Top ten ways to become an obnoxious business traveler

In my many years of travel, I’ve come across my fair share of completely obnoxious assholes. The kind of traveler that flies mainly for business, on tickets paid for by his or her boss. They usually have a ton of status, but because they never pay for these tickets themselves, they have earned themselves a false sense of entitlement.

You’ll laugh at these things – but they are all from real people I’ve encountered.


Use this phrase a lot. Do You Know Who I Am is one of the most important tools of the obnoxious business traveler. The gate agent or flight attendant may know your name, but without your constant reminding of your importance, they’ll never know just what a big shot you actually are.
Don’t just “have status” – wear it!

Don’t settle for knowing you are an elite “platinum global services 1K member” – buy a lanyard and wear your elite status card around your neck. This way people can see how important you are. Wave the card at anyone that gets in your way.

Remember the phrase “this is not your cabin”

Once you are settled in your first class seat, pay close attention to people who don’t look like they belong in your cabin. Feel free to tell them that the economy class cabin is in the back of the plane. Apply the same logic in the elite boarding line at the gate, or the elite check-in desk. Bonus points for using the phrase “shoo” in your rant.

Always remember that you are more important than the airline staff

If an airline employee gives you a hard time, remind them that you are more important, that you make more money, and that you pay their salary. It is important to make sure these people know their place. The phrase “I pay your salary” is a sure way to remind them that they need to help you.

Always carry too much luggage

Don’t settle for checking bags, that is for tourists and people with floral pattern luggage. All your bags belong in the main cabin. Ignore the gate agents talking about how many pieces of luggage you are allowed as those rules don’t apply to you.

Boarding first is a sign of how important you are

Being in “group one” is a bit of an insult to you – the airline needs to invent a secret “group zero” for people with your status. So, when you arrive at the gate, be sure to walk up towards the boarding doors and make it obvious that you will be boarding first. The objective here is to prevent being blocked by the status-less riff-raff.

Talk loudly on your phone

Remember that your loud and obnoxious phone calls are another way to show people how important you are. Use lots of big words to confuse the uneducated people listening in on your call.

Also, don’t forget to keep talking when you approach a customer service desk. Your call is always more important than their time. Walk up to the desk, hand them your ticket, and use hand movements to explain what you want them to do – but don’t stop talking, no matter how unimportant the call may be.

Tell, don’t ask

When requesting changes from the airline, always tell them, don’t ask them. The commoners “ask” for an earlier flight – you tell the airline what you want, and demand that it happens.

The flight attendant is once again the stewardess

Forget the whole “we are here for your safety” mantra – the flight attendant is actually a stewardess. Think of them as your personal servant. Don’t settle for “a coke” – make insane demands. Ask for two and a half slices of lime with your coke. Or a coke with 4 ice cubes. Anything to make their lives just a little more miserable is going to make you feel a little happier with yourself.

Always take your time

Never let anyone rush you. If you are blocking the aisle when everyone wants to disembark, relax for a moment. Take your time to put your jacket on, turn on your phone and check your messages, and don’t worry about the 140 people standing behind you. They are nowhere near as important as you.

(opening image: Getty)