with Nathan (gasp shock), he says afford mothers on planes every courtesy. Certainly they should be treated with kindness, like every other human being but I was not put on the plane to entertain your child or deal with your kid kicking the back of my chair on a seven hour flight! If your kid is crying up a storm and you're doing nothing about it, I WILL give you a sigh or dirty look...the kid is in pain from their ears popping, if you're such a good parent, you would know of a wonderful little thing called Benadryl. Just a little in milk and the child will fall asleep and not experience that pain.
Tip Eleven: Thank your captain and crew - this is nice sentiment and I'm sure they would love to hear it. I had a scale of how I would thank them. If they were good and friendly and the flight was smooth they get an exburant thank you from Virginia Gal. If the crew was surly or kind of rude, they get a cursory, "thanks" or nothing at all.

To see Nathan Fillion's blog and his full-length comments on these tips - check it out here:


Blogger Merci said...

The "be clean" tip brought back a horrible memory for me. On a flight from Atlantic City to Ft. Lauterdale, a gentleman seated behind me seemed to have decided to skip the shower that morning, and to douse himself in quantities of cheap cologne, instead. I was sick by the time I reached Florida.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous JoeInVegas said...

Hmm, post not have anything to do with the photo to the left, does it?

11:33 AM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

i like number ten.
the last flight i was on was 3 hours and the toddler right behind me slept for the most part, but cried and screamed for the last 30 minutes. he kicked a little, but not too much. i could tell his parents were doing what they could to settle him, and were embarassed - and it wasn't until the last 5 minutes when he calmed down. it's funny, i didn't let it bother me at all. specifically, i think because it was clear his folks were doing what they could. AND because i knew everyone else in the plane was annoyed. I made it a game to entertain myself: the more the rest of plane was annoyed, the more fun i had. and i was the one getting my seat kicked! i guess i just liked the schadenfruede. (see my contrarian streak in my meme.)

you never know how a kid is going to react, and benadryl may not always be the cure-all. not all kids are the same, and not all plane rides are the same. it's easy as a non-parent to say what the fix is, but the truth is, until we're there, we don't know.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

ps. congrats on this semester being over! woohoo!

11:40 AM  
Blogger jellykean said...

he's so cute! wonder if DRIVE ever came out on DVD?

6:24 PM  
Blogger mommanator said...

Good ideas from a good looking chap- I think all the parents7 children should be in one section so they amuse one another and leave me the heck alone LOL they really dont bother me I just put my earphones in & or read, but then I am granny nanny to 4!
I hate those women who wear too much cologne from a chinese whoe house who sit next to me!
O last time I flew I had a little dog under my seat continually "expelling gas" and eating my seat! fun trip!

7:43 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Merci - that is the worse, no? And there is no way to open a window, aye!

Joe - you get a cookie, Mr. Fillion is my major crush so I try to read whatever he writes, whenever he does write (which isn't often).

Molly - I see what you are saying, but since I consider myself a seasoned traveler, I know now that God-willing when I have kids I'm going to the doctor and making sure to get something to make them go to sleep when we are on the plane, no way am I putting up with all that fussing! Its not worth it!

JellyKean - He is so cute, no? Remember when you met him (cause I know you will) to tell him about me. You know I don't know if drive came out on DVD, good question...

Mommantor - Its funny but I've heard your comment about parents being in one section before and I think the idea has merit, particular on long-haul flights. Maybe air carriers can think of having a family section on the plane?? Thanks, I'm going to suggest it!

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


- Please leave those decks of cards at home. There is nothing more annoying than hearing a deck of cards get cut 4 or 5 times each deal in your ear. If you have play cards, please play solitaire on your laptop.

- Please watch your kids if you let them play on the tray on the seat back in front of them. Remember that this tray is connected to the seat in front and actions upon it are amplified!

- Talking- please keep your talking to a whisper to take other people’s courtesy into consideration.

12:00 AM  

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