Stop shouting!

Why do people shout? I am not talking about from one mountain to another – but sitting next to each other – on a plane!! Is it something to do with the fact that our ears block up and you need to “pop” them? I am not sure about this but I definitely would consider noise cancelling headphones after a recent flight within Canada.

The man sitting behind me chose to have a non stop conversation with the poor soul who had been assigned as his seat mate. OH. MY. GOODNESS. From the minute he sat down this guy did not stop talking – at the top of his voice. Poor window seat fellow didn’t get a word in edgeways. Thank goodness it was just a short one hour flight otherwise I may have been obliged to carry out a bit of air rage and put a bag over his head or something. I don’t think I could have sat there for 5 or more hours listening to this.

There is an up-side however (yes I am a positive and optimistic person). I am also incredibly inquisitive so if he is shouting his head off I might as well actually listen to what he is saying and get engaged (mentally) in the whole process. Ummm…. seems that he has been married three times. His first wife was OK – a very well regarded professional woman in Calgary – no mention of why that marriage broke up – maybe she lost her hearing! The second wife as – to quote him – “crazy”. Mmmm – maybe she was driven crazy by the constant shouting. No mention of how wife number 3 is getting on. By this stage I felt I knew him that intimately that I might turn around and ask him about that one – but I bit my tongue. It was hard believe me – my insatiable curosity will be the death of me. He drives a Mustang and has rented an Aston Martin as well. That’s enough about Mr Shouter. Hope you don’t get to sit next to him on your next flight. When he exited the plane and said goodbye to his seat mate I couldn’t help but notice the look of relief on the other man’s face.

Seems like I am not the only one bothered by shouted conversations and information that you probably don’t want to know –

“I often get folks in my cabin (most often international C) who talk loudly the whole flight. Even with earplugs and headphones I can often not sleep or read. Last LHR-SFO, 2 friends, each with an aisle seat, planned an entire wedding while talking across the aisle. I heard the whole thing. (BTW- the bride to be thought everything would be “just charming” and/or “really yummie”!! Help. I kept my mouth shut and didn’t get any sleep. Is this just me or do others have problems with loud talkers? Should I have said something? Any Advice? “

Someone on the forum had a suggestion –

” Standard issue UA dog muzzles. “

No …. that’s a bit too scary

No ….maybe I am being unfair. There is actually a condition known as airplane ear …..

Airplane ear can occur in one or both ears. Airplane ear signs and symptoms may include:

  • Moderate discomfort or pain in your ear
  • Feeling of fullness or stuffiness in your ear
  • Muffled hearing or slight to moderate hearing loss”

So there you go …. not shouty man’s fault at all…… except for the fact that he has verbal diarrhea, he can’t help it if he is shouting. And shame on me for listening in to people’s private conversations ….. Why do I do that?

I am fascinated by people, what makes them tick, how they interact with each other and sometimes this can drive my husband round the bend. We will be sitting at Starbucks having a coffee and while he is innocently having a conversation with me I am intently listening to the couple across from us and he is always astonished how I can tell him in detail what is going on with their conversation. It’s a problem. I think I need help. I am also worried that I am passing this trait on to my grand children. My youngest told me the other day that when Mommy is talking on the phone she holds her breath so she can hear properly. Oh my goodness. Maybe I should tell my daughter to start shouting on the phone so my grandchild doesn’t have to hold her breath for too long!

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. Lesley you are so funny, and love how you comment on things, that we are all thinking about. 100% agree, I especially love when you are sitting next to someone, who’s friend is in the seat behind, and sticks his face between the 2 seats to chat to their friend, and right into my ear as well. One time I shoved my travel pillow in the space between the 2 head level….boy did I get the look. LOL mission accomplished. I was pretty pleased with myself 🙂


  2. Hello Leslie,
    The problem I have on an airplane is the engine and plane noise that blots out any & all announcements from the pilot or attendants. I can never hear most of it.
    We could be going down – and I’d never know it!!

    Anybody who shouts in any area – room, bus, or plane – deserves to be listened to.
    Recently, on a bus, I became fully cognizant of 2 teenage girls’ sex lives and what they did to their boyfriends – I was in the middle of the bus and they were at the back & we all heard “everything”!!!!



  3. This blog made me laugh. But not so funny when it’s happening to you personally. The cartoon about fear of flying says it for me. Enjoy your insights.


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