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Ettiquette on long flights: How to handle these annoying situations?

Ettiquette on long flights: How to handle these annoying situations?

Apr 20th, 2011, 02:45 PM
  #1  
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Ettiquette on long flights: How to handle these annoying situations?

We have a VERY long flight coming up and will be trying to get at least a few hours' sleep. Based on past experiences, I'd like to get some feedback on what others think is acceptable w/regard to some issues that often come up even on short haul flights.

The first is how do you handle a fellow flyer who falls asleep near or next to you and snores VERY loudly when you are trying to get a bit of shuteye, or worse, breathes out very hard with many repeated loud snorts and gasps. In the past I've just let this go and found it can go on sometimes for the entire flight. Now, I know these people can't help it. Usually I've found it's an older, overweight man but not always. Is there a kind, polite way to handle this issue?

Another problem is those who don't check behind them before they recline their seat and suddenly SLAM it back as far as it can go. My husband is 6'3". We cannot afford to fly business or first class, so he has a lot of trouble finding ways to angle his legs to fit into the majority of seats (those w/little leg room). He has one bad knee to top it off and can't always get a bulkhead seat. So often someone I(you know who you are!) who even realizes they have wacked someone else's knees rather hardly does not even bring their seat back up an inch! PLEASE be kind and ease up a bit!

Last of all (and I know this will sound petty but it drives me NUTS!) is when some passengers seem to find it calming (or something?) to continually practice shuffling cards while flying. They tap the deck on the tray table over and over , and this makes a loud clacking sound. This and the flipping sound can be easily heard through earplugs. Maybe if they just put some sort of mousepad or cloth over their tray table it wouldn't be so loud (?).

Hoping for some legit and helpful replies.
mlbcruiser is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 02:49 PM
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P.S. I know everyone has pet peeves and that there are many other things people have to put up with while flying. These are just some that have repeatedly been an issue in my experience. Please feel free to add any other helpful ways to handle such annoyances. That is, good ideas that are "allowed". - I know about the ones such as sticking a shim into the recline mechanism but just wouldn't ever do that myself!
mlbcruiser is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 02:49 PM
  #3  
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P.S. I know everyone has pet peeves and that there are many other things people have to put up with while flying. These are just some that have repeatedly been an issue in my experience. Please feel free to add any other helpful ways to handle such annoyances. That is, good ideas that are "allowed". - I know about the ones such as sticking a shim into the recline mechanism but just wouldn't ever do that myself!
mlbcruiser is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 02:55 PM
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Bring some good noise canceling or noise isolating headphones. That will solve 80% of your problem. Plus, that way you can use your own headphones for inflight entertainment (when available) and not cheap ones from the airline.

As for people in front reclining, forget about it and just prepare that will happen anyways. They have every right to, so nothing can be done. If you sit properly, the seatback will not whack onto your knees, no matter how tall you are. You shouldn't be folding up your knees up near the tray. During meal service, you can ask that person in front (or have a flight attendant, for certain airlines, ask) to pull the seats forward.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 04:36 PM
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You can't change ANY of that - so good ear plugs and/or noise canceling headphones . . . .
janisj is online now  
Apr 20th, 2011, 06:04 PM
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I don't see why your husband couldn't tell the person sitting in front of him that he has a bad knee and politely ask the person, since he is tall, not to recline suddenly all the way back. He would just need to explain the pain it can cause and ask them to be careful.

I am NOT saying he should ask them not to recline, or to recline only partway. That might serve only to anger them. But it just seems like given his knee problems and his height, it is reasonable for him to ask not to be hit in the knee without warning. And that way, if they do it anyway, he could remind them of the request he had made and ask them not to recline suddenly again.
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Apr 20th, 2011, 06:32 PM
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Although my husband is just of average height, he's long from hip to knee, and always feels cramped on planes. Many years ago, a very obese man in front of him kept throwing his seat back and whacking my husband in the knees.

When my husband, a very polite guy, asked the man to just let my husband know when he was going to put the seat back, the man took great offense, got very angry--he and his wife were yelling so much and speaking to my husband in such a threatening manner that the crew had the air marshall meet the plane and escort these two people off, none too gently.
abram is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 06:33 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Some good points. However, rkkwan, you are obviously not 6'3", w/much of your ht. due to long legs! For CERTAIN my husband has to sit with his legs either over to the side or spread apart at opposite angles, even though his height is not unusually tall. His knees definitely DO bump into the seatback in front of him on most planes.
mlbcruiser is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 06:49 PM
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I am definitely not 6'3". In fact, I am a lot shorter than that and have an inferior complex. So don't try to get sympathy from me, since tall people have a lot of advantages in life over shorter ones, you have to find your sympathies from others. All I know is that there is a lot of foot room under the seat in front of you. You don't have to sit with your knees against the seat back.

But i do agree with Cranachin - you can politely ask the person not to recline abruptly. Maybe he/she will try to help you out with it.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 03:19 AM
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All these complaints are shared by anyone who travels - so no solution. For this specific trip, book aisle seat with bad knee along aisle - then he can move it around a bit more. Problem of snoring overweight man should be solved by putting you next to him. Never seen or heard anyone shuffling cards on a flight, but agree it would be annoying - sit near engines and that sound will drown it out.

But flying is so hateful these days that no one is comfortable and everyone is doing whatever they can to make it bearable for themselves - unfortunately sometimes at cost to other passengers. (Still hoping my "Pay 20% more and fly like a human being" airline idea will happen - but as long as people demand lowest cost air, they will get lowest level of comfort)
gail is online now  
Apr 21st, 2011, 03:23 AM
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Regarding the fierce seat reclining - somethimes that is the only way to get the seat to actually recline. And it is impossible to determine if the seat reached its full recline level because it reached its endpoint or because it hit your husband's knee. (Unless he screams at offender). I rarely recline my seat - but this is the way they seem to work on most older planes.
gail is online now  
Apr 21st, 2011, 04:02 AM
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More and more international airlines are starting to install premium economy sections in their planes. That 4-8" additional pitch is well worth the price.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 04:39 AM
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I'm 6'7", with back and knee issues. In an airplane seat, my knees are aboutthisclose to the seat in front of me.
I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm only looking for a 'heads-up' type of warning before the person in front of me decides to recline thier seat back.

And I'm going to stay away from the 'height' issue. The door swings both ways. Tall people have a great deal of challenges as well.
Lance71 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 06:13 AM
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Won't work for everyone, I know, but my solution, because I love to travel, in comfort please, and intend to continue doing so as frequently as I can until I'm 84 years old (that's when my Mom finally decided she had to stop) is two-fold:

1)I collect miles every possible way I can for use in upgrading flights/seats, and use all the potential benefits of my airline's frequent flyer club to the max.

2)I cut my expenses to the bone every way I can. All the money saved goes into a travel fund so I can afford upgradeable seats - this means no $4 a day at Starbucks; packing my own lunches from home rather than eating lunches out; driving a perfectly fine, small 15-year-old car; no big fancy house, just the same little one I raised my family in and have lived in for almost 40 years; no big fancy television; borrowing books from the library rather than purchasing; not upgrading perfectly good equipment and clothing simply because something new, flashier or more fashionable comes out; etc; etc; etc - well, you get the idea.

Being able to travel the world in comfort, with long overnight flights in lie-flat beds, makes all the little sacrifices more than worthwhile.
julia1 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 07:46 AM
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On our recent flight from Fiji to LA on Air Pacific, the flight attendants announced that they would begin serving and to please adjust your seat to the upright position. This was the first time I had ever experienced that!
JaneB is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 08:22 AM
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My brother is 6'8" and his knees actually make kind of an "anti recline"feature for the person in front of him. He has gotten some nasty looks from people when they can't recline their seat with him sitting behind - but there is nothing he can do! Just be reminded that we all have our "handicaps" - some are just more obvious than others...
illnative is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 12:05 PM
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SQ's FA do tell passengers to return the seat to upright position during meal times as a courtesy to others.

I do it myself on any airline, any flight, unless there's nobody behind me. Whether that person is 4'10" or 7'.

Many US airlines now sell bulkhead or "choice" seats with extra legroom or knee room at a cost; either at booking or at check-in. I hope those tall people who're having it so tough pay that modest fees (from a few bucks per flight to about $350 a year on United). They'll be happier and the person in front will be happier. And I wish they were exclusively flying American Airlines some years ago when they offered "more room throughout coach".
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 01:23 PM
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There is not a single thing you can do about any of them, except relax and get over it, try not to obsess. Personally my cure to these and others (crying babies, people who won't quit talking, etc.) is to have a few glasses of wine and listen to the audio programs provided on the plane, sit back and relax and remember I'm on vacation!
suze is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 01:59 PM
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The problem, RK, is that not every airline sells those seats -- and they're limited. I'm 6-8, and although I don't fly enough to justify the $350 annual fee on United, I absolutely consider it money well spent to get the PE upgrade on a per-flight basis. If I'm not on an airline with PE, I'll get to the airport extra early to try to get a bulkhead or exit. The problem is those seats are obviously limited, the agents aren't always so sympathetic and the people who do get them sometimes refuse to give them up. That's particularly annoying when they're not tall and really don't need to be sitting there.
And yes, when AA had the extra legroom, I went out of my way to fly them. I'd do the same with Jetblue if they flew more places from where I live.


"Many US airlines now sell bulkhead or "choice" seats with extra legroom or knee room at a cost; either at booking or at check-in. I hope those tall people who're having it so tough pay that modest fees (from a few bucks per flight to about $350 a year on United). They'll be happier and the person in front will be happier. And I wish they were exclusively flying American Airlines some years ago when they offered "more room throughout coach".
andrews98682 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2011, 04:29 PM
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I hear people shuffling cards on many flight I take. It is so annoying and don't understand how those doing don't it understand this I hope anyone reading this will not do it and pass it on. .
Quark is offline  

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