Tom Bastek | May 27, 2015 12:48 PM ET
An Open Letter To My Fellow Aircraft Passenger
To My Fellow Aircraft Passenger,
It has come to my attention that you feel that the world we live in has been specifically created for you. That you spend more, are more important than everyone else, and are not treated accordingly. You feel that the-powers-that-be have singlehandedly decided to make your air travel worse than the rest of us.
I know that you hate having to wait in that security line as long as you do, but we are right there with you. Yes, the floor is cold (and dirty) but you are the one that chose to wear flip flops and pajamas through security in the first place. Do not be upset with the TSA agent because you forgot to take a full water bottle out of your carryon or because you have to go through the metal detector twice because you forgot your belt.
The TSA agent isn’t paid enough to put up with your attitude and still manage to be the primary line of defense between me and a potential terrorist attack. After all, I am not upset with your unprepared and ignorant behavior causing me delay; have more patience.
I know that you are special. I know that you get to fly first class because of a how much you travel or how much money you make. Just because you have “arrived” when you arrive at the gate does not mean you should immediately be able to board. You have to wait for the previous flight to disembark, for the crew to change and the plane to be restocked, just like the rest of us who ride in steerage with the pigs and the chickens.
No amount of huffing and puffing to anyone who will listen is going to help speed up the process of you getting on the plane. Just as a side note: Telling the folks around you about how this never happens when you fly first class on another airline (especially overseas) doesn’t earn you respect, it makes you sound pompous and makes us hate your horrible shirt with too many buttons open, your unkempt hair, and your gaudy jewelry even more.
I know that you have a little trepidation about flying and the shrink told you to make yourself as comfortable as possible, but can you please refrain from taking off your shoes on the plane? The flight may be long, but we are not settling in for a long winter’s nap.
The smell, the look or the thought that you are dragging whatever was on the floor in security into the seat next to me is turning my stomach and scaring the poor family in front of us. Picking or rubbing your feet and then touching anything or anyone else on the plane is just gross and not something that anyone else needs to witness, ever.
You might think that you don’t have to speak at all to the person seated next to you, but there is a certain level of common courtesy that needs to be extended. A simple hello when you sit or someone sits next to you is generally expected and should be easy enough to commit to. Remember what our parents taught us about please, may I, and thank you and how to treat others like you would like to be treated? These rules apply here.
This goes double for everyone that works for the airline. They are not there to serve only you every waking moment and to be at your non-stop beck and call. They are there to make sure that everyone has a safe and swift flight with little problem or confusion. They respect you as they wouldn’t have a job without you, so you need to respect the heck out of them. They have a job to do, and they know it extremely well, so let them do it.
There are times occasionally where we will get in a little late or you get a little bit anxious about getting where you are going, but there is no need to try to get off the plane first. Pushing, climbing over people, or announcing to the whole plane what flight you are going to miss isn’t going to motivate anyone to move any faster. I know you think it is a race to see who can get their seatbelt off first, and pull their carryon down onto the person in the aisle in front of them, but it is not. There are no awards for pushing three people ahead and saving you a whole 21 seconds of time.
I know that you think this letter doesn’t apply to you and that you are always polite, patient, and courteous to the world around you, but I encourage you to re-self-evaluate, because you are not alone in this world. We are here with you, encountering the same problems and handling them with more couth than you, and we see you.
The Guy in 23C.
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