Let’s be honest, there’s not much to like about air travel. High ticket fees, airport security, delays – all of these factors add up to make flying on an airplane about as pleasant as a three-hour kick in the balls. Of course, once the airline has finally herded you onto the plane with the rest of the cattle, the real fun begins. Given the fact that you’re stuck on a plane with hundreds of other people, you can bet there’s at least a few jackasses sharing that recycled air with you. And, unfortunately, chances are they’re sitting right next to you.
Photo credit: stevendamron, Flickr
Sadly, it seems there are plenty of people out there who are out to intentionally ruin your plane trip. Of them all, here are the seven most annoying people on an airplane.
7 The First-Class Flyer
If ever there was someone who thought he was better than you, it’s the first-class flyer. Boarding a plane inevitably means shuffling past this smug assembly of businessmen, trust fund kids and trophy wives. As you pass, you’ll notice that all these “VIPs” will have their heads buried in either a Blackberry or Wall Street Journal – because God forbid they actually make eye contact with the “common folk.” I’m sorry, first-class flyer, but a little extra legroom and a warm chocolate chip cookie does not make you more important than me. So cut the condescension.
6 The Arm Rest Hog
Back in coach, those skinny armrests are prime real estate. Fail to claim your space prior to takeoff, and you can bet your elbows will be digging into your ribs for the duration of the flight. Most of the time, neighbors share enough so that you get at least one arm rest with which to spread out. But every once in a while, you get someone who thinks he or she deserves more space than the rest of the row. This arm rest hog will take up both arm rests, and probably encroach on your legroom with those wide-spread knees as well.
A friend once told me about this one time he was on a plane, and the guy next to him sat down and forcibly shoved his arm off armrest so he could claim it as his own. If that was me, I would buckled his face with my seat belt.
5 The Pilot
“Uhh…ladies and gentleman…uhh…this is captain speaking…uhh.” I don’t know what it is about airline pilots, but for some reason they’re more addicted to the word “uhh” than a teen girl is to shirtless vampires. Listen, pilot, I don’t need to know how many knots we’re flying and I don’t need to know what altitude I am currently at – just do your job and fly the plane. Your constant commentary and witless banter is keeping me from taking a nap.
4 The First-Timer
You can always spot a first-time flyer on a plane. They will either be incredibly nervous and sitting in a pool of their own sweat, or they will be boundlessly excited. Regardless of which first timer you get, you can bet that the results will be incredibly annoying. The worrier will cry, hyperventilate and dig his or her nails into your arm every time the plane makes even the slightest noise. The upbeat alternative will look around with wide, innocent eyes and call your attention to every little detail outside the plane window. Yep, the cars really do look like ants from here. Now leave me alone so I can pay attention to these very expensive and necessary products in the Sky Mall magazine.
3 The Sick Guy
Really, buddy? You’re going to cough and sneeze your way onto an airplane and share the same recycled air with a bunch of perfectly healthy strangers? That is the definition of a dick move right there – because if you’re sitting next to a sick passenger, you can GUARANTEE you’ll be cozying up to a box of Kleenexes within the next two days. And even if you’re not sitting next to the guy, you’ve got to put up with that hacking cough for the next few hours. I hate to break it to you, buddy, but the volume on my iPod can only drown you out so much.
2 The Overly Friendly Talker
Now, I’m not adverse to the occasional conversation with a neighbor on an airplane, but when I pull my book or laptop out, take the hint and shut the hell up! There’s not much worse than being strapped into a seat next to an overly talkative passenger on an airplane. In the real world, you could just passively excuse yourself and make a swift getaway, but in an airplane there’s no escape. Sadly, you’re doomed to listen about how “smart my grandson is” or “why Ugly Betty is the best show ever” until that landing gear comes down and that cabin door swings open.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to take a baby and stow it safely in the overhead compartment. Flying on an airplane with a baby should be illegal. It’s amazing how just one of these little snot-nosed balls of cute can instantly ruin the day of every passenger on board. From crying and squealing to kicking the seat and pooping their diapers, babies just don’t have the personal awareness to warrant admittance onto an airplane. I mean, if I did any of that stuff, I’m pretty sure I’d be banned for life from flying the friendly skies. So why does the little bald-headed kid get a free pass? Mommies, do us all a favor and leave the kid at home.
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