Top 5 ways to annoy your airplane seatmate

Over on Reddit earlier this month, there was a fascinating and hysterical story written by someone who was on an airplane with two seemingly horrible passengers. In fact, he ended up seated directly in between them [Note: The photo to the right is not the author of the Reddit post]. It seems that a mother (on crutches, mind you) boarded the plane with her young son. Rather than move their seats so that the mother and child could sit together, these two women argued that they have “flying issues” and needed to remain in their assigned seats. It turns out that they are sisters and, according to the Reddit user, are quite curmudgeonly. In fact, when he tried to assist with the situation, he was tersely told to mind his own business. After takeoff, the Reddit user and the woman seated next to him traded their seats with the mother and child. Now, however, our intrepid storyteller is smack dab in the middle of the two women who started this whole kerfuffle. Which leads us to his query: “What can i do to make their flight as akward as possible” [sic] We feel compelled to chime in. What exactly are the five best ways to annoy your airplane seatmate?5. Total armrest domination
It actually appears as if the Reddit user has already employed this classic maneuver. We’ve covered middle seat etiquette before and don’t believe that he’s doing anything wrong by controlling both armrests. It’s his birthright. But that doesn’t make it any less annoying to the ladies on either side of him.

4. The art of conversation
It’s time to get chatty. Discuss the weather. Talk about the reason for your trip. Ask your neighbors if they think the rash on your lower back looks abnormal. Whatever you do, keep talking. Are they ignoring you by working on their computers or reading newspapers? Don’t let that stop you. Keep chatting away, even if no one is listening.

3. Something smells fishy
Who doesn’t like tuna fish sandwiches? Everyone seated around you on the plane, that’s who. If you really want to bother your seatmates, eat something offensive. With fewer airlines offering free meals, you will need to plan ahead and pack that anchovy and bleu cheese sandwich yourself.

2. Bathroom breaks
Ask the flight attendant for extra water. After all, you need to stay hydrated on planes. Sadly, though, you can never really own water. You just kind of rent it. Asking to use the bathroom once on a flight is expected. Getting up twice isn’t too far-fetched. After your sixth trip to the head, however, you’re seatmate will be ready to stand up and scream. Which is helpful, since you’ll be able to get into the aisle again for your seventh bathroom run.

1. Airsick
There may be nothing worse than traveling next to a sick passenger. Feel free to get creative in how you portray your illness. You can go with the common cold and simply sneeze every 1-3 minutes. The sore throat is a classic and allows you to go with the excruciatingly annoying consistent throat clearing maneuver. To get the most bang for your buck, however, you’ll want to go full vomit. Work up to it, though. Start by talking about how you feel nauseous. No one likes hearing about a stranger’s stomach issues. Go to the bathroom with an excessive sense of urgency. Place your hand over your mouth, on your stomach, or on your buttocks. Covertly fake some gurgling noises. Now, depending on how committed you are to this, you can go all in. Vomit into the airsickness bag (either for real or sneakily dump some airport Sbarro’s lasagna in there). Do not miss the bag. Remember that you’re trying to annoy the passengers, not create extra work for the flight crew.

What did we miss? Surely there are more ways to annoy your seatmates. Let us know in the comments. We sure hope that the Reddit user came up with something good. Oh, and the next time you have the chance to help a passenger by switching seats or assisting them with a bag, just do it. It makes the world – or at least your flight – a better place.

[via @legalnomads]

Photo by Flickr user BJ Carter.

10 annoying passengers as told by a flight attendant

Here at Gadling, we love stories about annoying passengers. It gives us a chance to read about the kind of things that annoy us when we travel, and there is something deeply satisfying knowing that we are not the only ones that get annoyed when we bump into one of these annoying people.

Our tart friends over at Lemondrop have compiled a list of annoying passengers
, from the perspective of a flight attendant.

Now, this is of course nothing new, as we have our very own Heather Poole who has her own fantastic lineup of “pet peeves”, but it is interesting to see the overlap, and which things seem to annoy flight attendants the most.

And while we are on the topic of annoying people, check out our own list of ten annoying passengers, listing everything from “the escalator obstacle” to “the recliner“.

And fear not – Gadling will soon be publishing a list of airline employees that annoy us. It’s going to be quite the list, and I’m willing to bet it lists a couple of employees that have made you roll your eyes in the past. And lets be honest, who hasn’t come across a flight attendant who has the kind of attitude that makes you wish he/she stayed home that day.


10 passengers we love to hate: Day 8 — passengers who misuse the FA call button

We’ve already reached the 8th day of our “10 passengers we love to hate” lineup. You’ve been able to read about passengers who misbehave around the baggage carousel, people who don’t know how an escalator works, and folks who annoy others with their Bluetooth headset.

This entry in our lineup is about passengers who think the attendant call button is a butler call bell. For some reason, almost every flight has one of these jackasses on board.

10 minutes into the flight, you’ll hear the first ding. Now, I’m not against using the call button for an emergency, or if you are in dire need of a drink to help take some medication, but the call button is not there to assist you in making a drink order before the attendant starts the drink service. It is also not there if you want to know how long it is till the plane lands.

Also, on many flights, there are always people who can’t see the difference between white and orange buttons, and keep pressing the call button thinking it’ll turn their little light on – unless you are severely color blind there is no valid reason to hit the wrong button.

So, unless you are unable to walk, just get out of your seat and walk up to the galley for whatever it is you need. It’ll help stretch your legs (and prevent DVT at the same time). Bottom line – the flight attendant is not your butler, and they have another 100 passengers to deal with.

10 passengers we love to hate: Day 7 — mobile phones and Bluetooth headsets

It is already day 7 of our 10 days of passengers we love to hate lineup.

Today’s annoying passenger is a relatively new phenomenon, and has been slowly going from bad to worse in recent years.

I’m of course talking about people who never learned basic phone etiquette.

As a geek, I should be more immune to these annoyances, but there is something about the loud Bluetooth headset wearing passenger that makes me want to punch them in the face.

For some unknown reason, as soon as some people clip their headset to their head, they turn into really annoying people. Even people who are normally quite quiet think the airport is the perfect place to make random loud calls to people they’d normally not talk to.

I have a theory about it – these people think that talking on the phone at the airport makes them look important. They see “real” business travelers around them, and have the urge to try and blend in and look impressive.

Well, I have news for you – if you walk through the airport wearing your headset and talking loud enough for the entire terminal to hear you – you are a dork.

The worst offenders are people who don’t hang up and remove the damn headset when they are talking to someone else. Ever been behind one of these jerks? They are in line waiting for a ticket agent, and kill some time on the phone with their stock broker/money manager/bookie/therapist. Then when it is finally their turn, they think it is cool to continue their phone call and try to have the ticket agent help them.

I love technology, and I think the Bluetooth headset is a great tool, but unless you are expecting phone calls 24/7, just put the headset away. Really, you are not that important.

Against the law to be annoying in public

In Brighton, Michigan an ordinace was recently adopted to make it illegal to be annoying in public either by “word of mouth, sign or motions.” That’s the only piece of information I read about the ordinance in a snipet of News of the Weird in the Dispatch. Such a slim missive has me wondering about what’s annoying exactly?

I would guess you couldn’t flip a person off or stick out your tongue at someone. Probably you can’t put your thumbs at the side of your head at temple height and wag your fingers while saying, “Na, naa, na, na, nuh.” That’s what came to mind first. Or, what about someone standing in the middle of a grocery aisle talking loudly on a cell phone? That’s kind of annoying. There are all sorts of items one might put on a laundry list of annoying behaviors. My personal favorite is when someone comes to an event that’s quiet and starts rustling a plastic bag–and rustling, and rustling and rustling it. Give the person a citation, I say.

Then I went snooping on the City of Brighton Web site to see what’s what. I discovered that Brighton is the fastest growing town in Livingston County which is the fastest growing county in Michigan. I thought perhaps that all the extra people were making Brighton citizens unnerved and easily annoyed. Nope, that wasn’t it.

As it turns out, the old ordinace wasn’t clear about teenage bullying, neighbors repeatedly vexing neighbors, repeated unwanted text messages, these sorts of things.

As a statement by the mayor clarifies, the following do not fit under the new ordinace:

  • “The screaming child in the grocery line
  • The spouse that leaves dirty socks on the floor
  • The person that fails to use the left turn signal
  • You get the picture. . .”

This photo was taken at a park in GwinnettCounty, Georgia by Barely Fitz. You can’t be annoying there either.