The things people do on planes

It’s no secret that flying these days can be stressful – I have written about this in the past.  However the more I fly the more I realise that a lot of this seemingly anti-social behaviour is really not at all intentional.  Having thought about that I guess maybe some of my habits might be annoying to my fellow passengers.  Here’s just a few things I have noticed….

touch screen
Who thought of this stupid idea?  Remember the days when you had the remote in your arm rest?  Now you have to press the screen which, let me tell you, is not that sensitive to your touch.  On my flight from Calgary to Ottawa on Wednesday mine didn’t work at all.  It would pull up the menu and then when I wanted to select one of the options nothing would happen.  It was stuck I guess.  But I did wonder if I wasn’t tapping the screen in the right way.  Everyone else’s screens were working.  Not a problem – I had a good book and sat back in my seat to enjoy 3 hours of uninterrupted quality time.  So in a way it had a happy ending.
touch screen 2
(Just stop it already … tap tap tap)

Except….on my way back to Calgary the person behind me was obviously having the same touch screen problem.  So I was subjected to 15 to 20 minutes of hard tap tap tapping on the back of my seat while the person finally accepted that – yep – they were not going to be watching that film after all.  I was annoyed at first and then I remembered my own situation.  Did I annoy the person in front of me then?  Takes two to tango.

window blind

I usually end up in a window seat and on a sunny day sometimes will need to pull down the blind if I want to watch a film.  Then I will decide to open up the blind to see where we are …. blinding glare of sunshine.  So down goes the blind again.  Am I annoying the person next to me?  Well actually the person next to me is usually my husband so I guess I have that certificate that says
(a) I can annoy him whenever I want
(b) nothing I could ever do would annoy him
But it did give me pause for thought as to my own behaviour.

Wind tunnel
Otherwise known as the germ blaster.  In some of the planes that still have that individual device over your head how about when you want the “fresh” air but don’t want it blowing on your face – so you leave it on full and then direct it away from you.  What about the poor soul in front or next to you who is getting the full blast of the air.  Well here again it could be my husband …. (shame) but what a pain to have to turn around and say to the person behind you “Do you mind moving the air from blowing on my neck?”  You would probably get a dirty look for that.

So I guess the rule is to do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.  And I personally have taken note of that too.  (Just hope the touch screen works on my next flight).

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


    1. Oh my goodness – the elbow wars! And everyone should sign off on the middle seat rule before they board –

      Middle seat gets BOTH armrests
      Window seat gets one amrest and the window
      Aisle seat gets one armrest and the aisle

      Simple really!


    2. My worst bugbear is the person in front of me who leans their seat all the way back. I had an overweight gentleman (!!) in front of me on a trans-pacific flight who kept bouncing on the seat back, trying to push it even further, and eventually broke the seat and ending up spending most of the flight almost in my lap. It was suffocating, and the flight attendants weren’t able to do anything about it.


      1. I have seen that happen too. Luckily I wasn’t sitting behind the person but it is a tough one. What are the staff to do if a seat breaks during flight or won’t recline – or even worse reclines too much. If there is a full plane there is not much they can do. People need to realise that the recline is only slight and they are not sitting on a lazy boy chair. Hoo boy! Fun and games.


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