One of the things I notice when I travel is how wonderful some people are to have as traveling companions and how annoying others can be due to various liberties they take with both traveling etiquette and respecting personal space. The intention here is to poke some fun and remind us all NOT to be that person. Did I miss your favorite annoying traveler? If so, please let me know in the comments section.
Here’s my list:
Chances are, we’ve all had several travel experiences nearly ruined by the The Talker. They come in many forms and test our patience in ways we can barely control. They’re on their cell phones right up to the minute the doors close. They carry-on loudly about everything from board meetings to physical ailments or family disputes that we never wanted to know about. Then, as soon as the cell phone is off, they proceed to talk your ear off. The slightest nod or greeting provokes their entire life story going back to early childhood.
You’ve seen them. Their ticket says they are in Zone 3. But once the pre-boarding announcement is made, they, in a slow unrelenting creep make their way forward and position themselves in a defensive position and block the boarding path. Undeterred by the passengers who need assistance, families with small children, they make way for no one. Not even our men and women in uniform who serve our country. Watch out Gate Zombies, I will roll my heavy carry-on over your feet.
Germ Spewer Extraordinaire
Too sick to travel? Can’t decide what sick means? You’re all excited about your vacation when you notice continuous blowing, sneezing and other wheezing sounds coming from your seat companion. They are obviously too sick to be anywhere, yet here they are in your personal space. Now you’re paranoid. Will I get sick too? If you’re lucky they’ll take some medication and fall into a deep sleep. Unlucky and they’ll cough and sneeze on you the whole trip, nervously sharing the story of how and why they’re traveling in such a state. These folks are potentially lethal to any vacation, beware!!
They can be large or small, thick or thin, male or female…you never know who will take over the armrest and never let go. They seem nice enough and then suddenly they make their move and it’s gone. You don’t get to rest your right or left elbow for the rest of the trip. Sometimes I lay in wait for the moment to reclaim the armrest, like when they get up to use the restroom. Usually it’s a fleeting victory because the Armrest Clasher is an expert with the ability to reclaim this valuable asset in seconds. Yes, you’ll find a way to be comfortable without the armrest, but you can’t quite forget about the inconvenience.
The Overhead Binger couldn’t possibly know that one overhead bin is allocated for the 6 seats below. So they think it’s all theirs. Yes, it’s all about you and your belongings!! Go ahead and store your carry-on and your rather large personal bag up there. Don’t forget your coat, umbrella, newspaper and gigantic tote bag. I don’t think anyone else is bringing anything on the airplane.
I know backpacks are super comfortable, the good ones almost sculpt to your back so it doesn’t even feel like it’s there. Here’s the thing…it is THERE. And as you make your way up the aisle and turn back to hear something your friend just said: YOU ARE HITTING ME IN THE HEAD WITH IT. Please make a note and manage your spins accordingly.
One of my least favorite travel companions is the Boozy Bonehead. When they slide into their seats, it’s obvious to everyone they have been drinking in the terminal. They are off-balance and usually smell of scotch or whatever they have been enjoying. Jittery and impatient, they start drinking as soon as possible after boarding. You pray silently that they are quiet and relaxed vs. irritable and annoying. If possible, get another seat far-far away. It doesn’t hurt to let the flight attendant know about any passenger that is one step beyond tolerable limits.
His/Her Royal Highness
While this traveler is annoying, they are also a little entertaining. I know you know who I’m talking about. They are looking for special treatment from everyone. My favorite is when they have to be the first to board, due to some special situation. Then they have to be the first one off the flight because they have a VIP function, are late and their limo is waiting. Or some other dramatic nonsense. They always travel in special princess/prince attire and will stomp on your foot with their fancy shoes if you try to get on or off they flight before they do.
The Concert Pianist
You’ve seen them on every mode of transportation. Mr. or Ms. All Business board and they’re instantly grabbing their laptop out of their case. Once it’s out they start frantically pounding on the keyboard as if performing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 in C minor. Yes we get that you’re a little behind on e-mail. Save it for Carnegie Hall people.
Not just one, but a group of people, who once the plane lands and the seat belt light goes off, immediately jump up to get their carry-on, which they hold perilously over their heads and bring down into the one inch of space between them and the next person waiting in the aisle. You almost took out three people but you saved 30 seconds. Nice job.
Have you ever been on a flight and an overly affectionate couple gets into the seats in front or behind you. You glance their way and notice them and then hope they settle in for a nice quiet journey. Reading your book or watching a movie, you think the storm has passed when they start up again. You’ll swear they are seconds from joining or re-joining the Mile High Club, right in the seat behind you. Behave yourselves people! You are not alone, you have traveling companions.
Who is your least favorite traveler?
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