Call it what you will: manners, etiquette or common sense but it is a key ingredient in your travel arsenal.
I always try to be on my best behavior when traveling even when faced with multiple delays and even flight cancelations. Things happen and most of the time they are unavoidable, so I grin and bare it. Weather induced turbulence is unavoidable, however, passenger turbulence inside the cabin should be avoided at all costs.
I always follow these 5 tips to stay cool, calm and Zen on all my flights.
1. When I am on a plane, I’m always polite. The flight attendants are on board for my safety, not to serve as my personal butler. I treat them with respect, making eye contact, smiling and saying please and thank you. It’s not rocket science
2. I look around and see if I can help anyone. Flying in and out of Tampa, FL there are usually a large amount of retires. There are also families heading to and from Disney World and/or Tampa’s Cruise Port. It doesn’t hurt me in the least to offer a hand or a kind word to a mom struggling with bags, a toddler and an infant.
3. I always give the poor soul in the middle seat the control of the armrest. Not only are they trapped along with the rest of us they are in the worst seat on the plane. It’s the least I can do.
4. I don’t bring on smelly food and if I do have a sandwich or something shareable, I always ask my seat mate(s) if they would like some. Of course I have to be prepared if they say yes, which surprisingly they often do.
5. I bring a few simple things to make any flight bearable. Noise canceling headphones are a must. I also have a crossword puzzle book or and iPad with solitaire and audio books. They can be mind-numbing and a great distraction. Eye mask if it is a long flight and I want to sleep. I pay extra to get the seat I want. I know where I like to sit and where I know I will be comfortable. I find great value in this. I only bring a carry-on. I know I won’t have to deal with lost luggage and I will save time once I arrive at my destination not having to stand around the luggage carousel.
However, all bets are off when it comes to drunks. They lose their minds causing the rest of us to lose ours. However, it is not my place to handle the situation, that is why we have flight attendants.
On a recent Spirit Airlines flight from Baltimore to L.A. a brawl ensued between passengers because two inebriated women began blasting a Boombox.
For those of you not around in the 70’s here’s how Wikipedia describes a Boombox:
“A Boombox is a common term for a portable cassette and AM/FM radio (and, beginning in the 1990s, a CD player) with an amplifier, two or more loud speakers and a carrying handle. A boombox is a device typically capable of receiving radio stations and playing recorded music (usually cassettes orCDs, usually at a high volume). Many models are also capable of recording onto cassette tapes from radio and other sources. Designed for portability, boomboxes can be powered by batteries as well as by line current. The boombox was introduced to the American market during the mid-1970s. The desire for louder and heavier bass led to bigger and heavier boxes; by the 1980s, some boomboxes had reached the size of a suitcase. Most boomboxes were battery-operated, leading to extremely heavy, bulky boxes.”
I don’t know what I would do if this insanity broke out while I was a passenger. What would you do?