Ten annoying First Class passenger habits

I’ve been lucky enough to sit up front on the plane more than I deserve, and in those flights I have come across some pretty bad behavior from my fellow passengers.

Don’t think the worst offenders are the ones in the back of the plane, because it’s the ones up front that really can’t behave themselves!

“Do you know who I am”

Surprisingly, there are still quite a lot of passengers that equate first class tickets with royalty. They’ll make outrageous demands from the ground or cabin crew, and fully expect their needs to be met. The “do you know who I am” line is the best in the book, as I’m convinced it is an instant directive to the crew to ignore this passenger for the rest of the flight.

And just so you know; yes, the cabin crew does know who you are, and they also know your status and whether you are on a mileage ticket or an upgrade. So behave yourself!

The mobile phone screamer

Yeah, I’m on the plane now, yeah, I’m getting in my seat, yeah, lemme put my bag away, yeah, I’ll be there around noon, yeah yeah yeah…

The part the follows this usually involves me grabbing their phone and beating them with it. At least that is what is going through my mind. For some reason, passengers traveling in premium cabins tend to have louder and less interesting conversations than those in the back. I have absolutely nothing against someone making a last minute phone call saying goodbye to the folks at home, but the people who feel the need to document every single move they make, or walk on board pretending they are closing an important deal really push my buttons.The “my luggage is more expensive than yours” passenger

I have actually run into this kind of creep several times. They are the ones that stroll aboard the plane with $2500 luggage, and will remove any bags that get in their way. On a British Airways flight, I actually sat in my seat watching a lady remove all the other bags from the luggage closet, just so she could store her bag without any of the “cheap” luggage touching it.

When she was done, I got up and placed my rolling bag right back where it was. Needless to say that did not go down too well.

Step aside please – I am an elite member of this airline

Ugh. Nothing annoys me more during check in, than when someone tries to cut in front of me waving their elite status card from a lanyard.

My best experience with this was at LAX when someone actually pushed me aside claiming “she was a top level elite”. Of course, it turned out that she was not a top level elite, and the check in agent made it very clear that she was to head down to the regular check in desk. Chuckles all down the queue.

The bathroom is mine mine mine

Travel up front is usually quite peaceful, and with just 12 passengers on average, most of the cabin tends to sleep during the flight.

Sadly, as soon as the cabin lights are turned on towards the end of the flight, there are always some passengers who feel they are entitled to use the bathroom for the next 45 minutes. I’ve witnessed passengers carrying their beauty case into the bathroom and stay there for an hour.

The flight attendant hassling passenger

Let it be clear – I love flight attendants. And no, not in the way that begins with “Dear Penthouse”.

I’ve been on enough flights to know that they have a tough job, and I’ve seen them harassed by enough passengers to forgive them if they spill something or forget a drink order. But it’s the harassing passengers that really grind my gears. Spending $4000 on a plane ticket does not entitle you to annoy the flight attendant, nor does it give you the right to make unreasonable demands for 14 hours.

Some of the silliest things I’ve heard these passengers demand are “french fries” and yelling at a poor flight attendant to clean up the vomit mess they just made in the bathroom (really!).

I do not need to see you in your underwear

One of the perks of flying an international first class flight, is a set of fluffy PJ’s. Sadly, most US based airlines don’t believe in this amenity, but any top class foreign airline still provides them in almost any size requested.

Common courtesy would expect you to be discreet and pop into the bathroom for a quick wash and change. However, every now and then I still run into someone standing in the middle of the aisle, stripping down to their underwear and changing into their PJ’s. Of course, it’s also never a supermodel performing this strip tease…

Smelly feet on the bulkhead

You have to wonder what is going through someones mind when they get on board, take off their shoes, and rest their smelly sweaty feet on the bulkhead. Perhaps they think nobody in the cabin cares, or perhaps they are convinced their expensive ticket entitles them to being obnoxious.

I’ll never know, but it is one of the most disgusting things I see when I fly.

Bring the kids, but stick them in the back (and keep them there)

There is nothing wrong with bringing your kids on a trip with you. I’ll even forgive you if you got yourself into the first class cabin, but stuck the kids in the back of the plane. But please do not let that give you the idea that it’s fine to let your kids join you up front for dinner and a movie.

If the larger seat of first class means so much to you that you are willing to dump the kids in steerage, then you’d better be prepared to be separated from them for the rest of the flight. The first class cabin is not a social club.

I’ve had several flights where I was trying to sleep, only to be disturbed by a family having their usual Sunday dinner right next to me when they dragged their kids (and their meals) from the back of the plane.

I’ll sit here thank you very much!

I’m by no means an elitist, but sometimes I’ve arrived in the cabin and come across someone who I just know does not belong there. They are often pretty nervous, and are constantly looking around every time another passenger boards.

These are the seat stealing passengers. There are 2 kinds of seat stealers; those that know exactly how the system works, and those that are just plain stupid. The stupid ones don’t realize how the seat assignment system works, and figure the plane is like a bus; grab the first and best seat you can.

The other kind knows exactly how things work; they’ll grab any seat in the cabin, and when the real occupant of the seat arrives, they’ll simply grab another one. They’ll rinse and repeat until all the seats are taken (and they go to their real seat), or till the doors close and they relax in their new first class seat.

Thankfully, most airlines have a flight attendant directing people to their correct cabin, or doing a seat count, but the smart seat stealers will always try. After all, with a little effort they could be sitting in comfort instead of in the back.