Come Fly the Friendly Skies

AirplaneI would venture that almost all of you have been on an airplane at one time or another in your life.  Whether you are visiting family on the other side of the country or going to see any remote location over seas, flying is a modern form of transportation that is not only affordable, but also incredibly safe compared to the motor vehicles on our roadways.  More people are killed every single day in car accidents than are killed in a year in the air.  Sure, you hear about all of the plane crashes on the news but it is because they are rare, not because of the lives lost in them.

I fly all the time.  I love flying actually.  I have flown a handful of times this year alone.  I have been on Delta flights, Southwest, ATA, and TWA.  I have no preferred airline because every flight I am on seems to be the same as the last.  I try to not sit in coach if I can avoid it but sometimes that is all that my budget will allow me.  First class is nice, as you are treated as a celebrity of sorts, but you pay for that luxury.

Sitting in coach will provide you with tight sitting arrangements, narrow aisle ways, and a lack of customer service.  You wait what seems like hours for the drink cart and if you need to use the restroom during their beverage service you better just hold your horses because they will not let you through or back to your seat during this process.

On all of these flights you have a handful of people that you can just assume will be on that airplane.  I wanted to break down for you the seven people that I can guarantee will be on your next flight.  It does not matter if you are flying to Las Vegas or to New York City; there is something about this collection that makes sure they will all be on every flight. When reading through this, think about your last flight.  I bet you can even tell me where these people were sitting on your flight.

*(This list comes from an article that I discovered on the Holy Taco. It does not include all of the list that was provided but the ones that I could personally relate to. Nothing was taken from this post other than the titles of the list.)

The Fat Guy

This is the guy that should have been forced to pay for two tickets when he bought his airfare.  The guy barely fits in his seat, struggles to get the seat belt on, and is always in the middle row.  He uses the bathroom too much and snores if God forbid he were to fall asleep.  He also likes to create conversation when it is obvious you have no interest in his life story.  I am not digging on this guy because he is fat, but I think the airline should take some responsibility in accommodating larger individuals with either one, larger seats, or two, forcing them to purchase an additional seat to make up for the extra size.

The Conversation Starter

This is the person that demands not only attention but also wants to know where you are flying, where you are coming from, and basically everything else about your life.  Normally this person will begin with offering his or her hand as an introduction.  It is never invited, and eye contact is avoided at all costs, but they always seem to find their way into your personal bubble.  What makes this person even worse is that they will continue to talk to you regardless of any front you put up to them.  If you are trying to sleep, you might as well forget about it because if they are not going to be talking to you they will find someone in a nearby chair to talk to.

The Attractive Female (or male)

Every flight that I have ever been on has had one of these.  Whether you are married, dating, all flights must have the mandatory hot passenger.  (I am writing this from a guy’s point of view, but this goes for you too ladies.)  This woman is usually wearing heels (which I will never understand why you would fly in high heels) and is wearing a low cut top.  She will always brush against you, if you are in the aisle, on her way to the restroom.  She is wearing lipstick, has on too much perfume, and manages to catch a few eyeballs throughout the flight.  It never fails that once the flight is over you will never see this person again, but it is a nice treat on the longer flights to have something to look at.

Questions Man

How many times have you flown?  If the answer is more than once, then you know the protocol.  You know how to buckle the seat belt.  You know where the exits are.  You know that the front bathroom is reserved for first class passengers.  You know how to turn the light on or how to call for a flight attendant.  If you don’t, it is not that hard to open your eyes and figure all this out on your own.  So when this person begins to raise his or her hand you can tell right away that this is going to be a long flight.  There is always someone who wants to know more.  Someone who wants to ask question after question in hopes of learning a little bit more about the aircraft.  They ask questions that you already know the answer to and the flight attendants have to hear constantly.

The Baby

Why do people fly with babies?  I understand that it could be a family thing, a holiday thing, or a work thing, but you, as a parent, need to figure out a way to keep that child quiet.  I can not tell you how annoying you are for carrying that child on board to cry the entire flight.  Maybe I am trying to sleep.  Or perhaps I want to read a little on the journey.  Maybe I have an afternoon meeting and need this time to prepare for my presentation.  Do you think I can do so with your child screaming and crying?  No, I cannot.  The flight attendant think this is cute too as they always walk around talking about how cute that baby is.  I get it, it’s a cute baby.  Now, figure out a way to make the baby stop crying so we can get on with this flight.

The Old Person

This is actually one that I like.  The older the better when you are in flight.  Some of these folks remember what it was like to travel before we even had airplanes and their stories are always worth hearing.  On a recent flight back from San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, I had an older lady actually flirting with me on the flight. It was nice to hear some of her stories and to show her interest as I could tell she appreciated the ear.  But never fear as your next flight will have the grandmas and the grandpas spread out throughout the aircraft.  They do use the restroom more than others but their conversation makes up for everything else.

The Smelly Guy

I have not only been on these flights but I have sat next to these people.  I am not sure how people can get to this point but don’t worry, your next flight will have a smelly guy on it.  I shower every single day, some days twice a day.  There have been times where I have missed a day but I still smell acceptable to travel. I am not sure how someone can honestly get up in the morning, walk out into public, and smell like some of these folks smell and not know better.  I used to work with a guy that reeked all the time.  I had a class with a guy that was the same.  It is almost to the point where I carry an extra stick of deodorant to give to these folks when I travel.

I want to apologize in case I offended anyone in this blog post but I needed to get this off my chest.  It feels so good to speak openly about air travel.  These are all people that I know I have come across, and seem to on every flight I step on.  If you have flown I am sure your stories are just the same.  There is nothing we can do to stop this but at least you can prepare knowing this is what you can expect.  So here’s to happy travel and a safe flight; I hope your sanity makes it from point A to point B.