For all those passengers traveling in the economy cabin...
actually no, let me rephrase, although very prevalent to my coach class compatriots, the following also applies to business/first class passengers as well (although to be fair, what I am about to address I see less frequently in business/first than I do in coach).
There desperately needs to be passenger rules and regulations assigned to fliers these days. Over the years and thousands of miles in the friendly skies I have seen certain things amongst my fellow passengers that can be described as absolutely abhorrent. That being said, allow me to make the following notations and recommendations.
1 - Any and all sandals/open toed shoes should be banned from any and all flights. I don’t care if you are traveling to Hawaii/Mexico or any other very warm climate destination - PUT SHOES ON - any shoes. I generally abhor wearing sneakers when flying but I will sooner tolerate those than seeing 50% of the cabin walk around with their feet hanging out. I don’t care how proud you are of how pretty you think your feet MAY look or if you just got a pedicure - fact is, most people have ugly feet (I don’t care what your justification is / if you’re offended by that statement. oh well) the last thing i want to see, especailly if I am shoved in the middle seat or pressed up against the window, is you taking your toes out for air, at 35,000 feet.
2- this of course all leads me to point number 2. One’s feet should never be exposed after you step on an airplane. I get it, it’s a red eye and you want to be at least semi comfortable in the less than comfortable coach class seat, designed by individuals whom I assume have no idea what comfort is - but it is beyond disgusting when right after takeoff, the cabin begins to resemble a high school boys locker room post gym class - I doesn’t even matter if you are wearing socks, keep ‘em in the shoe. Let me give you an example - I was on a red eye en route from Las Vegas to Minneapolis last July (2010). Fortunately for me, I had scored an exit row seat for the flight. Upon taxi and takeoff, a foul stench began to fill the cabin. I poked my head out from my aisle seat, looked up and down and low and behold, the flight had become foot fest. Listen people, feet smell (doesn’t matter if you think yours don’t - they do). There is no amount of recycled air that can eradicate that abusive stench. Keep your feet in your shoes. You seat is NOT, I repeat, is NOT your living room and your having 100 or so guests over - have some respect for your fellow passengers.
3- this stance may come as a surprise to some given what I just posted but here it is- you have every right to bring on whatever food you like for your flight. Look, the fact that airline food is beyond sub-par is an honest realization that may, unfortunately, never change. That being said, if you would rather forgo the $12 snack box with some better food you picked up in the terminal, by all means do. I don’t care if you’re angry because your seatmate decided to pick up a BBQ pulled pork sandwich in Memphis during his layover and you didn’t because you figured you would be fine, a passenger has ever right to eat what he wants. (EXCEPTION OF COURSE, and I am saying this now before anyone gets too angry, PEANUTS if there is one of those hardcore peanut allergy passengers on the flight). If you don’t like the smell of the sandwich or the guy in front of you’s decision to by the Tuna salad/cracker combo pack - oh well. I am willing to level and rationalize though - if the disgusting we took our shoes off on board smell is finally gone for good, I’ll happily push for reccomendations for more not so foul food regulations for passengers.
4- middle seats should be removed from all flights - on the big jumbo jets, put passengers in groups of 2 - take out the dead weight, re-style coach class (ie don’t add an inch of extra legroom to coach, charge $50 per segment and call it economy plus)
5- we need to bring back the elegance of air travel back to the aviation industry. There is a fully blown tirade I have for those passengers who find white New Balance trainers, “life is…” t-shirts, sandals with socks, cargo short, t-shirts, and sweats as something classy and stylish, but I don’t have the time or the energy to walk each and every one of you through why you all are the ones responsible for the “ugly american” stereotype (insert Joe Jackson “The Jet Set” song reference here from the Big World album - if you don’t know it, you should) - flying should be mandatory business casual or better, all classes, all flights - fun fact you can be comfortable and look good, I’m willing to bet money that GQ or Esquire magazine could help point you in the right direction.
6- joining the mile high club is next to impossible on flights under 4 hours or aircraft that sit no more than 100 passengers - accept it, wait for your transatlantic flight and move on
7- there needs to be a section (ideally soundproof) in the back of coach for passengers traveling with small children exceptionally prone to crying (parents, I’m sorry, we know sometimes you can’t help it, but you guys above all, should be all too well aware of how annoying it is for the rest of the cabin) if anything else, think back to that blissful time when you were single and childless and remember how annoying you used to find it - yeah that feeling does not go away
8- people will recline their seats as they see fit - accept it, and move on.
9- applauding the captain from the cabin on a routine landing = why?
10- flight attendants - understand that you, above all, are all capable of turning a good flight into a bad one - yes we all have bad days but don’t take it out on those of us footing the bill for your salaries
11- another reason why all coach class should be re-structured to sit 2-2 on every airplane - anyone sitting by the window should not have to climb Everest to make it to the bathroom. You shouldn’t have to wake up the guy next to you on a transatlantic flight just because you have to take a leak - Frankly, there should be enough space so that someone sitting on the window should be able to walk comfortably in front of the person next to them without disturbing them to make it too the bathroom.
12- boarding by zones needs to be eliminated and this applies to Southwests boarding process as well (although admittedly, it is a step in the right direction) - boarding (aside from first/business class, elite members) should be
2- anyone with the window seat
3- anyone next to the window seat
4- anyone on the asile
13- to the 6’ + that get smashed in the window while someone younger/shorter than them get the lucky aisle seat to stretch their legs - do not assume it is your automatic duty and privilege to guilt the person into switching seats with you OR for that matter take their seat before they board and just assume they would understand (has happened to me true story) you did not misread your boarding card, we all know it. so you didn’t get the aisle, deal with it - especially if the flight is under 2hrs. (AND YES MEDICAL CONDITIONS = COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DISCUSSION)
14- charging extra for the exit row seats in coach should be considered a criminal offense
15- accept that fact that sometimes your flight will be brutal - there will be delays, cancellations, missed luggage, mechanical problems, lack of good food, uncomfortable seating arrangements, and people (passengers and crew) that can turn the friendly skies into less than attractive. The world is not out to get you. You were not randomly selected to have the worst flight of your life. This is life, and the aviation industry is not immune to it, regardless of how badly you may want it to be. Quit the “i’ll never fly this airline again” crap - it really just proves how immature/inexperienced you really are to the airline industry. Life happens and the less than attractive stuff will, I repeat, WILL, happen to you at some point. Accept it, and move on.