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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 21st, 2011, 06:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 84
I know my "complaints" make me sound like a whiner (and yes, I'm whining here), but our upcoming flights will be about 13 hrs. long, so the annoyances will no doubt seem somewhat magnified.

Quark, I'd bring along a few soft mousepads to hand out if I thought the shufflers wouldn't take offense - lol! A big part of my reason for mentioning these issues is for exactly the same reason as you. Maybe, just maybe, someone who hasn't thought of these things will try to be slightly more considerate the next time they fly. (I really try hard to think of those around me when I fly.)

Lance, your comment about a heads up from the person about to recline is the passenger behavior I am after. I usually at least glance at who is behind me in a plane so I know if I'll need to watch how much I recline.

We're not flying on a U.S. Airline and the one we are flying on does not sell bulkhead seats. Since we are part of a group rate, I imagine the seats designated for us are likely to be the center isle seats and fat chance of getting a bulkhead seat.

abram, your comments about the couple who took offense and acted rudely are exactly why many of us don't like having to request of a passenger where their "reclining rights" are concerned, esp. There are just too many people w/chips on their shoulders like the ones you mentioned. I prefer to think MOST people are understanding, but it's surprising how many are not.

julia, like you we collect the miles. EVERYTHING goes on a mileage/points card & we never use the points towards anything else they can be used for. ONLY for free flights.

Someone mentioned that my husband should sit next to the isle with the bad knee torwards the isle. He already does that when possible. It does help w/the bad knee.

rkkwan, I am only 5'5" and, on occassion, people have even hit MY knees when they recline. I "get it" about short people having challenges everyday when I try to reach the top shelves of our cabinets!Also, w/re to your other comment, a tall person's shins sometimes dig into the bottom of the seatback if they try to put their feet under the seat in front of them.

Yes, it's REALLY too bad AA changed those seats they used to have!
mlbcruiser is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2011, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Do you use sound cancelling headphones. Seriously!!

Won't help with the seat reclining but should take care of the rest of the complaints.

Also since it's 13 hrs. hopefully that's an overnight flight? And at least most of the passengers will calm down and try to get some sleep when they lower the cabin lights for the night.
suze is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2011, 11:11 AM
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I just go to my happy place when flying and wait for it to be over - basically put myself in neutral for awhile.
november_moon is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2011, 05:30 PM
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My pet peeve for airline travel: When you take an overnight flight, and a woman monopolizes the bathroom in the morning to put on her make-up, while everyone else is waiting to relieve themselves! (And I'm female, by the way). I think it's more considerate to use the airport restroom for make-up after landing.
elnap29 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 05:15 AM
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I have found that the older one gets, the easier it is to sit still and/or sleep for 10+ hour flights. And we take several of these trips a year. So you young folks have something to look forward to.
JaneB is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 08:17 AM
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38 years as a flight attendant and I have never seen someone shuffling cards on a flight- but all the other annoying stuff you mentioned I have.Just when I think that I have seen or heard it all on my international flights a new "one" happens.That is why my job is so interesting.
The traveling public never ceases to amaze me on what they do to their fellow travelers in terms of courtesies?
dutyfree is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 02:37 PM
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I fly alot and have never experienced card shuffling - perhaps I've just been lucky.

I use earplugs AND noise cancelling headphones. I select a New Age or Easy Listening channel, plug in my Bose noise cancelling headphones, turn the volume very low, and put my headphones over my earplugs. Works for me.
Melnq8 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 03:04 PM
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mlbcruiser and I are the only ones who have run into card shufflers. Mine were a pair of guys on a flight from SFO to HKG, in 1st class, when the seats were in pairs instead of suites. 14 hours of aggravating noise, and nothing to be done.

I agree with those who suggest noise canceling headphones or good earbuds (I use Shures), and an IPod with music that's relaxing to you.
DonTopaz is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 05:26 PM
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What about people who think overnight flights are a time to "catch up"? The first time we took our kids overseas, there were a couple of women in front of us who never shut up. At least it gave me the opportunity to teach my kids a lesson in simple courtesy (Many years ago, on my first trip overseas, I used nail polish on the plane. It didn't even occur to me that others could smell it, and that it would bother people. Someone mentioned it to me, and I'm glad she did. In the 40+ years since, I have been MUCH more considerate of my fellow travelers!
sf7307 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 06:18 AM
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Add me to the "seen card shufflers" group. On more than one flight, but at least they were playing a game in between the shuffles.

Noise-canceling headphones take up too much room.

I just finished a RTW in business class paid for by miles, and am NOT looking forward to going back to the back...
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 06:25 AM
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Haha, I was a card shuffler myself. 30 years ago, as a kid, when flying SQ longhaul. They give out playing cards to kids.

Noise isolating ear buds - many companies make them now, though I use Shure myself - are tiny, and no battery required.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 07:20 AM
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"Noise isolating ear buds" - thanks rkkwan. I didn't know they existed, and they'll come in handy for the Y, too.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 07:57 AM
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One huge advantage of the earbuds is that they're enormously easier to use if you're lying on your side, or if you lean the side of your head against the headrest or window. The Shures seem expensive -- I probably paid about $150 for them 10 or 12 years ago -- but they've been worth it, because of the fit (they come with several different sizes/styles of ear fittings, which makes them both comfortable and soundproofish).
DonTopaz is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 08:56 AM
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I love my Etymotics noise reducing earphones (not noise cancelling-- there is a difference). Mine came with a few different options to customize fit inside the ear for maximum quiet and comfort. I did a lot of research on FT and other sites and also read good things about Shures. People also swear by the big Bose noise cancelling cans, however I think these are difficult to sleep in (bulky, hot, etc., but YMMV).

My bigger pet peeve are people who grab the back my seat when getting out of theirs or when walking down the aisle.
MLTimes is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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I was flying from London to Sydney and the guy sitting in front of me in economy had the nerve to put his empty breakfast tray under his seat--that is where my feet were. On another flight, I was sitting in First Class in the second row and the people in front of me (bulkhead) put their small bag under their seat. I wanted to say something but I was nice and hoped it was just for take-off and it was.

For economy flights, I'm beginning to like the last row in the front section. With no one behind me, I can put things under my seat, the seat in front of me, and I can recline my seat with no one behind me grabbing my seat when they get up.
wally34949 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 09:43 AM
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"My bigger pet peeve are people who grab the back my seat when getting out of theirs or when walking down the aisle."

Sorry about that, but I'm not as agile as I used to be, and getting out of an economy window seat sometimes requires a little help, especially if the seat in front is reclined. I don't often grab seat backs walking down the aisle on planes (trains are another matter), but if I need to, would you rather I fell on you instead? (If it bothers you that much, try the window seat.)
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 10:08 AM
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wally - i thought the last rows at least in economy don't recline? Is that not correct?
yestravel is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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Wow some of you people are easily irritated. I try to go with the "we're all in this together" outlook about a plane flight. november-moon said it best. You just need to relax. Getting all worked up about card shuffling, someone needing to hang on to your seatback for a moment, etc. doesn't make it any better.
suze is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 01:37 PM
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I'm in the try to zone out and endure group.
But I know what you mean. I've experienced the incessant card shuffling, the 8-hour "catching up" conversation, and most everything mentioned here.
I now wear the Bose noise canceling "cans" for total ear coverage. Inconvenient, as noted, for lying head to side. I will have to try the earplugs inside because I can sometimes still hear too much when it is the couple next to me talking loudly or the card shuffler.
I also find that all this bothers more when I am really exhausted from a difficult trip or not feeling too well. Otherwise I can ignore much more.
Kay2 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 02:47 PM
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Yes, card shuffling. SHUFFLE, SHUFFLE, then BANG BANG BANG to make the stack nice and neat on the tray table. It's not just the sound, it's the intermittent nature of it. And it breaks through the noise canceling headphones. Sigh.

Don't care for the headrest grabbing either, especially when my hair gets grabbed along with the seat.

The seat recline problem is perennial; other than giving fair warning there may not be a solution.

Yes I admit to being easily irritated after 15-20 hours in transit, but I also realize it's a nice problem to have.
annw is offline  

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