Stuff Frequent Travelers Wish We Knew

Over the shouts of, “Shoes off! Laptops out! No liquids!” from our TSA buddies, you can sometimes hear the under-breath rants of disgruntled travelers admonishing the woman with a ginormous tube of self-tanner or the gentleman with three pockets full of pennies and two belts. And while their looks of scorn remind us about the bottle of Aquafina roaming around in our own laptop case, it’s hard not to commiserate. Because for every easy whoosh through the frequent traveler lane, there’s a poor fellow stuck behind the family of eleven, each carrying fully-loaded Sponge Bob backpacks.

I think I’ve collectively spent months of my life on an airplane, but on a recent journey to New Jersey I came across about every passenger misstep in the book (whilst rudely eating my garlic-laden pizza amongst hungry fellow travelers). So in honor of the average frequent traveler – the one whose miles get them a free drink but not a first class upgrade – here’s a list of gate-to-gate guidelines every newbie should know to make a three-leg journey through O’Hare feel a little more like a non-stop to San Diego.

1)      Moving walkway standers must yield to walkers who must yield to those with rolling briefcases who must yield to children going the wrong way.

2)      TSA totally gets that your hula-hooped sized earrings didn’t set off the metal detectors in Denver – just take them off anyways.

3)      If you’re hogging the charging station with your laptop, iPad, and Blackberry, where am I supposed to plug in my lava lamp and hair dryer?

4)      Fish weren’t meant to fly. Unless you’ve brought enough to share with the group, we politely ask you to surrender your sushi or tuna melt at the gate. Better yet, trade them in for an olfactory-friendly Cinnabon.

5)      Asking me to give up my aisle seat so you can sit with your buddy is like offering to trade me Baltic Ave for my hotel on Boardwalk.

6)      To avoid four hours of chit chat about how Continental’s peanuts beat United’s, the hierarchy of don’t-talk-to-me props goes: book, then headphones, then fake sleep. If you’re reading Sky Mall, you’re fair game.

7)      If you feel you’re being watched, please confirm: your seat assignment, the volume on your MP3 player, or that you’re not completing someone else’s Sudoku – in that order.

8)      That big blue cushion behind your head is completely, unarguably, 100% your territory. Feel free to jiggle it, shake it, and fall all over it when you get up to use the lavatory. But that big blue cushion in front of you? Hands off.

9)      Airplane lavatories are the scary back alley of an airplane that we only dare visit under extreme duress. Let’s keep the “graffiti” off the toilet seat.

10)   Getting a window-seater to the lavatory is like an awkwardly choreographed tango. No drink service for you.

11)   It may be called a carousel, but busting through the crowded plane to be front and center for your big red bag won’t get you off the ride any faster.

12)   When the plane finally lands after a long, turbulent journey, applaud. It makes people happy.

While even the well-traveled will accidentally board when their row hasn’t been called or nearly leave with someone else’s black-bag-with-blue-ribbon, there are always opportunities to make the skies a little friendlier. Although following my no-sushi rule is definitely a difficult commitment.

About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
This entry was posted in Commentary, Food, Humor, international travel, Life, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

179 Responses to Stuff Frequent Travelers Wish We Knew

  1. notquiteold says:

    Very good! Can I please just add one more?
    There is one overhead compartment for all three seats. Please let me use 1/16 of it.

  2. winsomebella says:

    So true, so true. Bravo!

  3. Loving the post. Watch out for the drink cart in the aisle seat because it likes elbows. I have been on many plane trips and every once in a while get the window seat person who has to get up every 20 minutes during the flight – do they know what energy this truly takes! The one that takes the cake for me was on a flight from Chicago to Nevada – my seat mate decided to smell his shoes and sniff his pits – really! – you could not go in the bathroom to do this – DISGUSTING!!!

    • Oh Craves, that is SOOO disgusting!!!!! (What does “gusting” mean anayway?!) 🙂 All great tips for the novice flyer like me. I have not flown in over ten years. I have only flown three times in my life. (I’m 45 yrs.) My first lfight was in 1989 non-stop to LAX! What a great and fun experience! Lucky I had family there to pick me up and drive me. Otherwise, I may not have ever gotten where I was going! Congrats on FP White Elephant! I am looking forward to reading more of your mind! AmberLena

  4. Really liked the post. Witty and entertaining. Grats.

  5. I’m flying next week to South Caroline — and I will heed your post. Good tips…


    And BTW, TSA can get a bit carried away, wouldn’t you say? I once traveled home from LAX (closest airport to Disneyland) with a souvenir in my carry-on: a plastic floppy sword (a stiff breeze could make that thing bend) that said “Jack Sparrow” with a giant picture of the famed fictitious swashbuckler. We were held up for 45 minutes while five different TSAs inspected it. Then they made us throw out the damn thing. My son cried. It was tragic.


    • It has become terrible to flight in the States, right?
      Every time, and I do mean every-single-time!, I fly to, through or from the US I find this little card from Homeland Security (I think) saying “my luggage was randomly selected for further inspection, and that all the items inside were returned exactly as they were”. Yeah, right, except for that borrowed camera in 2007 when I went to Philadelphia.

      Sorry about your kids plastic sword

    • kamiekirk says:

      That is horrible. A pencil is more dangerous.

      • goyavier says:

        So true! A dull pencil in one bag and a sharpener in another could constitute a very deadly weapon, as could a dozen other everyday objects. The plastic sword is a perfect red herring. I long for the day where TSA incorporates the notion of case-by-case intelligent analysis in its internal SOPs.

    • Maureen says:

      Yeah–it gets crazy. They should have let the plastic sword on. While I was living abroad, my mom came for a visit and intended to bring my flatmate a present of expensive apple and pumpkin butters. Well, the jars accidentally got packed in her carry on and TSA was all over it. They dumped the butters in the garbage.

    • Getting souvenirs confiscated is the worst! I’ve lost a wooden giraffe from Bali (club-like neck, apparently), a snowglobe from Rome (over 3 oz? Who knows), and a Swiss Army knife from Switzerland (ok, my bad on that one). Glad you enjoyed the post!

  6. jamieahughes says:

    As someone who has to travel with needles (for my MS medication), I totally understand. I come armed with a card from the manufacturer and a certified letter from my doctor….just in case. Great and amusing post!

  7. I used to say “if it has wheels, it’s not a carry-on.” That comment came after watching numerous people try to wedge oversize bags into the overhead compartment. But now that most airlines charge per checked back, i don’t blame people for trying to avoid the fee.

  8. Having just had a flight from hell… so, so true!

  9. Perhaps, the TSA can post this blog for everyone to read while waiting to be screened. Might as well acquaint everyone with the rules.

    Really funny.


  10. 50 States Design Project says:

    Love number 2. Nice writing.

  11. Amanda Rene says:

    This is so true! I’m also a Midwest transplant living in Southern California, so I fly home to see family frequently. I especially like #’s 6& 7. I once had a woman scream at me for being a creeper and “staring at her boobs” when all I was trying to do was get her attention to let her know she was in my seat. She then spent the next three and a half hours telling me about said boobs and how she got them done because she thinks her husband is cheating, despite the book I was clearly trying to read. I’ll definitely be bringing the headphones next time.

    Also, congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  12. Congrats on being FP – YAY!!!

  13. Travelista says:

    Loved all of these, especially #8! It’s sad when my 8 year old is a more considerate traveler than some adults!

  14. I particularly liked rule number 8. on one occasion, the seat between me and my rowmates was empty and, after first offering it to me, the woman in my row decided to lay down over this empty seat. While that was fine for me (what an uncomfortable position!) I was irritated when she kept pushing into my space. Like, c’mon, you already are taking up 2 seats, don’t encroach on mine!

    So, I would def. add “paying attention” as a generalization to this list!

  15. Love this post. Just returned from a trip and your points are SO true! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed =)

  16. Now if only we could get everyone to read this post!

  17. edebock says:

    Loved this post! You must have been watching the last time I deplaned! Someone actually took my black-bag-with-blue-ribbon off the carousel and took it home with him. The only similarity to his gray-bag-without-blue-ribbon was the Canada flag luggage tag! He returned my bag to the airport later that night but not until I’d reported it missing and made the 2 hour drive back to my rural Alberta home. It took almost a week and a gazillion phone calls before the airline finally got the bag back to me. Oh well, there’s a great big amazing world out there to see so I’ll take my chances and put up with the inconveniences that go along with flying.

  18. patrickmcgee says:

    Oh yes, comment then post! Loved this list. As a frequent flyer I chuckled all the way through – especially the “give up the aisle seat”. What are they thinking? It is hard to understand that so many people don’t get it. They don’t plan ahead. Don’t check in early to get seats together. They’re the same ones who get there late and are agitated when the bins are full. Which brings me to an add to the list: if you’re last on and the bins are full – don’t try to fit your bag into the overhead by scrunching my briefcase and carefully folded suit jacket because they aren’t as formidable as a hardsided, wheeled bag.

  19. bonkasaurus says:

    I love this post! my mom works for Delta and she has so many stories! i travel all the time because i go to school out of state, I have learned one thing from frequent travel and that is people refuse to listen to the overhead bin rules or 1 carry on item and the luggage should be turn with wheels facing out….too many times I am irked that people leave the luggage taking up 2 spots because they turn it horizontally… -_- ugh. or they take up the whole bin with their jackets purses and baby ish.

    get with it people!

    -Bianca at

  20. stevebetz says:

    Very good — with the benefit of being very true! Congrats on the FP!

  21. viking84 says:

    Excellent stuff – as a frequent traveler (way beyond free drink coupons at this point, unfortunately) I can’t say enough about the accuracy of this post. If I were to make one observation…how on Earth can you possible prefer aisle over window?! I’m not a cow (and you don’t appear to be either), so sleeping in a vertical position is simply not on my DNA : )


  22. Nice! Congrats! Great insight and humor!

  23. I laughed out loud at #5 and #6 – great list! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed 🙂

  24. sb says:

    I’m totally a fan of the headphones, book, then fake sleep routine. I’m a very friendly person but when I’m on an airplane… I generally do not want to chat it up with the fellow next to me.

  25. Renée Layberry says:

    Great post on etiquette for these jet-setting times!

  26. freelanceallison says:

    This is such a great and entertaining post! I’m traveling this evening and am already mentally preparing for all the less-courteous travelers I’m sure to encounter. Carry-on bags have to be my most recent pet-peeve….paying for luggage is annoying but if it doesn’t fit it doesn’t fit, as I watch these latecomers do this on almost every flight I take deep breaths while thinking, ‘you will not make me miss my transfer because you have to really try to make that bag fit, you won’t do it, no way sir…’ Kudos on a great post!

  27. midnitechef says:

    LMAO @ #1!!!
    I have travelled more frequently without my kids than with them, so I know how frustrating it is when you are a lone passenger stuck behind yelling parents and crying babies. The last trip we took was via standby (NEVER EVER AGAIN BTW) and our 6 and 21 month old toddler were pretty good given the circumstances. The flight attendant was actually surprised at how quickly I got the little one under control and napping by 30 thousand feet.

  28. triDiet says:

    Great post – clicked on it off the Freshly Pressed page. I’m a very frequent traveler, and my favorite is about the “big blue cushion”. However, if you get the yummy whiff of tuna the next time you fly, it is probably me. 🙂

  29. natasiarose says:

    Great list! I would add “Remember there will be a drug store at the other end of your journey. You don’t need to carry on huge bottles of shampoo. If you are heading anywhere within the United States, they will sell toiletries there. I promise”

  30. love the post, travelled lots, seen all! I think a copy of your post should be sent with all airline tickets! But I have to say, that sometimes it is the frequent travellers are as guilty and anyone for annoying, their gold star travel card gets them on the plane first and they fill the overhead bin with their carry on, their brief case, and their jacket, take their aisle seat and are annoyed with you try to get your stuff in the bin, and need them to move to get to the window seat!
    so to all travellers, turn on the sense of humor, turn up the patience. Oh yeah – keep notes and blog about it when you get home!!!!

  31. Noelle says:

    Yes! This is a great list.

  32. captainmatz says:

    And please don’t throw your seat into full recline when the person behind you is still trying to eat their dinner!

    • Feit Can Write says:

      I am a firm believer of a firm, no exceptions allowed, Recline Rule:

      If there is somebody sitting directly behind you, you may not recline – unless the person in front of you reclines. In other words, you can continue a chain reaction, but you cannot start it.

  33. Reading a Skymall catalog is considered a handshake and an inquiry about one’s health in 14 countries. Leave the catalog alone.

  34. XoxoErica says:

    Well written & witty!
    *thumbs up*

  35. Feit Can Write says:

    My addition: If I’m asleep during the beverage service, do not wake me. I know it is super exciting to have somebody coming around giving away soda and juice for free*, but I’ll survive without my 6 ounces of Coke and tiny bag of snack mix.

    Also, I’m hoping for the companion piece on Stuff Airlines Wish We Knew

  36. alittlemoss says:

    You forgot to remind people that carry-ons go in wheels first! It’s as if no one’s parents made them play that put-the-block-in-the-right-shaped-hole game. (PS – I read SkyMall on every flight! I can’t help myself.)

  37. audrey says:

    I love the “hierarchy of don’t-talk-to-me props” in No. 6. Is there a way to get TSA to adopt it as a national security policy? Next time I’m going to fake that I’m sleeping and reading at the same time.

  38. Thank god I’m not a frequent traveller.

  39. vanillamom says:

    Congrats on the freshly pressed!

    Great, witty article, and kudos to anyone these days using “whilst”…!!

    i just traveled last month (an extremely rare event)…and yeah…small carryon coz there are drug stores all over the USA…and usually washers and dryers too!

    I loved this!


  40. Anne Schilde says:

    I’m completely dehydrated at the end of a flight, even a short one. I refuse to consume liquid, in-flight or pre-flight, because it might mean a trip to that scary back alley. 🙂

  41. raju says:

    That enough to say about elephant, are equal to man in thailand.

  42. Luna Kadampa says:

    “If you’re reading Sky Mall, you’re fair game.” Ha, so true. I’m flying across the country tomorrow, with a change of airplane, so this is timely. Generally, flying is a good practice of patience as we have so little control over our circumstances at 37,000 feet. All we can control is our reactions. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  43. sophie says:

    Interesting but completely useless fact: That applause upon landing thing is originally a Puerto Rican phenomenon. In fact, it was catalogued as a psychosis in some Psych textbooks back when I was in college.

  44. lol!!! SO funny!! you have a grat sense of humor…or sarcasm?? 😉 anyways, congrats on FP!!!

  45. ronnie74 says:

    Another tip: If you have the option to select your seats when you purchase your tickets, choose a seat near the front of the plane, but *Do Not* choose a seat directly adjacent to the lavatory. Kids can really stink them up and believe me, you don’t want to be downwind of the opening door when they’re finished doing their business. Ew.

  46. Yes yes yes!! I could not agree with numbers 1, 5, and 6 more!! People who stand on the moving walkways drive me crazy!! They’re meant to speed you up, people…not allow you move at a leisurely pace!

    Great list and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  47. We run a high volume travel agency in Salt Lake City, Utah ( This article is a must-read and I’m going to share it with all our clients! Thanks for posting!

  48. Pingback: Travel Revelations « A Gay Girl's Advice For Guys

  49. Once I was in an airplane lavatory, and the underside of the seat had been tagged. As in, a gang symbol had been grafitti-ed on it. I remember thinking “How macho and manly a gang this must be, that they can afford plane tickets.” I would say I expressed my opinion of the gang symbol nonverbally, but I am a gentleman.

  50. Ha! I love this! Perfect timing since I’m headed back to the states in 9 days! WOOHOO!! I’ll be sure to keep these in mind for myself and giggle when others follow suit!

  51. aka gringita says:

    Oh my gosh, YES!

    People, people, people: the moving sidewalk is NOT A RIDE … carryon bags have a SIZE LIMIT and a CORRECT WAY OF LOADING THEM OVERHEAD … space is limited: you get ONE ITEM overhead and anything else goes UNDER THE SEAT … oh, and when the nice attendant asks you to turn off your phone, please TURN OFF YOUR PHONE because you’re holding the process up and if they have to tell you one more time someone may SMACK YOU SILLY!

  52. goingtomx says:

    I love this so much!

  53. momsomniac says:

    FUN POST! Congrats on the FP!

    I’d add: Unless absolutely necessary, do not recline your seat ~ the ability to recline your seat is meant to be a nostalgic reminder that, once upon a time, you could lie back without hitting the person behind you. You cannot do so anymore. Don’t try.

    I’d add from real trips:
    1) If, despite my addition, you choose to recline your seat ALL the way, please contain your nastiness when the 8 month pregnant woman whose expanded belly you are resting on disrupts you when she has to go to the bathroom because you are resting on her belly.

    2) If you are seated behind a child, complaining AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS for the entire flight that you do not like flying near a child is more disruptive to EVERYONE than him asking me for a blue crayon.

    3) If the oxygen masks deploy, do not try to make a run for it. Where are you going?

    • While I don’t disagree with your statements there is one caveat- if you are traveling with a toddler letting her cry at the top of her lungs for 2 and a half hours while merely shrugging that there is nothing you can do is mean and ridiculous to both your child and your fellow travelers. If you are traveling with children especially those that are too young to understand have
      1. a bottle or sippy cup for them to drink to help balance their ears and help with pressure changes
      2. some form of entertainment- dvd, ipod, ipad, books, toys, crayons, etc to entertain them while on board.

      I travel with my two kids, and frequently encounter dirty looks when people walk by them boarding the plane, so I understand the difficulties, but in addition, no one, including others traveling with children want to listen to a child scream for 2 and a half hours, especially if it isn’t their own. (Sorry experienced that last Saturday, and that truly was the mother’s response, which was worsened when the two in the row behind her decided to join in)

  54. I wish that the little old Buddest monk lady on my last flight (I am not kidding – that is who it was) who grabbed my seat when she was getting out of the row behind me had known rule #8 -hands off the blue cushion in front of you!. Because when she grabbed my blue cushion she also grabbed and yanked my hair. She apologized, but if she had only known rule #8 this would have never happened! Thanks for a great post!

  55. Pingback: For a Few Laughs, “Stuff Frequent Travelers Wish We Knew” | Masters At Travel Blog

  56. Very enjoyable read. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. And……it’s even worse in Europe!

  57. Pingback: Stuff Frequent Travelers Wish We Knew | White Elephant in the Room « NY Newsman

  58. travels somewhat frequently says:

    Great post! So many good points. May I add one more: Please keep your bare feet off of others’ seats – yes, I can see your little piggies wriggling around on my armrest, and it’s gross.

  59. Johann says:

    So true. Completely agree with you on that! 🙂

  60. travellingmo says:

    Oh my gosh, it’s like you read my mind! I am a frequent enough traveller, but it always helps to be reminded of rules. I usually end up next to the person that’s terrified of flying so spends the entire time on drugs or drunk, but that group gets their own special set of rules. . . like if you are going to spend the entire time on passed out on sleeping pills, maybe you should have traded your aisle seat so your rowmates don’t have to straddle your sprawled form to use the restroom. Just sayin’.

  61. This was too fun, and timely — I’m going on a trip tomorrow 🙂 Thanks for the laugh.

  62. Hob Lunk says:

    Can I add one more?

    Yield the armrests to the poor soul who has the misfortune of getting the center seat. The Aisle guy can lean out, and the window guy can lean on the bulkhead. Have some compassion for the guy in the middle.

  63. aefountain says:

    I had to hand over a fruit cup because they said you couldn’t determine the amount of liquid in it and the overall quantity was more than permitted. I did the sad puppy dog look advising them my son is on a restricted diet and couldn’t eat the food on the plane. Clearly they could see he was quite mentally disabled. No go!
    Well done post, thanks for the amusement.

  64. Funny. I loved it! I am an “infrequent” flier, but check out my video reply to a Customer Care rejection letter at an airline re: D.E.L.T. A.(Don’t Ever Lie To me Again… and say you care when you really don’t!)

  65. My father-in-law used to say that he’d travel to Europe when they built the bridge! He was plane phobic before all these episodes became common knowledge. Good job of summing them up!


  66. twitchyfeet says:

    So true. It all just adds to the stress when you’re a frequent flyer with a mortal fear of flying!

  67. Getting a window-seater to the lavatory is like an awkwardly choreographed tango. No drink service for you.

    Worse is when your seatmate is asleep and you’re in the window seat, and you want to pee. ;_; How do you go about it as politely as you can?

  68. For a frequent flyer this totally makes me laugh!

  69. If we printed this out and taped them over the TSA signs, people might get the idea.

    But then they’d complain that they didn’t know about the 3 oz. rule. We can’t win.

  70. raahil89 says:

    What a fantastic post. I am a frequent traveller. I live in London, study in the USA and visit family often in India. It never seems to amaze me that travel etiquette is so different in all parts of the world. One issue you missed is mobile phones! Have you noticed how as soon as you land, every person feels they are the President and everyone is on their phone! NO! Nobody messaged you, relax! I have been in a plane once in India when the air hostess had to rudely tell people to switch off their phones or there will be no take off. Also how about the leaning back of the seat? What’s the rule about that? I thought I was well within my rights to put my seats back as long as its not during take off or landing. The person kept kicking it so I would have it in thee upright position. I said to myself he could just put his back too. What the rule here? Finally check-in. I am the last one on the plane about 99% of the time. I love (idiots) who check in 3 hours before, travel economy (so no business lounge) and just wait at the gate. Then they are the first on the plane. Basically they are sitting for 12 hours on a 10 hour flight.

  71. enophia says:

    Bravo!!! I must add only three more points: 1. children on board (love the little ones but not on my flight) 2. girl, i dont want to know what you did in Vegas 3. i know, north americans dont talk bout this but i am south american … not only the blue cushion is mine, the whole seat and i dont care how tall or wide you are, this space is mine!

  72. kiwijenn says:

    This was fabulous! While my frequent flyer travelling now mostly takes place in New Zealand (where most flights are an hour or less and security isn’t the hassle it is at home), I have 3 or 4 international flights a year. These rules are priceless–especially the food one and the no-talking to the guy in headphones one.

    I had a long-haul flight once where the lady next to me *actually* removed my headphones to ask me where I was from. I seriously contemplated asking for a different seat.

  73. jeharrington says:

    Nice. I know a thing or two about the airport boogie from the TSA side of things. I think I may have something for the blogosphere, one of these days. Good to see this.

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  75. Tiara says:

    Really good ! Took the liberty to reblog this ! Cheers !

  76. lizhicks5 says:

    I like your take on flying!

  77. Amit Tambe says:

    Very good stuff. I really relate to all of this!

  78. newsy1 says:

    I’m a window seater myself, I’ve been hit too many times by people, carts, kids toys and luggage on the aisle. This was an entertaining post that many can relate to.

  79. Amusing – you need a sense of humor these days if you travel regularly! One of my work colleagues has had a hip replacement and every time the machine goes off. Thinking of the guy who had the plastic sword from Disney land, I was travelling back to Australia from Europe with a 12” Resin Tintin rocket model. The Spanish and French security people had no problems with the model but in Singapore, this was a whole new story but after 20 minuets, we were on our way. We must have looked “nice”!

  80. mattwrench says:

    Now, how do I subtly show these lessons to family members in desperate need of learning?

  81. One more before I switch off and pretend to sleep…
    When boarding and moving to your row, keep your belongings in font of you and between hip width. If between hip width fits full size suitcase, walk side ways! If walking sideways will exceed hip width… Ask to be board and be seated first or fly cargo.
    The trolley isn’t the only one threat to suffer unwarranted blows to the elbow, shoulder or head!

  82. Great job! check out my blog, ‘the Pretentious Illiterate,’ in the next couple of days. I was on my way there to begin writing it tonight but I came across yours first, all ‘fresh pressed’ and gussied up. Anyway, I’ve got a different spin on the topic, I think you’ll enjoy it.

    Charlie Morrison
    ‘the Pretentious Illiterate’

  83. underwhelmer says:

    Good points. Europe isn’t quite to this level of absurdity… yet. As an avid traveler and American transplant living on the other side of the pond, I can say that we make flying in the good old US of A miserable for ourselves more often than not. A few people want to be unique snowflakes and have special consideration while flying which, of course, makes it worse for any other person who just wants to get to his/her destination with as little fuss as possible. This may just be a drop in the bucket, but I’m going to print this list out in five languages and post it on every flat surface I can find inside the Frankfurt airport. Cheers. 🙂

  84. indiraadams says:

    So funny!!! And good tips. I’ll be sure to take notes for the next time I fly. Especially number six!

  85. great article! ive been travelling a lot also but i never knew that there are still a lot of things that i need to know!! thank you for sharing!!! =)

  86. Great post! As a frequent domestic and international travel who landed from a 30-hour journey yesterday (admittedly, there was a nine-hour layover in there) and still went to work, I couldn’t agree more with Number 8. Person behind me – please do not just avoid my big, blue cushion, but my seat in its entirety. No tugging when you stand up, no kicking or kneeing when you sit down.

    And dude in front of me (hopefully you aren’t too big and brawny, but seems you usually are), please do not throw your chair back with all the force of an NFL player going in for a tackle. It scares me and sometimes spills my drink.

    Finally, on the topic of personal space – I once had an overly friendly traveller think it was okay to put his feet in my lap while he slept. No joke. In case any of you may be unsure, this is also not okay. Not even on a redeye. Ick.

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  88. KL says:

    I loved your post! Having traveled a few times from Australia to the USA (a looooooong way!) and then having also traveled to Europe from Australia with my four year old son, I laughed out loud at #1. If there is a child going the wrong way on those things… it’s mine. Sorry! After flying for 12 hours then waiting for 2 hours to fly for another 8.5 hours, you kind of let them run whichever way they want!

  89. Jezzmindah says:

    I am SO glad those 12 white elephants made it outta the room and onto your blog.

    This post needs to be in sky mall.

  90. Noble Drew says:

    Flying is my favorite way of traveling. I enjoy the comfort of a window seat as well. The last thing anyone wants to do is keep getting up to let the person sitting on the inside go to the bathroom. I just want to sit back and enjoy my flight peacefully.

  91. You are absloutly right .

  92. Mikael says:

    This is insights that should be on my travel blog ( as well 🙂
    Unfortunately for me, you wrote them first. I will link to your great article.

  93. Excellent post and a very witty style. At the risk of sounding like a total witch, is there something which can be done about people travelling with babies on overnight flights? I have spent umpteen 15 hour flights amongst bawling kids

  94. johnhauge says:

    good stuff. i have to admit i’ve been guilty of #11 on occasion. though i do feel most plane adventures should be treated like an episode of “the great race”. why else would you even consider getting on an airplane these days? eating a third to a half a jar of an over the counter pickled garlic the night before a plane ride also works well in keeping pesky TSA and fellow travelers at bay. if i must be on a plane making new BFFs is very low on my priority list.

  95. actiform1 says:

    the absolute truth ! thx for this article 🙂

  96. candicepeak says:

    This should be automatically sent to people when they book a flight.

  97. artclubblog says:

    …and the children from hell, not that mine weren’t in that category once upon a time. Bill Cosby tells it well:

  98. Abigail says:

    Haha! Shared this. I’m a window-seater, and usually wave off the bev service, not out of consideration for others, but because I swore off the in-flight lav back in 2002 for reasons I’ll never retell. I would like to add, “There are 4 armrests and (under usual circumstances) 6 arms, and most people don’t enjoy being touched by strangers, so get creative, keep it on your side, and realize that sharing and shifts are usually the order of the day.”

  99. aparajitasaxena says:

    Loved number 3.Great, humorous writing.

  100. desasdishes says:

    Thanks for bringing a laid back attitude to the skies 🙂 Very well written post – congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  101. Huffygirl says:

    Love it. Why does 90% of the traveling public not seem to know this stuff? I did a similiar post, “Scan me…” on the same topic a couple weeks ago after an especially grueling trip. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed – hope your FP journey is better than your air travel one.

  102. djronstar says:

    I think it is even a friendlier experience being from the middle east
    take above, multiply by 10, and add some salt
    May I have another?

  103. thoraaron says:

    An applause at the end of a flight seems a bit absurd, but the rest I have to agree with. Manners don’t get left at the boarding gate…

    Not for tourists:

  104. Chef Ivan says:

    Great post! I like traveling. A lot. And going through the airport is an entirely different form of etiquette and human dynamics. Can I add a few more points?

    Best seat in the house is the window seat just behind the emergency exit doors.
    If you smoke, aerate yourself for 10 minutes before going into a pressurized tight cabin full of people
    A blow-by-blow on the in-flight movie is never welcome. Ever

    I love your post. Will be waiting for more

  105. hugsarah says:

    Great! For those of us who live in the Europe and don’t really fly that often much of this advice translates to train etiquette which is an added bonus. Particularly loved number 7.

  106. iantendy says:

    Never smoke in the washroom. Especially once they’ve explicitly told everyone that someone has smoked in the washroom already and it is indeed illegal to smoke in the bathroom. The feds WILL show up once the plane is landed and everyone WILL look at you because it’s obvious you have smoked.

  107. foinaven says:

    Brilliant post – thanks for sharing it with us! I was once on a night flight from O’Hare to Glasgow. I would recommend that tall people (I’m 6’4″) don’t get window seats on 767s, as you’ll spend the night with your head canted over on one side, and avoid young children that are distressed about flying. I had both of these problems; the child didn’t stop screaming for five hours, but I had a pretty Canadian girl fall asleep on my shoulder. Life has its compensations… 🙂

  108. Really enjoyed this!
    There is also the rule of not falling asleep on other passengers shoulders or snoring. Not good in a confined space!
    I am a regular traveler and, thankfully, have just made it from bumbling passenger to frequent flyer as I have now perfected a smooth security gate routine and always wear slip on shoes and have my laptop and liquids accessible.
    Thanks for this post 🙂

  109. notdaveng says:

    Sadly most of this doesn’t apply when you’re boarding a ship: except the delicious garlic pizza part. That will definitely get your fellow hungry passengers riled up…

  110. gaycarboys says:

    Overhead bins should be evenly divided and only used by the person sitting below it. Someone 40 rows back may not use the bin over my seat. Children should not be placed in overhead bins unless absolutely necessary. Overhead bins are not rubbish bins,

  111. Joe says:

    Brilliant, yet witty! How true some of these statements are. Well done! And congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  112. Stacey says:

    Much applause. I am a frequent flyer and you pretty much read my mind.

  113. Terrific post! Having also spent months-worth of my life on planes, I could personally relate to all your comments, but No. 5 made me crack up laughing out loud.

  114. This is awesome!! I also would like to add that it is not polite to look someone in the eye and then step out in front of them to either stand still or meander along.

  115. So funny and true! Traveling is so much easier when passengers are respectful of the people around them. I remember one flight to LA where the man seated behind me would not stop kicking my seat no matter how many times I turned around to give him the evil eye. I eventually determined that he must not have been from this planet!

  116. AMAZING post. I wouldn’t classify myself as a frequent flyer (I travel long haul every six months) but every time I find myself getting in a tizzy about people who don’t know these simple rules!

  117. The best posts are those with the element of truth. Yours is a great post. Congrats on being pressed.

  118. Wonderful Post. Very true and very funny!

  119. oolalang says:

    Don’t paint your nails on the plane. Seriously. WTF.

  120. Excellent post and an equally valuable reminder for why I choose not to fly, if I can avoid doing so!

  121. bclund says:

    Great list.

    13) The hot lady coming down the aisle during boarding will NOT be sitting next to you.

    (…ooops, don’t tell my wife I said that 🙂

  122. ke1an1ni2 says:

    Really entertaining and interesting post. I just recently started flying a lot, and looking back I can definitely see my rookie mistakes on your list and how they annoy me today.

  123. moosehills says:

    When stuffing your oversized carry-on into the overhead bins, do not swing it so wildly that my face is in danger, and do not drop it on my head when the momentum of the swinging luggage isn’t enough to reach the bin!

  124. Anita Mac says:

    Love it! All of it is so true! I just have one to add…
    On a long haul flight, inevitably, even with restricted fluids, the window seat person may have to use the facilities! If you must take sleeping pills while flying, please take the window seat! On a flight from North America to Australia, it took me considerable contortionist abilities to crawl over the stranger sitting next to me who got on the plane, promptly popped a pill in her mouth, and didn’t move for 10 hours! I realize maybe I could have requested an aisle seat to avoid this problem, but how could one expect the person sitting there to not move for 10 hours!!! Lessons learned at 30,000 feet!

  125. whineandcheeselife says:

    If your kid is kicking my seat (hey, I have a kid but I manage to keep him from jostling others) I WILL come up with creative ways to make it stop. Reading the last Harry Potter book 2 months after it came out? I WILL tell you how it ends if you don’t tend to your little darling (best threat I’ve ever used!).

    Love the article!!

  126. Kim-Lee P. says:

    I love travel, but it can definitely be a pain in the brain stem! Thanks for the good laugh and the tips!

  127. Well written. Sartorial but true.

  128. Thank you thank you thank you…
    Just 1 more thing…. Using a double dose of any cologne or perfume will NOT get you a date. Just dirty looks.

  129. trialsinfood says:

    Awesome. Any suggestions on how to have a good sleep at the airport during a long layover? The best idea we saw at the Athens airport recently was a hammock that was set up under a staircase.

  130. very interesting I liked your blog

  131. Joe Milli says:

    informative content, I will tell to my friend to read this article.

  132. How about “I know you want to lean your seat back, but my tray is so dangerously close to my nose that food goes up my nostrils when I breathe?” A little long, but personally my biggest problem when I travel!

    I loved your post 🙂 Great going!

  133. italktoyouallthetimeinmyhead says:

    hilarious. at least i aint a frequent flyer. a great read still xo

  134. shil says:

    Usual stuff about the don’ts of flying but the way you wrote was fun to read !! My baggage was checked coz of a golden elephant piece I was carrying. The security at the Frankfurt airport asked me if it was Buddha. Seriously ??

  135. dan213 says:

    Great post. Definitely an interesting read. Check this site out.

    NHL 12 tips, strategies and team reviews.

  136. wanda says:

    I have one to add: Please keep your very cute child seated; and if that is impossible, at least do not allow her to play with some small object that will inevitably drop onto my tray and spill the last few drops of my over-priced red wine all over my light colored slacks.

    Excellent article. Very entertaining and spot-on.

  137. sarahnsh says:

    If you’ve ever flown Southwest I’d totally love a list on them and how to get through that. I flew with them once and it was like a zoo, and people were jumping ‘categories’ left and right and squeezing ahead of you because there are no assigned seats. #4 is great, gotta love the smell of Cinnabon!

    • I’ll keep this in my idea list for upcoming blogs because I truly adore flying Southwest and have lots of tips. I think the big one is to find your spot quickly and then hold your ground! Since they updated their boarding pass assignment structure it’s become much less painful than the old days.

  138. juuyes says:

    LOL, loved the post

  139. mzsura says:

    This was awesome. Love it!

  140. kev07wan says:

    Super helpful.. until you get delayed! Flying is not quite as easy as it used to be..

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