Airplane Commotions and How to Prevent Them


In today’s world of cheap airline travel, airplane commotions are becoming a larger and larger issue. With more people crowding the economy section of commercial flights, the need for etiquette is greater than ever. The following tips will help you to make your long distance flight experience a pleasant one.

1. Always use headphones when listening to music or watching a movie.

2. Be considerate when it comes to phone calls. If you must make or take a call, find an isolated space such as the bathroom or the back of the plane.

3. Remove shoes and socks before sticking your feet under the seat in front of you.

4. Keep your children from kicking the back of other passengers’ seats, and always keep them on a tight leash to prevent them from running around and disrupting others.

5. Do not talk loudly on the phone if there is a chance that other passengers may overhear what you are talking about.

6. If you must speak loudly with someone else in your party, try to keep it down to a minimum and do not call attention to yourself by making obnoxious comments that others may hear and be bothered by (such as jokes about terrorism).

All around me, people were coughing, sneezing, and sniffling. I was stuck in the middle of a row of sick passengers.

Coughing is common when you fly, but it’s definitely not pleasant for anyone involved. It doesn’t help that planes are full of hundreds of people packed into a small space — so if you’re contagious, you could infect other travelers more easily.

How to prevent it: The best way to make sure your cold doesn’t spread is to stay home! If you absolutely need to travel while you’re sick, try keeping some tissues on hand (and even a face mask) to prevent the germs from spreading.

It’s that time of year again. Humidity starts falling, leaves start changing — and my allergens start going crazy.

Flying with allergies can be pretty tricky since there are so many allergens in the air — and since airplanes are so crowded, it can be easy for people to feel the effects of someone else’s allergies.

What to do about it: If you suffer from allergies, make sure you take any medications before you fly — and consider bringing along some over the counter medicine just in case.

Dear Sirs,

I was on a flight from San Francisco to New York, and, as usual, the air around me was thick with germs.

I don’t mean this metaphorically. I mean that in an airplane you are literally surrounded by other people’s germs. And while the worst thing they’ll probably give you is a cold, there’s no good reason to subject yourself to it.

The problem is that a lot of people don’t seem to realize this. They fly in planes while they’re sick and spread their germs all over the place, or else they fly healthy but then get sick on the plane. Either way, everybody gets sick, and nobody feels like doing anything but lying around in bed moaning for the next three days.

This need not be so! The problem is that we neglect three things: our health before the trip; our environment during the trip; and our bodies after the trip. If you take care of these three things you can dramatically reduce your chances of getting sick from flying.

I don’t like cheap airlines, and I never fly on them if it can be avoided. Not that they’re unsafe. In fact, they’re probably safer than the big carriers because their systems are simpler. They have fewer planes to worry about and therefore less to keep track of.

What I hate about them is the cattle-car feel of the planes, with their cramped seats and artificial “conveniences” like pay-per-view movies. And I detest the large number of boneheads who think a plane is just an extension of the mall or hip hop concert or whatever other venue they left behind before boarding. No matter where you sit, you hear a chorus of cell phones as passengers ignore preflight instructions and call home or work or whomever to say good-bye or catch up on business. There’s also a lot of unnecessary talking as people try to make contact with others in their row or nearby rows.

It’s not the airlines’ fault that so many people act like idiots on flights, but there are some things they could do to reduce commotions — at least those caused by passengers before takeoff:

I recently heard about a new airline. They are the cheapest airline I’ve ever seen, and their slogan is “We have the lowest price. That’s all you need to know.”

I think that is true. I once visited a friend who lived in San Diego; he paid about $30 for his ticket, and I paid about $250 for mine. On our return flight, his flight was cancelled and he was given a free hotel room and a free food voucher. My flight wasn’t cancelled so I only got the free food voucher, but when I got home I saw that they charged me $25 for my return flight anyway.

So it is definitely true: prices vary so much that there is no point thinking about anything else. This new airline also has an interesting approach to customer service: they don’t have any. If something goes wrong, you can call them or email them, but they won’t do anything about it because it would cost them too much money. And then they will tell you that the problem is your fault anyway, because you booked your ticket on such short notice.

That really isn’t so bad, actually; there are plenty of times when customer service can

The truth is that I don’t go out of my way to be kind to others; rather, it’s just that I hate being inconvenienced. That’s why it pains me so much when people take up two seats on a plane.

I’m usually able to seat myself in the emergency row, which means no one sits in front of me. It also means that people have the potential to recline into my knees. This is where “Do Not Recline” signs come in handy. But if I’m not able to get an emergency row seat, then I make sure to put up a “Do Not Recline” sign whenever I’m eating or working on my laptop.

If you recline your seat while eating, you risk spilling food or drink all over yourself and whoever is behind you. If you recline your seat while someone is working on their laptop, they risk breaking their screen as they bend their laptop backward to avoid smashing their face into your seat.

In general: be considerate of others and remember that everyone hates being inconvenienced!

The airline industry, like the hotel and transportation industries before it, is being transformed by the internet. Consumers now have unprecedented access to information about schedules, prices and amenities.

And this is not just any industry: air travel is an essential part of modern life. But we are still in the early stages of that transformation. Most people still buy airline tickets the old way-through a travel agent, or at an airport kiosk. New airlines are being born to take advantage of this new environment, but most of them-like JetBlue and EasyJet-are, frankly, too small to matter much.

But all this is about to change. Southwest Airlines has announced that it will soon begin selling tickets on its website. This matters because Southwest is big: big enough to change the way airlines do business. It has the effect on air travel that WalMart has had on retailing: by driving prices down and raising quality on a large scale, it forces other companies to follow suit or go out of business.


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