Flying Etiquette and Pet Peeves

Flying Etiquette and Pet Peeves Updated: 2022-04-18

We hear horror stories about flying, more so with COVID. People have gone off the deep end and air rage is real - but, removing this from the equation, what are the strange things you've experienced while flying? We'll start...

Painting Fingernails

I cannot believe I actually experienced this at 35,000 feet but yes, a young woman decided it was the perfect place to take off her nail polish and paint her toes and fingers! She was sitting right behind me and I gave a few glances back to figure out what was going on but no one sitting next to her advised her against this - not even the flight attendant.

Pulling on Seats

This is a tough one and it goes well above just touching my headrest or changing the in-flight entertainment.

I was on a flight where a woman was escorted onto the plane first because she had a knee injury and was firmly seated right behind me for a red-eye to Europe. This woman proceeded to drink considerably which meant she had to use the restroom quite often and this is where the issue began. She would leverage her body on my headrest, pulling my seat further back than the typical recline and then she would release, launching my head forward - it was a catapult! I gave a few "looks" the first few times until I finally had to turn around and ask her to NOT wake me up by launching my head forward - and she was NOT happy with me. She would slam her tray table shut and continued to use my headrest as her crutch.

When someone needs attention like this, they are required to be the last off the plane so someone can assist them but miraculously, she wanted to push past me to get off the plane first. I kindly reminded her she was instructed to wait until someone could help her and she, of course, did whatever she wanted.

Talking on Red-Eye

Yes, people talk and no, there aren't rules about it but there is courtesy and there is a volume level which needs to be discussed. This happened quite a few times, the most recent being last week on our way to Ireland.

The flight from Philadelphia to Ireland is just 5.5 hours, wheels up to wheels down which means there really isn't a lot of time to sleep before you need to be ready to go. We purchased Premium Economy so it was business-class seats, smaller cabin with only 4 rows of seats. Within an hour we had meals served and then we were ready to sleep - until row #8 A/B decided to have a conversation at above-normal volume and with a voice that just boomed throughout the cabin. Noise-cancelling headphones with music on and I could still hear them talking. My daughter was looking over at them as well due to the noise level. The lights were turned out and the laughing and talking never stopped! No sleep the ENTIRE flight which meant a horrible first day.

Prior to this, we purchased first-class seats to the west coast and it was a late-evening flight, arriving late-evening there. A family of 4 was upgraded and sat right beside us as they missed their connection - glad they were able to get on a flight and make it to their destination. That is how I felt before the father decided to read a book, out loud, to his 14-year-old son! He was reading a novel to his son for 30 minutes - people were trying to sleep and the cabin lights were lowered!

While I don't believe in silence, I do think we need to acknowledge where we are, those around us and how to make air travel as sane as possible.

Bulk Head Cut-Through

There are three of us in our family so we typically book the center seats on a 2-aisle flight and we did just that on our Christmas trip to Punta Cana. In fact, we paid the extra fee to select the bulk-head seats on the flight down and back again, giving us a few extra inches to stretch those legs.

At some point we were awakened (early morning flight) by a woman who decided to walk over our feet to get from one aisle to the other. We were in disbelief and too shocked that she did this, without saying a word -- and she did it again! At that point we made it clear that it was NOT a cut-through and she should walk to the galley to cross over... which didn't sit too well with her. She proceeded to curse us out, in front of our child, because HER daughter (teenager) was not seated with her and she needed to check on her. Thankfully she did not do it again as I'm not sure how this would have escalated.

Enchanting Ireland tries it's best to keep our information updated; please make sure to verify all links and businesses are open when you travel.

Request a custom Ireland self-drive vacation today!