The Lighter Side of Travel
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Plain Etiquette for the Plane
Staff writer

On a recent trip to Boston (alas! I'm not talking about my First Class expérience, it was the...(shudder)...Coach episode) I encountered so many social faux pas on the aircraft, I decided to once and for all, make clear some basic Plane Etiquette. By following these basic suggestions, I'm sure everybody's flight will be that much more pleasant...er...tolerable.

At the Gate

Wait until they call your seat number to board the plane
Don't you just love the people that crowd the person calling the seat numbers no matter where they're sitting?  They wanna get on and that's it!  The person at the gate will go, "Sorry, we're boarding First Class right now, you're in Seat number 48Z, you have to wait."  Then they come up with those doozy excuses, "Oh, I didn't realize! Well, as long as I'm here, can I board?" or  "My hernia's acting up, I really need to sit down." or "Yes, but I was here first." Here's a note of revelation: They can't leave until everyone's on the plane! So whether you get on first, or last, we all be a leavin' at the same time.

On the Plane

Place Your Carry-On in the Overhead Compartment and SIT DOWN!
I cannot stress this enough. Apparently, everybody has enough intelligence to have the assemblence of mind to purchase an airline ticket and board a plane. Continue that stream of consciousness and simply put your baggage in that darn compartment and take your seat. Don't comb your hair in the middle of the aisle. Don't start chit-chatting with your neighbors, while other passengers are trying to find their seats. Don't start rummaging through your bags. And don't just stand there! Ever see that one? They just stand there like, "Hello, I am the Center of the Universe, you must maneuver around my butt to get by."

Who Gets the Arm Rest?
It's first come, first serve. Whoever sits in their seat first, and snags that armrest, is the winner. See why it's so important to take your seat quickly?

Chatting with the Person Next to You
It's nice to have a pleasant conversation with your neighbor to help pass the time on your flight. Howevah...it appears some people don't want to be bothered and want "quiet time." Other people can't seem to take the hint, and will continue jabbering on endlessly, whilst the other fellow's eyes continue to to roll backwards in their head. Here are a  few tell-tale signs your neighbor doesn't want to talk to you:

  • They're wearing headphones
  • They're asleep and drooling
  • They're handcuffed to their briefcase
  • They're asleep, drooling, wearing headphones, and handcuffed to their briefcase
  • They have a "do not disturb" sign around their neck

Bodily Functions
Let's start with the head area. When sneezing, coughing or burping,  please cover your mouth. Didn't we learn this as a child? Apparently, some of us forgot.
On to the lower regions. If you must pass gas because of  the oh-so-delicious plane food you've just eaten, or the five beers you just drank, or for whatever reason, could you please get up and go to the lavatory to do it? Nobody wants to sit captive in your fumes while tears collect in their eyes.

The Beverage Cart
Get as much as you can for free. When they ask what you'd like to drink (the free stuff) heck, get one of each! You won't be seeing their faces again any time soon. Once they pass your seat it's adios amigos! You've had your turn! So, git while the gittin's good.

Mealtime
When eating the "meal" or "snack", please close your mouth while chewing. I once sat next to a man who ate with his mouth wide open and made such loud noises it sounded like the Invasion of Normandy.

During Turbulence
Try to remain calm. It's poor form during turbulence to scream, "O my God! We're all gonna die!!" Also, any deals you make with God during extreme turbulence, should be made in silence. Never say things like, "I'll never sleep with my wife's sister again!" or "I promise to return the $40,000 I embezzled from my partner!" or "Our son isn't really yours!", outloud. Particularly, if the other party is sitting next to you. It can make the rest of the trip a tad awkward.

When the Plane Lands
DO NOT immediately jump up and grab your stuff from the overhead compartment while the plane is still taxi-ing. Wait till they tell you to get up. The attendants get very upset when you do this and the whole plane could sit for an extra minute or two in "punishment" because of one "Eager Eddie".

Getting off the Plane
Be courteous of your fellow passengers, even if you feel some of them have the IQ of a grapefruit. Again, remove your items form the overhead compartment, in an efficient manner and proceed down the aisle.

As a final note, when seeing the pilot on my way out, I always like to thank him   "for getting us here."  Try not to brush the top of your hand over your forehead and make the "Whew!" sound.

B'bye.

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