How NOT to be the most annoying passenger ever

flight passenger airplane window
Free stock photo – Pexels

As anyone who has taken a long-distance flight knows, four hours is about the cut-off. Any flight over four hours seems to drag on, any flight over six hours is long enough, and any flight over twelve hours is about the last straw. You can make things a lot easier for yourself (and especially others) if you follow these air travel tips. Trust me. I was being so annoying on my last flight with EVA Air, from Seattle to Taipei, that I almost annoyed myself.

  • Don’t get out of your seat every hour to grab something out of your bag. Especially not over the head of a stranger across the aisle, of course. Do the rest of us a favor (Yeah, Melissa!) and get your neck pillow, sweat shirt, Melatonin, and eye shade out of your carry-on BEFORE the plane lifts off.
  • Don’t bring a large personal item. Yes, yes, I know. More carry-ons, less luggage. But trust me! If you’re “upgraded” to a seat in an emergency row, you won’t have any chairs in front of you for you to put your personal item under. Please don’t be that person who takes up two carry-on spaces. (That person was me.)
  • Don’t you dare drape your coat over your seat. The hood could cover the monitor of the passenger behind you.
  • Don’t get your earbuds stuck in the chair when you straighten it up. Because, for the next 20 minutes, you will be trying to get them out until you finally lean back again. Genius.
  • Don’t bring way too many jackets with you, and maybe even a scarf. Because all of them are flying all over the place–but when, I don’t know. The attendant kept pointing them out to me. Somehow they always ended up on the floor, in the aisle next to me.
  • Try not to be so out of it that you find yourself staring into space during takeoff. And by “staring into space” I mean staring at the flight attendant’s purposefully blank face. So awkward…
  • PLEASE don’t have bad breath. Especially when sitting in those cramped economy seats. I beg you. Long-distance flights may have toothbrushes in the bathroom–go check and see.
  • Don’t suggest that your fellow emergency exit row passengers read the instructions. No one wants to read those.
  • Don’t keep fiddling with things like your neck pillow, or your sweatshirt which you may be using as a pillow replacement. Every time you reach over your head, you nearly hit the passenger next to you in the face.
  • Don’t dominate your row’s conversation. You know how antisocial most airplane passengers are. Conversation with fellow passengers is rare enough. Don’t ruin the moment by talking over the passenger in the middle, no matter how interested you are in the window seat passenger’s destination.
  • Don’t eat cheese before your flight even though you know cheese gives you indigestion. TMI beyond this point…
  • Don’t talk to yourself. This occurred during the headphones mishap. Yes, I know I’m crazy.

Yes, I did all these things. So relieved that flight is over!

These air travel tips may seem like no-brainers. Think about it, though, if you’re shipping out at 1:30 AM after two weeks of stressed insomnia, you’ll need to remember these tips. Otherwise, you’ll be like me, looking back and thinking, “What on earth was I doing?”

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