5 Stupid Human Airline Tricks
Did you miss me? There was no blog last week because my wife and I were on holidays in Saint Lucia. It's a wonderful island in the Caribbean to visit and I recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxing holiday.
The flights weren't as relaxing though. We flew Air Canada and while I have no complaints with the airline, the passengers are another story. People continue to make the same mistakes when they board planes, get off them and while they fly.
As I sat around the pool, I thought about the things I dislike the most about some of the people I flew with and put together a top 5 list of stupid things they do.
#5 - Aisle Grabbers
When people are coming off an elevator and others are waiting to get on it, it’s proper etiquette to allow those getting off first, before others try to get on. The same thing should work when you’re getting off a plane after it has landed.
Apparently, this isn’t clear to many people on planes. Those people jump out of their seats and stand in the aisle as soon as the plane comes to a stop. This causes two problems. Anyone wanting to grab their bag from the overhead bins can’t get to it and more importantly, it prevents you from getting off the plane in an orderly fashion.
The way I look it, the plane should clear by row number. Those in row 1 should get off first, row 2 second and so on. That can’t happen when Row Jumpers pack the aisle, preventing that from happening. Many even weasel their way up a row or two as soon as they step into the aisle.
#4 - Baggage Turf Protectors
This one has slipped a little in my rankings because it’s not as much of a problem as it used to be, thanks to airports letting people know they should stand back from the baggage carousel. I noticed a couple of airports with the excellent idea of selling advertising in front of the carousel and the bright colours send a message to stand back.
I still see far too many flyers park themselves right in front of the carousel waiting for their bags to arrive. That may work for them, but for anyone who spots their bag and tries to get it, they need to cut their way through a lineup of people who have situated themselves inches away from the carousel and have no intention of moving. They apparently have the right to that spot, so it’s like trying to get through a football team’s offensive line.
If everyone would stand two to three metres away from the carousel, getting a suitcase would become so much easier for everyone.
#3 - Zone Cue Creepers
A relatively new annoyance as more airlines now board by zones. Whether numbers are used or letters, the same dance happens on almost every flight.
As soon as people suspect a flight is about to be boarded, a couple of dozen passengers situate themselves in a good position to make a run to board as soon as their zone is called. It’s almost laughable to watch as these people try to make themselves look invisible as they stand around lurking.
The problem is, they get in the way of those who are rightfully trying to board and they cause confusion. When my zone is called, I see people standing in what appears to be a line, so I always ask them if they are in line for Zone 3 or whatever, forcing them to sheepishly admit they’re not.
Of course, the reason this has become a problem is because of the race to find space in the overhead bins to store carry-on bags, which leads us to number 2.
#2 - Carry-on Crammers
This is another relatively new entrant on the annoyance list, mainly because of the airline policy to charge for checked bags that came into effect a few years ago. More and more people are bringing carry-ons, which wouldn’t be a problem if everyone followed the rules. Unfortunately, far too many people sneak suitcases on planes that come as close to meeting the carry-on limits as Andre the Giant did to meeting a 30-inch waist.
On the Edmonton-Toronto leg of our trip to Saint Lucia, three people in our area had bags that not only didn’t meet the limits, but couldn’t even fit in the overhead bins. As a result, they needed to be checked, delaying the flight for everyone else on the plane.
I think airlines should put in a new rule. Much like Coach’s Challenge in the NHL, if you lose the video review, you’re penalized. In the case of a flight, if your carry-on is too big to fit into the overhead bin, you and your bag should get escorted off the plane and be forced to take the next flight. That would be fun.
#1 - Shameless Seat Recliners
I would like to meet the person who invented reclining seats for planes. I would have one question – How could you be so stupid? Perhaps when they were invented decades ago, rows of seats on planes were wider apart. Today though reclining seats are a real issue and lead to more disputes between airline passengers than any other issue.
People who recline seats today either aren’t that bright, or don’t give a damn about others. Or both. Everyone who gets on a plane today should notice how tight the rows are and shouldn’t be allowed to recline their seat unless they’re sitting in front of a five-year old.
The best thing airlines could do is disable all declining seats. Maybe we could ask for that in the new Air Passenger Bill of Rights?