Once upon a time, I wanted to be a flight attendant.
Fast forward twenty years and realising that my patience level isn’t one of my finest qualities, there is no way I could last in that profession.
I am a regular flyer, although airports are one of my least favourite places to be. I am easily annoyed by the behaviour that many people adopt as soon as they enter an airport or airplane.
I’ve done my fair share of head-shaking, eye rolling and cursing under my breath to avoid a confrontation with tired and rude travellers.
I want to share my top 5 things that drive me crazy about air travel.
1. The trolley barricades around the luggage carousel
It would seem the easiest concept for an adult to grasp. Pick a spot in the vicinity of your baggage carousel (with or without a luggage cart). Stand back a few metres from the conveyor belt with an eye on the bags arriving and just wait for your bag to appear. When it does, casually walk over, retrieve your bag and be on your way.
Oh, hang on, you can’t get to the conveyor belt because everybody from your flight has lined up their trolleys, side by side and two trolleys deep, eagerly waiting for their bag and hoping it will be first to arrive from the several hundred.
Anyone would think that if they don’t pluck if off the belt within the first ten seconds, it will be swallowed into some sort of abyss.
Why do people insist on adopting this frustrating habit? It actually drives me insane.
2. That idiot that stands up first
It happens on cue, and I mentally prepare myself for it every time, hoping that one day I get to witness a flight attendant who seriously loses her s#!@.
Always moments after the attendant has asked everyone to please remain seated, seatbelts fastened until the plane comes to a complete stop and the captain turns the seatbelt sign off, he does it.
You know the guy I’m talking about, the hero that just has to unclip and spring up from his seat and pop open the luggage hold. He knows full well that the plane hasn’t stopped, but he’s way too important to wait that extra fifteen seconds just like everyone else.
3. People that stand in a queue at the boarding gate, an hour before it starts boarding.
What is up with this? Most airport gates are made with the thought in mind of lots of people having to wait around for flights, so they build seats there for us to sit on. Why can’t everyone just chill out and take a seat while we wait for our plane to arrive?
Can someone please explain to me what the big rush is? Everybody stood there in this huge line does not make the plane arrive quicker, and it certainly doesn’t make the flight attendants job any easier when they finally announce that the boarding will soon commence.
But first, everyone in that line needs to shuffle back and trip over each other to make way for families with small children and the elderly or disabled to board first. What happened to common courtesy here?
I preferred when the flight attendants would call passengers up in an orderly manner of loading the plane from front to back, you simply walk through, find your seat and sit down.
Think about it, regardless of whether you have a seat number allocated to you or not, you WILL get a seat! You’ve paid for a seat. They won’t disappear.
4. Parents who change their child’s dirty diapers on the seat across from you.
I assure you, this happens. The worse part is when they leave the dirty diaper in a ball at their feet on the ground!
Um…. Hold on.
Number 1. Isn’t this supposed to be done in the washroom, or somewhere away from those fabric covered airplane seats? This way, you take care of it quickly and hygienically, and gives you direct access to double wrap that thing and bury it in the deepest bin in that washroom that you can find.
Number 2. I understand that parents get used to the smell of constantly changing their own child’s dirty diapers, and I’ve changed my fair share of them too. Sure, you can hardly notice the smell, but the thing is that everybody else can. We’re already seated like sitting hens, elbow to elbow, in a pressurised cabin, breathing the same limited oxygen. A smell like that doesn’t just disappear into thin air because there is no thin air! In fact, it lingers. Do you have to let it linger? The answer is no.
Number 3. Handing a dirty diaper to the flight attendant to dispose of as she does the hourly trash collection after it has sat at your feet for the past 45min, isn’t cool either.
5. People that use the toilets immediately after boarding the plane.
Why? You’ve just left the inside of the airport, where toilets are located everywhere? Sometimes I’ve watched as a little line up of 3 people waiting ‘to go’ forms next to the washrooms.
There couldn’t possibly be a more inconvenient time and annoying place on the whole aircraft for this to occur.
Here are the flight attendants trying to board and seat the rest of the passengers, and the people still boarding the plane have to play human Tetris to squeeze around the toilet waiting trio.
Needless to say, I have huge respect for all flight attendants and their incredible patience levels.
I’ve never seen a sign upon entering the airport that tells us to leave our common sense at the door, so why does it seem like many people do it?
Would you add anything to this list? I’d be interested to know what drives you crazy about air travel.