Airplane Etiquette

I loved flying as a child. I was small enough to fit snugly in the seat of a 747 and the kiddies’ gift pack kept me entertained for hours on end. That was 10 years ago, and I had grown a bit since then. My legs now rest rather uncomfortably on the carpeted floor and my upper body is too compressed for my head to reach and settle on the head rest. (I’m only 5’3″ – for illustrative purposes, that translates to “taller than Avril Lavigne and possibly Tom Cruise”)  And of course, being of legal age, I no longer qualify for the Disney Bag Filled With Lots of Useless Stuff Like Crayons. However, what made my recent round trip to Shanghai unbearable was not the lack of freebies – but rather the lack of consideration from my fellow travellers. So, I decided to make a list of things to consider when boarding a long distance flight.

1. Smelly feet: If you know you have a history of overactive sweat glands that secrete gallons of stinky sweat, DO NOT TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES! Likewise, if you have some sort of fungal infection (down there), kindly take a trip to the pharmacist and purchase some anti-fungal cream. I had the misfortune of breathing in my neighbour’s foot odour for 12 hours and let me tell you, it was not fun.

2. Coughing and Sneezing: Everybody does it – I am not an unreasonable person who expects all sneezing to halt in my presence. I do, however, appreciate that you don’t deliberately project your germs all over my newly washed cardigan.  Did you know 40 000 droplets can be produced in one sneeze, and that they are released up to 100 mph? Nope, I bet you didn’t; ’cause if you did, you would not be spreading your ghastly diseases like butter on a bread roll.

3. Silent but violent: Some of you might be sick of seeing me write about this, but I think the situation dictates another mention of this rather sensitive topic. Farting on a plane is definitely not kosher. Anyone who attempts to sneak a silent one in (or out in this case) has no regard for the rest of us who have to suffer the indignity of inhaling the deadly flatulence. I realise that not doing so might present some discomfort, but at least the discomfort will be your own, and it will not be diffused.

4. Learn to aim: Airplane toilets are known for their compactness so there really isn’t much room for error. Missing the mark really doesn’t do well for your image or the general cleanliness of the cubicles for that matter. Besides, when you walk out of the cubicle with a shamed looked on your face, everyone will know what you did. Could you live off that shame for the rest of your life?!? I doubt it.

5. Perving over the flight attendants: They are hot – I get it. But hotness does not give you the right to push the service button every 5 minutes just so you could get one more glance at the pretty stewardess. If you’re so desperate for attention, get a wheelchair and wear a nappy; I’m sure everyone will treat you like someone special.

6. Violating personal space: Do not lean your head against my shoulder; do not extend your leg onto the aisle; and do not let your squishy bits overlap onto my seat. If Economy seats are too small, kindly get yourself a Business class ticket and enjoy the extra centimeters. No offense to the over weight folks, but if they pay the same as someone half their size, then people half their size should have their luggage limit doubled.

These are all I have at the moment. o/

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