Weird Behavior on Planes
Commercial air travel used to be marketed as a glamorous undertaking. Today, it often involves being crammed into a tiny seat next to a snoring neighbor while nursing five stale peanuts.
Maybe we’re being too harsh, but it seems like as air travel has gone down the tubes, so too has basic etiquette. Where once there was a sense of decorum, today's travelers can be found exposing their bare feet to fellow passengers, executing yoga poses and arranging in-flight manicures.
Using Instagram as a guide, we’ve rounded up some of the most bizarre behaviors seen on planes. Along with the pictures are some casual reminders of why you should maybe consider not doing what these people are doing.
Assuming, of course, the picture isn’t self-explanatory enough.
Hair Care, Hair There, Hair Everywhere
It’s perfectly fine if you have long, flowing tresses of hair that you want to show off on an airplane. And if you were running behind on the way to the airport, it can be a good use of time to let your hair air-dry on the flight before arriving to your final destination.
But in the process of letting your hair dry, maybe be careful not to throw it willy nilly all over the place. And especially be careful that it doesn’t block another passenger’s entertainment device.
Your hair, no matter how beautiful it may be, is way less interesting than the onboard entertainment.
Seriously, be Hair-Ful
It’s actually mind-boggling how many people think it’s perfectly okay to flop their hair over another person’s seat. As previously mentioned…just no.
If you’re worried about your locks losing some volume, rest assured that most people understand you’ve been flying, and don’t expect you to come walking off the airplane looking like you’ve walked off a runway.
Luckily for this passenger, the person in the seat behind her seemed to be too enthralled in a good book to mind the hair intrusion.
Do Not Disturb
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to catch some shut-eye while flying (unless, of course, you’re the pilot or a flight attendant), and this person’s genuine dedication to making sure the world around her is blocked out is downright impressive.
The problem? If she’s in an aisle seat, I would not want to be the person who had to ask her to move in order to use the restroom. She seems way too comfortable to bother.
While some people wear too many layers on an airplane, others don’t wear enough. Like this guy, who I think we can all agree is definitely not wearing enough.
Now, to be fair, I don’t know the whole story of what’s going on here. But I do know that before you get on an airplane, there are plenty of bathrooms available that provide the privacy needed to get changed without other passengers seeing (almost) everything you’ve got.
Peek-A-Boo, I Don’t Want to See You
Listen, it’s nice that this guy possesses the total confidence needed to feel comfortable showing off his goods. But to reiterate: a plane is not the right setting for showing off your goods.
If you want to relax while letting it all hang out, save it for the bedroom.
Please and thank you.
Why not cover your entire body with a cozy blanket?
If it’s around Halloween time, you can pretend like you’re getting into character. If it’s any other time of year, you can just tell people that you don’t want to be spoken to for the entire flight before making your retreat. They should be able to get the message.
One word of caution, though: if you’re sitting in that dreaded aisle seat, you’d better hope that your seatmates don’t want to use the restroom during the flight. As every kid can attest to, there’s nothing worse than having your blanket fort destroyed.
Didn’t Nail It
Everyone loves a good manicure. But if you need to get your nails done, perhaps consider doing so before or after your flight?
Chances are, the passengers on this plane weren’t too pleased about having to sniff polish while stuck in a confined space 35,000 feet in the air.
But we're more concerned about the poor nail-painter herself. What if turbulence struck, and she ended up with a botched nail? The horror!
That’s a Stretch
Ah yes, the Great Aisle Stretch Debate. Since probably the beginning of commercial aviation, people have been arguing over whether it’s appropriate for passengers to stretch their legs out on a flight.
Some argue that, so long as no flight attendants or passengers are walking by, it’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy a nice stretch. Others argue that it’s the height of rudeness.
Judging by social media, there are many more people in the latter camp.
I say, if you’re not directly getting in anyone’s way, go for it. Just know that somebody might take a picture and complain about you afterwards online.
In some yoga studios, there actually is a pose called “Airplane Pose.” The literal interpretation — actually doing yoga poses on an airplane — is something else altogether.
The biggest issue many have with plane yoga is the possibility of body parts ending up where they just shouldn’t be. In this case, at least the passenger kept her shoes on and stayed pretty impressively in her own space — but she probably had to encroach on her neighbors’ personal space to get in and out of the position.
Let's all agree that, while it might feel good to get the blood flowing in a yoga pose, an airplane isn’t the appropriate place to do so.
The only acceptable position? Seated with your hands folded at your chest. Namaste.
The Renegade Shoe
We understand that you need to turn a profit, and that shrinking seat sizes to pack in as many people as people is a good way to boost your bottom line.
But when you’ve reduced the seat sizes so much, people’s feet are literally on top of one another, maybe you’ve taken things a bit too far.
Please, we beg of you, make the madness stop.
Well, That Stinks
Countless frustrated passengers have taken to social media to vent about people who take their shoes off on flights. And who could blame them? No one — and we mean no one — wants to smell a stranger’s bare feet while stuck for hours on a flight. (Or, for that matter, look at them.)
The passenger in this photo took the absurdity to the next level: deciding that simply slipping off their shoes wasn’t enough, they slipped off their shoes and placed their bare feet on another passenger’s arm rest.
I second the gesture made by the poor woman in the seat with the arm rest.
If you’re at home watching Netflix and relaxing with your family, by all means, sprawl out. Be free. You do you.
But on an airplane, the etiquette rules are a bit different.
If there’s an empty seat between you and the closest stranger next to you, that doesn’t automatically give you full rights to take over. And to reiterate, once more with feeling: the person sitting next to you has zero desire to look at and/or smell your feet.
Choosy About Sanitation
It’s no secret that airplanes aren’t the cleanest places on earth. So there’s no shame in taking some extra precautions to make sure things are a little more sanitary.
Taking the time to wipe over your tray table and arm rests? Completely acceptable.
Taking the time to wipe over your tray table and arm rests while letting your bare feet stink up the joint? Completely unacceptable. And um, hypocritical much?
Strangers on a Plane
Airplane travel and cross-country time-zone changes can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle, so we totally understand: sleepless nights happen. And they especially happen when, as it appears from this picture, you're still in adolescence.
But unless you’re on an airline with a fancy sleeper situation, you need to remain aware that the people around you aren’t pillows, and there is zero interest in hearing you snore or watching you drool.
We'll cut this kid a break, but in general, the rule is as follows: fellow passengers are generally understanding and patient.
Just don't push it.
No Headphones, No Thank You
You can’t watch in-flight entertainment or listen to in-flight music without plugging in headphones — and there’s a very good reason for that.
For one thing, you can’t guarantee that the person next to you will love the same show, music or movie as you. For another, if everyone watched and listened to whatever they wanted, headphone-free, can you imagine? It’d be a nightmarish cacophony.
Maybe this person thought they were brilliant for figuring out that you don’t actually need headphones in order to hear entertainment on the plane. But what they consider brilliant, we consider obnoxious.
Throwing in the Towel
When you don’t have something to cover your eyes, apparently pretty much anything will do. In this case, the passenger combined a visor with what looks like an everyday wash rag.
Let’s just hope this was cleaned before it was used. And that next time, this traveler doesn’t leave their eye mask at home.
Multi-Use Tray Table
If anyone has ever seen people who sanitize their tray tables before flights and wondered why they might do such a thing, this picture is your answer.
You know that thing you eat your food off of? Yeah, this sleepy person is using it as their footstool.
And if that weren’t bad enough, it’s a footstool that he seems to think is in the privacy of his own home, because his feet are out of their shoes and socks.
Time for that sanitizer...
Please, Make Yourself Comfortable
There are lots of simple accessories you can bring or request on board that will help the hours fly by faster (pun very much intended).
But for a person to bring a small hammock just for their feet seems a little excessive. Not to mention, the hammock is swinging using the handles of the door for the emergency exit.
Maybe it’s just me, but the emergency exit is something I like to make sure isn’t bothered at all during the flight. You know, in case there’s an emergency.
People putting their feet up on the wall in the front row of an airliner is a common occurrence. But just because lots of people do it, doesn’t mean everyone is okay with it.
Putting your feet on display for all to see not only reminds everyone that the feet of strangers are nearby while they’re flying — it also reminds them that, well, feet stink.
So unless your feet smell impeccable and you’re sure it won’t bother anyone on the plane...maybe consider keeping your feet grounded during the flight.
True, airlines want you to feel comfortable. But the average coach seat isn’t going to replace your favorite reclining armchair at home…so why pretend like it is?
Bottom line: Don’t relax at the expense of the happiness of all those around you.
When the captain gives the go-ahead to move around the cabin, they don’t typically mean that it’s fine to start doing handstands. Even if you’re on a smooth flight, that pose could quickly turn into something painful or dangerous if turbulence hits.
Save this one for the yoga studio.
Here’s the thing about pizza: It’s actually one of the few foods that tastes good cold.
Here’s the thing about planes: Their lights aren’t mean to help you reheat food.
Considering those two factors, maybe don’t hold your cold pizza up to a plane light in the hopes that it will work like a heating lamp at a restaurant.
It, um, won’t.
Baby on Board
Babies fly. That’s absolutely fine! And, despite the fact that they can sometimes have very healthy lungs (aka they cry a lot), there are actually plenty of ways to travel easily with a little one, and lots of people who are pretty patient with the sounds of babies crying.
But don’t test the patience of other passengers by putting your baby on the ground for, presumably, a diaper change. Air in planes is circulated and nobody – I mean nobody – wants that recycled air tinged with the smell of a dirty diaper.
Not to mention, if that drink cart comes by, that baby’s head is way too close to the aisle for comfort.
Speaking of gross, there’s nothing more disgusting than people leaving their food behind. Well, I take that back. People leaving remnants of their freshly eaten food behind in the communal seat pocket without even attempting to put it in some sort of bag is actually the nastiest thing you can do on an airplane.
So, you know, don’t.
Coat Mind If I Do
Between people flopping their hair all about and stretching their arms out, there are all sorts of ways that your precious in-flight entertainment can get blocked. But someone putting their coat over their seat and pretty much completely blocking your view of your monitor is especially egregious.
A coat should be on your body, under your seat or in the overhead bin.
And nowhere else.
The Empty Train Spread
Turns out people love to display their worst behavior on trains, too.
It’s bad enough to spread your feet into the aisle, inconveniencing people trying to get by and making it difficult for attendants to serve customers. But this total spread into the aisle is next level.
If your train or plane is pretty empty, it’s understandable that you’ll want to take up more space. But just because the vehicle you’re traveling on doesn’t have a ton of people, doesn’t automatically make it your private transit.
If you’ve had a long day or really need to get rest during your trip, consider investing in a nice neck pillow. Or master the art of sleeping while sitting up.
Bottom line: Just because you can take up all that space doesn’t mean you should.
Super Sleepers to the Rescue
These people came prepared for their flight. They brought their neck pillows and eye masks, which is great and I have no problems with.
But why oh why would you ever buy eye masks that are both incredibly loud and totally matching?
All these masks really say is that you want to make sure you continue getting attention while you’re fast asleep.
People who can sleep anywhere and in almost any position are impressive. Which means this passenger, who plopped his head down on the seat in front of him to doze off, is really impressive.
The issue? If the person in the other seat reclines, he’s in for (literally) a rude awakening.
Altitude changes can make people a little wonky. So much so that you have to watch how much alcohol you drink because it can affect you more than when you’re on the ground.
A couple drinks in, and you may be looking to entertain people you’ve never met before. You may even go through embarrassing things in your carry-on and show them off because you think they’re funny.
The point is, be careful not to make an ass of yourself, or someone might catch the moment and share it with the world.