A Guide to Everyone You Hate on Planes, and How Not to Be One of Them

A Guide to Everyone You Hate on Planes, and How Not to Be One of Them

Ugh, people are the
. Most days, I can barely even look at them. The way they eat, the way
they breathe, the way they look at you all needy with their eyes wanting you to
care about them. It’s disgusting. So it’s no surprise that a survey about
things people hate most about other people on planes revealed that the thing we
all agree is the most vile about people: their people-ness. So if you’re flying
this holiday season, please do us all a favor, and act like anything other than
a human for once in your entire hideously gross existence you call a human

Don’t think our aversion to actually interacting with
you means we haven’t noticed you! We noticed. Did we ever. Expedia dot coooooom noticed.
They asked 1001 wackily numbered adult humans to rate 19 different ways people
act just like people while 30,000 feet in the air, existing pathetically as the
humans they dare to be. They wanted to know the top worst possible ways people could be themselves while seated for a
coupla hours on a nonstop to Denver + a great deal on a rental car or whatever. And 1001 adults were not
afraid to point their critical, germ-covered little fingers at their fellow

You know what they hate the most? That everyone does the
following things, in this order, the moment they board a plane, and refuses to stop:

  • Pull a cord on a child’s back activating nonstop
    tantrum mode
  • Kick the back of the seat in front of them
  • Fart or waft body smells
  • Get shitfaced
  • Begin yapping their heads off about their lives like
    a “Chatty Cathy.” (p.s. I vote to change it to “Chatty

In short, they act like people. So in order to Act Correctly On a Plane This Holiday Season ™,
I would strongly advise the following rules:

  • No breeding
  • No movement
  • No farts
  • No drinky
  • No talky

Got it? It’s so simple!

Let’s go over them again:

  • No breeding
  • No movement
  • No farts
  • No drinky
  • No talky

Sure, you could
ask why we do these things. Why must we breed, move, fart, get shitfaced, and
start yapping when we go somewhere? Why must we act like ourselves in all
scenarios under all conditions and why must it be so smelly and talky and sad? Can’t we
ever just be more like something we saw on television?

The answer is no. Instead, we hate these people who do these things. And we hate these things because we can’t escape our smelly escapist selves. A plane is a mirror.
It’s where we’ve got nothing better to do but sit with ourselves until they finally let
us turn our phones back on. It’s a trying time for everyone, so pretty much
literally all we can do is pass the time examining the many flaws of others, from
their chosen brand of watch to their ridiculous facial hair, and hope they really want to
hear about our Christmas plans.

The only acceptable response to this survey is self-loathing. Because to battle directly with
these egregious instances of humanity would be to gaze directly into the
fart-saturated flotation device of darkness. And who wants to do that?

[raises hand]


Why we hate them: Face it, people who have created tiny humans only remind us of our own vulnerability. Their
inability to control their own spawn reminds us of how fragile and tenuous our
own existence is. Also, kids say the same things over and over, and those
things are often dumb things. “Why do we have a face?” etc.

Why we should give
them a tiny holiday break
: To graciously admit it’s hard to make a kid act
right is to graciously admit it is hard to make a person act right, and many of
us are fully grown adults who do not, in fact, act right — seriously who are
you bullshitting with your loud chewing and terrible cologne? Also, we’re already
raised. So it’s a bit hypocritical to now be annoyed with
fresh people as if we weren’t little shits once making life miserable for all
parties back in the day.


Why we hate them:
Duh, no one wants their seat getting kicked nonstop except a seat-kicking
fetishist and I KNOW for a fact I just made that up right?

Why we should give
them a tiny holiday break
: Restless leg syndrome? Nervous tic? Because with
a kid, it’s either the lesser of two evils, AKA, a seat kicking or a tantrum? Nah, this one is just
unbearable and should’ve been number one on the complaints list. Physically
repetitive kicking is far worse than crying and nonstop questions, which you
can drown out. Ask them to stop, and call a flight attendant if necessary.


Why we hate them:
Knowing you’re going to be around a lot of people in
close quarters for a hot minute ought to remind us to give everything the old rinse-off of compassion. Anyone who doesn’t do this is a bad citizen, an egregious observer of the
social code, and should not be allowed in our re-circulated air, right?

Why we should give
them a tiny holiday break
: Smells are complicated, some people don’t even
know how they smell, some people are depressed, some people think they smell awesome, and one woman’s whiff of fresh-cut grass is another woman’s gag reflex. Also,
farts, which are prolly 98% responsible for Terrible Plane Smell, are
unavoidable. Especially
on planes
. There is pretty much literally nothing to be done by passengers
about this problem — I say we pass it off to the airline. Because what is the alternative?
Mandatory showers? Who polices that? No strong smells? Define strong? Shouldn’t
anyone who purchases Drakkar Noir be eliminated from weighing in on its irritation
quotient? Unsolvable.


Why we hate them:
Disruptive drunks on planes are, well, disruptive. And sad, and angry, and
possibly violent, and often leering. We hate them because they are irritating
and no one wants four hours of hot rum-and-coke breath.

Why we should give
them a tiny holiday break
: They are an uncomfortable byproduct of the
uncomfortable fact that planes are a kind of hellish, uncomfortable,
existential torture in our lives, just like life itself for many people, where
we can’t escape ourselves or each other. Drinky types tend to want to do what
they do best with such scenarios: drink. Give them compassion to a point, and
flight attendant intervention when that point has been crossed with any


Why we hate them: Hey lady, I’m trying to read here, not learn the unabridged history of your relationship with your estranged daughter in Tucson.

Why we should give
them a tiny holiday break
: You know, I’d have guessed the talkers would’ve ranked
higher. We have mouths and we made a language and
all, but for some reason the thing we hate the most is using it, and being
forced to respond to those using it at us. Especially in close quarters. But
the flipside here is you can learn about someone else’s life for just a minute, and
it might be real interesting. And that is good if for no other reason than that
it lets you escape your own. Booze optional.

Image by Jim Cooke, source images via Shutterstock.

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