02 July 2008

It's NOT All About You

In spite of pay cuts, work rule changes and the general malaise amongst airline employees lately, I still really enjoy my job. One of the parts I enjoy most is the social observations I get during flights, I get to be a secret pop psychologist. I am the first to agree that it is probably human nature to think it is 'all about me' , I am as guilty of this as the next person. In the confines of an aircraft, this lack of thought of others really needs to stop. Maybe a PSA ( public service announcement) played in the airports before flights? Just a few thoughts of how your actions will affect others would eliminate so much anger and hostility on the plane.

Seat backs- Please do not SLAM your seat back quickly. The person behind you might be bent down , getting something from underneath their seat, or have their legs crossed. A quick peek back before SLOWLY moving your seat back would stop alot of ill will between passengers. Secondly, if you are eating, bring your seat UPRIGHT. Next time you are on a flight where a meal is served, look at how many seats are reclined and people have to lean forward to eat. Nearly all. The seat reclined in front of you pisses you off as it is difficult to get to your food, likewise your reclined seat is angering the person BEHIND you. As a sidebar to this, please remember that is ultimately the persons right to recline their seat. I will happily ask someone to put their seat upright if they are awake during the meal service, but not any other time.

Window shades- Please remember that sleep on an aircraft is a precious commodity, so difficult to happen for so many. Sleep in the economy cabin is like a house of cards, so many motions and actions can make someones sleep end. Opening a window shade as the sun has come up is one of those actions. If we are still flying at cruise ( over 30,000 feet in the air) and a meal is not being served, I can pretty much guarantee there is nothing to see out the window but clouds. Nothing worth the anger that will be directed at you by people you have woken for nothing. If you want to read, use a reading light, each seat has one. If we are serving the meal before arrival, feel free to open shades, heck, the other passengers really need to get up and brush their teeth at this point, you are really doing them a favor waking them up. Like the seat back, as thoughtless as it may be, it is also their right to open the window shade. If you are a light sleeper, consider packing an eye mask. You will thank me later.

Loud Children- Parents, I know you like to instill rules and keep your behavior consistent with children, not placating them if they whine, not rewarding bad behavior, etc. This school of thought, while great at home, needs to be tossed out the window on the communal environment of the plane. You need to do ALL you can to stop crying and whining quickly and effectively. Behavior that you might ignore at home, letting them cry it out, needs to be stopped on the plane. Coddle, cuddle and muzzle. We do need to all understand that children sometimes will cry and fuss no matter what and be a little understanding if the parent is attempting to remedy the situation. Along with the eye mask, maybe toss in some ear plugs, you will thank me when little Johnny starts to cry.

Loud Adults- This is more disturbing than loud children. Yes you are excited about your holiday, class trip, meeting the guy you met online, but chatting at top volume either in your seats or near the toilets and galleys is rude. Everyone with a seat in one of these areas will vouch for the fact that sound travels. They are not quite so excited as you about your plans and really do not want to hear them. Indoor voices people.....Please........

Toilet behavior- Please leave the toilet in a state that will not make the next person entering it gasp, as it might be me. FLUSH the toilet ( men, it is not a urinal, it is not whooshed away automatically), drain the sink of your toothpaste water, throw any paper towels, Kleenex in the trash receptacle. Do not stuff it in other areas or leave things on the floor. If the toilet is out of paper towels and/or toilet paper, tell the crew, we have more. Please keep prelanding visits brief. As anxious as you were to use the toilet, so are the 50 people hopping up and down on one foot behind you. Not the time to bring in a magazine , try a new hairstyle, or give yourself a facial.

These are a few off the top of my head. Next time we can cover sharing overhead bin space and swapping seats . I can also comment on any other rude passenger to passenger behavior you suggest. Until next time!!


DUNCAN said...

Amen sistah!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, oooh, I've got another one!!! If you must chew gum (and we all understand the ear-popping properties of the illustrious substance), please do NOT chew it like a cow, snap, crackle or pop it! It is not a sport, and as fun is it may be for your tongue and teeth, it is very annoying to others!

Traytable said...

My biggie re: lockers... if you are sitting in row 58, do not dump your bags in the lockers at the overwing exits at row 35. The people actually SITTING at those exits might want the space, as they have no seat in front to put their bags under. Um, just maybe??? hehe

Also, no pulling of dresses, patting of bums or otherwise physical contact is acceptable to summon your flight attendant. S/he has ears and can hear you, so just ask. At worst, they have name tags, use them!