I Am NOT Guilty of These 10 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Airplane Habits. Are You?

list of these 10 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad airplane habits was posted by John Einar DiScala of Johnny Jet recently; and as I read through the list, I kept saying that I am not guilty of this one; nope, not that one; no; nope; nuh uh; never…

…well — you get the idea.

You can imagine how excited I was when I experienced my first time flying as a passenger on an airplane: it was a flight operated by American Airlines from New York to San Juan; and ever since then, it was difficult to keep me grounded. As the years wore on, I noticed how other passengers act aboard an airplane — and it ain’t pretty.

Below are the aforementioned 10 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad airplane habits — followed by my own commentary:

1. Talking Loudly on Your Telephone or to Seat Mates

Is there really a topic so important that it must be discussed via the telephone within the confines of an airplane? Okay, I get it: he wants to close that business deal on which he has been working for months; or she simply wants to let her significant other know where she is on her journey…

…but when someone is talking on the telephone in an airplane to pass the time, it can be annoying to others within the vicinity of that person. The propensity to talk loud is usually due to the ambient noise within the aircraft: the engines might be powered on for the air conditioning; the flight attendants are busy doing what they need to do; fellow passengers are talking…

…which suggests to me that that moment may not be the ideal time to be talking on the telephone — especially when the person had the opportunity to do so while waiting at the gate. Can it not wait until after leaving the airplane?

For me, a text message usually suffices when I need to tell someone something while I am seated aboard an airplane; and on the rare occasion I speak to a fellow passenger, I keep the volume of my voice down.

By the way: should telephone calls be allowed during a flight?

2. Not Taking Care of Your Personal Hygiene

Imagine the dreadful combination of body odor, cigarettes and alcohol on a fellow passenger. Yeah, drink that coffee — nothing like adding the smell of coffee breath to that toxic mixture.

There are no tissues available in the lavatory if you did not have the foresight to bring your own. That is an excellent reason to go ahead and sink that finger so far up your nose in order to hit pay dirt and successfully strike that buried treasure for you to inspect before you either flick it or eat it — which I recently had the unexpectedly nauseating displeasure of witnessing from a fellow passenger.

Make sure that yellow-crusted toenail or fingernail does not zip my way. The only object I want to see airborne is the airplane itself, thank you very much.

Tell you what: you have my blessing to put nail polish on your nails when I can fill my car up with gasoline aboard the airplane. Then we can get high together before we pass out.

By the way, this is a good time for this reminder: for healthy results, please wash your hands whenever possible — and try not to be a “superspreader” of disease.

3. Bringing Smelly Food Aboard the Airplane

Is that a durian, liverwurst, limburger cheese and sauerkraut sandwich you brought aboard the airplane with you? Of all the places where you could have sat on the airplane, you really had to sit in that middle seat between me and the person who throws up easily, didn’t you?!?

Why are there nail clippers on the side of your sandwich?

Let the fun begin…

4. Taking Your Socks Off

The only part of your body which should smell is your nose; and if your nose were twelve inches long, it would be a foot. That would still be no reason for your foot to smell; so if it does, please do not take your shoes off — let alone your socks…

…and please — as a public service to your fellow passengers — please wear your shoes when visiting the lavatory. Otherwise, urine a bad situation for your feet when you put them back in your shoes — and no, information from streaming media will not fix that…

5. Playing Music or Videos Too Loud

I am fortunate that I rarely am seated in the vicinity of a clueless passenger who listens to music or watches visual content without headphones; so I really have no reason to listen to the advice of John Einar DiScala, who suggests bringing earplugs and earbuds for yourself so you can put them on if you can’t get a noisy seatmate to turn their volume down.

Perhaps the reason is because I usually listen to music while aboard an airplane; but I always use headphones whenever I listen to music or watch visual content — or play games, for that matter.

6. Sneezing or Coughing Without Covering Your Mouth

Unlike John Einar DiScala, I do not — and never have — carried a mask; and yet I do not remember the last time I was sick as the result of traveling. He admits to being a germaphobe — and that is probably true. I do not like germs either; but I am nowhere near as bad as John.

Here is some advice for you, John: wash your hands. My personal experience suggests to me that washing your hands is far more effective than wearing a mask in preserving good health.

When sneezing or coughing, use your arm to cover your mouth. By doing so, you minimize the germs from spreading in the immediate vicinity of your seat; and your hand is not suddenly covered with more of your germs when you go to touch something — like the handle of the door to the lavatory, for example.

7. Being Rude or Impatient With Flight Attendants and Members of the Flight Crew

I have said this so many times in the past, and I will say it again: no matter how bad a situation can get, be polite and civil with as many people as possible — and that especially includes flight attendants and members of the flight crew. You might be surprised at how people appreciate politeness and civility.

8. Pushing, Pulling or Kicking the Seats of Other People

I cannot add much to what John Einar DiScala said…

Unless you’re really old or handicapped, there’s no reason to push, pull or kick people’s seats when you’re getting up or walking down the aisles. Somehow, this happens all the time because people aren’t being considerate of those around them. Don’t be that person.

…except that did you know that there is a place under the openings for the overhead bins on which to grab when you need to hang on to something while getting up or walking down the aisle?

9. Ignoring Your Out-of-Control Kids

I can understand a situation where a child is suffering from pressure in the ear during the landing of the airplane, for example; but when a child misbehaves — such as kicking the seat in front or running up and down the aisle, as I witnessed recently from a child out of control during a transoceanic flight — there is simply no excuse for the parent to simply ignore it…

…and it is not just aboard airplanes. Unruly children ignored by their parents occur in airports as well — including overnight at Abu Dhabi International Airport, as I witnessed not too long ago.

Just recently, someone called for child-free zones aboard airplanes. Do you agree?

10. Pretending Your Dog is a Service Animal

“I’m sure the industry is going to crack down on this sooner or later, which is only going to make it more difficult for those who really need a service dog and that’s a real shame.”

John, the industry cannot do anything about this problem due to federal law of the United States, as I have written in these articles — which I will let speak for themselves:



Just to clarify: when I write the word you in the article, I do not mean you — but I do know that there are other terrible, horrible, no good, very bad airplane habits which you might believe belong on this list which are missing. Please share them in the Comments section below.

5 thoughts on “I Am NOT Guilty of These 10 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Airplane Habits. Are You?”

  1. Dom says:

    How about “10 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Blogger Habits”?

  2. Totallyi says:

    Brian- what was the point of this blog? How you behave on an airplane or you needed extra web-site clicks???

  3. Mike says:

    Gee, thanks for the word pictures.

  4. Captain Kirk says:

    Looks like there must have been a big sale on Haterade at Wal-Mart last week. So many commenters spewing harsh words.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      “Haterade”…that is a new one for me.

      Thank you for the laugh, Captain Kirk!

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