Speak Out: Who’s the Worst Plane Passenger?
Every time I fly I am reminded of my favorite Seinfeld quote:
Elaine: I hate people!
Jerry: They’re the worst.
Hour four is usually my witching hour on a flight. That’s when I morph, Incredible Hulk-like, from a fairly patient being who has been known to go out of her way to hold the door open for others, into a real live George Costanza, ready to snap at annoying strangers.
Hey, I’m not proud of this, but something about the close quarters of an airplane make me meltdown. I’m sure you’ve been there, trapped between a smooth operator and the bubble-brained woman he’s hitting on. Or perhaps you’ve known the true torture of sitting in front of a pint-size Pele, as he sharpens his kicking skills on the back of your seat for hours. Forget the hypothetical–on Tuesday a man in New York made headlines with his own brand of passenger monkey business when he smuggled a marmoset onto a plane under his hat.
And though websites like Seat Guru are trying to help travelers be as comfortable as possible when flying, I find that naughty passengers are just the luck of the draw. My only strategy to keep my cool is a very loud iPod and a glass (or three) of wine. Of course, by doing so I inevitably become a bad passenger myself. I turn into not just the Girl-Who-Must-Go-To-The-Bathroom-Every-Hour but also the person whose music is turned up so loud that everyone in the direct vicinity “gets” to enjoy it with her.
And so for this post, I want you to speak out on who is the worst plane passenger ever.
Here are my top five:
1) The Pint-Size Pele–Someday, kid, you will learn how annoying seat kickers are.
2) The Smooth Operator–Hey, buddy, she ain’t buying what you’re selling.
3) The Gabber–Wait, I didn’t know I was traveling with my new best friend.
4) The Leaning Sleeper–You know that song, “Lean on Me”? It didn’t mean me.
5) The Armrest Thief–If you can’t share, then maybe you need a time out.
My name: Alison Presley
Nickname: Presbo, because I'm good police.
How I earn my keep: I'm the manager of Travelocity's Travel for Good program. Visit Travel for Good to learn more about our green travel and voluntourism initiatives!
What kind of traveler am I: I'm an intrepid food explorer. I usually starve myself on the plane (not that that's too hard to do) so that the moment my toes touch foreign soil I'm ready to sample new and exciting cuisine. I like to dine everywhere from hole-in-the-wall local secrets to Michelin Guide gems. Cannelés, poi, boiled peanuts, oxtail soup, poutine--there's no stopping this adventurous palate.
Greatest travel lesson I've learned: It doesn't cost a lot of money to do good. Offsetting your carbon impact only adds a few bucks to your trip, green hotels are very affordable, and volunteering locally during your vacation is a great way to give back and learn about the culture.