Is there such a thing as aeroplane etiquette?
Aeroplane etiquette is not something often discussed. It is common for society to share their expectations of women and etiquette along with etiquette on buses, trains and at other people’s houses. Yet, when it comes to planes, and this may just be my luck, people tend not to consider other people as if they themselves have some divine right to fly in comfort.
For example, on a three hour flight from Adelaide to Perth I experienced some smells nobody should smell. I was the person in the middle seat who annoys the unfortunate person in the aisle seat because I need the toilet. The person to my right by the window was my partner and these smells could have been avoided, I believe, had the two men swapped seats.
I had a glass of wine in the airport and a coke, a coffee, and an ice cream before we had even been on the flight an hour. This resulted in two toilet trips during the flight. I politely asked and expressed my gratitude as the nice, young looking chap let me out to go. This request to go to the toilet, however, seemed not to go unnoticed. As a sort of punishment he repeatedly farted over and over again until the doors were open after landing. I inhaled a particle of shit from a stranger’s backside every ten minutes on this flight. This is except for the good twenty minutes he disappeared for to obviously release the stinking compression in his bowels. There was no shame in this young farter’s face as my partner shouted, really loudly, “what is that disgusting smell?”
Then we have the etiquette of the reclining chair. I remember a flight to Australia in 2006 when my sweet then thirteen year old sister asked the lady behind if it was ok to put her chair back in order for her to have a sleep. The bitch responded with “no, you may not”. My mum turned around and put the lady to rights telling her how cruel it was to say no to a child, especially one that had the manners to ask. Or so it was said in so many words.
With responses like that it isn’t surprising, then, that people have stopped asking just in case they hear the dreaded “no”. I have a subconscious that won’t allow me to just recline my chair in fear of getting the evils whenever I get up to go to the loo, which is apparently twice every three hours.
The lady sitting in front of my 6” 5 boyfriend on this Adelaide to Perth flight put her chair back as soon as the seat belt light turned off and did so without any shame. To be honest, this sort of crap doesn’t really bother me. It was more because she fondled with the air vents and pointed all three of them on herself without asking the other people sitting in her row if they needed some refreshing air too.
In addition to this, she opened her large bag of BBQ flavoured crisps and sprawled her size six body out like a slob as much as she could, and then tapped her legs like drums in between gobbling down crisps for us all to hear. As the plane landed and everyone piled in the aisle before the doors were even open she stood up on the chair and picked her crusty lip while leaning over in my direction. It was all round disgusting.
She then ignored the man who kindly took her luggage down from the overheads and just stared at him gormlessly. If her head wasn’t up her arse she would probably have said thankyou and realised that her and fartalot need to get some understanding of aeroplane etiquette.