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

Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand you want to look good when you go out. However, let’s be honest, how good do you really have to look while sitting on a plane, in a seat that is so uncomfortable it negates any possibility of looking cool? So knowing that, why get all dolled up with layers and accoutrements that would make a member of the band KISS say, “Yeah, even that’s too outrageous for me.” Like I mentioned in Tip #1, I recommend going easy on your clothing decisions too. With that being said, I’m not telling you to only wear sweat pants and a t-shirt. This isn’t about dressing down, just not dressing like you’re a prom date from 1985, with shoulder pads bigger than most NFL linemen. It’s very easy to dress nice and be comfortable. You can pack something in your carry on bag to change into right after you land. After all, you know the baggage claim will run slower than a sloth doing hurdles, so trust me, you have time! Plllllllenty of time. Go in the restroom, add on what you need, and you’ll be on your way … and save people like me the struggle of having to lean at a 45 degree angle so your Kentucky Derby hat doesn’t poke me in the eye.

Tip #3: Proper Conversation

As much as I wave the flag of being an extrovert, when it comes to being on a flight, I’m not always so talkative. For one, I like to use my time in the air to do some work, without distraction, or catch up with a good book. But don’t get me wrong, I’ll happily talk to someone, and will never blow them off if they decide to kick up a conversation out of the blue. However, there are limitations. For example, on the way to my trip I’m returning from now, I didn’t sit next to someone, so there was no issue with having to talk to someone. I wish I could say the same thing about the guy across from me (Will) who landed a seat with The World’s Most Uninteresting Man. For two hours, Will (I learned his name after he was asked it) had Paul (aka Captain Annoying) talk his ear off about himself. Will was being talked TO not with.

Turns out Paul just got a divorce, “Are you married Will? Don’t get married, Will!” But now, he met a new girl, “Wanna see a picture, Will? She’s really pretty.” And he’s flying down to meet her parents, “And boy oh boy am I nervous, Will! Nervous Nelly, that’s what she calls me. Always worrying, always wondering…” I’m not lying, this was two hours.  I had work to do, so I was able to tune him out, but poor Will was too nice to turn him down. See, it’s okay to talk to strangers on a flight … for a little while. Just know your limits and don’t go overboard. Always assume you’re being an inconvenience. That’s the best way to think about it. You could be super nice and interesting but that doesn’t mean you have to share your views with someone for the entire length of the trip. As well, you shouldn't feel rude for not wanting to engage them. Don’t feel trapped, even though you may physically be trapped. Use a flight for some quality Me-Time and not as Paul’s new wingman.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.

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Comic by Richie Frieman, Modern Manners Guy.