Here's What Not to Do on an Airplane

For starters, please don't eat fried fish tacos on an airplane.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #410

As I write this episode, I’m nursing a massive headache, a sore back, and pretty much at my wits end, thanks to a terrible Uber ride, and now a delayed flight. I don’t feel like being talkative, or even humorous toward the stewardess who “thanks us” for choosing their airline (FYI: You were the cheapest. Don’t get excited). Yes, they know they have to say it, but it’s a charade, and one that is challenging my patience and manners. But I take a deep breath and realize I’ll be home soon.

I say this not to vent (although it helps) but to point out something important; just because you’re having a crappy day, doesn’t mean others should too. This means I can’t huff and puff and act as if I’m owed something on my flight home because I’m frustrated. It also means I have to be a proper seatmate to the people in my row.  So, even though it’s tough, remember your Mannerly Oath and don’t take it out on others. Instead, check out my top three quick and dirty tips for how to be a good airline passenger:

Tip #1: Proper Food Choices

I’m not going to lie: I’m debating offering a guy in the row in front of me $100 for his salad. For one, I’m absolutely starving and thanks to my nauseating Uber drive, I couldn’t eat anything after racing through security. Secondly, it looks and smells delicious. It’s as if the greatest salad chef has blessed Mr. Row 20, Seat C. Yet I’m a germaphobe and he already started eating it, so there goes that deal. Plus giving him $100 is probably about $92 profit and nothing is worth that. However, the point of this tip isn’t to make Nutrition Diva proud that I’d rather stuff my face with a salad than Twinkies, but to say that this man has a wonderfully proper choice in food for a flight. Other people like Ms. Row 18, Seat C, who chose to smuggle fried fish tacos on board has chosen poorly.

Folks, I don’t care how good a food looks in the airport (wait, is that an oxymoron?), there is a big difference between what looks good to eat outside the plane, and on the plane. I mean, right now, these seats are so terribly small and cramped that I’m sitting so close to the person next to me that my wife could get jealous. So, if I whipped out fish tacos on the plane have, can you imagine how disgusted my rowmate would be? Or what if I was crunching away so loudly it was as if I had a microphone to my lips? Both would be terrible! And so, I am not doing either of them. Instead, like my lucky friend in the seat across from me with the heavenly salad, I would (if I had time) chose something like that: light, in scent, size, and flavor. See, the airline is already a cesspool of germs as it is, with its own set of smells (from food and body odor) that they don’t need any more help. Regardless of the length of the trip, don’t opt for a buffet. Instead, keep it compact, easy, and clean.

Tip #2: Proper Clothing

In my comic, (Un)Mannerly Ways, and in my book REPLY ALL… And Other Ways To Tank Your CareerI created a cartoon of a man in a suit of armor trying to walk through the metal detector at the airport and not understanding why he kept beeping. The meaning of this joke was to poke fun at people who are constantly “shocked” that their choice of clothing is not proper for traveling. And I say shocked because if you watch people lose their you-know-what every time a TSA agent tells them they have to take off their Mr. T-esque necklace, it’s well, comical. However, what I fear more than the people who don't know not to wear a ballroom gown through security is the fact they don’t realize someone will have to sit next to them while they wear said ridiculous outfit .