Airline Etiquette

Read the fine print on your next airline ticket.  There’s a lot of it.  These are the written rules of modern airline travel… short version:  the airlines aren’t responsible if shit goes wrong – suck it up.

As if these weren’t enough?  There are the verbal instructions we get from gate agents and flight attendants!  “Board only when your zone is called”.  “Don’t you listen?  I said sit down and shut the fuck up – we’re not boarding yet!” and “Please put your seat back in it’s upright, locked and most uncomfortable position….”.

There are also unwritten rules.  Polite travelers – hell, polite humans – just know these things.  One that i abide by – not only in the interest of karma – is that the person in a middle seat has rights to BOTH middle armrests.  They’ve already drawn the short straw by being in a middle seat, so the least that can be done if for the window and aisle passengers to cede this often disputed territory to the monkey in the middle.

Outbound yesterday, en route to my latest adventure in drunkeness and debaucheryanother gruelling business trip, i had a window seat.   Row 42 of a Boeing 757* SardineLiner.  On a completely full flight, i was certain that there would be no vacant middle seat – and my seat mate arrived just prior to the door closing. 

She was a youngish thing – pony-tailed and carrying a lot of crap.  Took her awhile to stow her gear, but she tucked into her seat, and i curled up against the window.  i was soundly asleep before we even took off…

Until the gymnastics started.  As i stated above, i’m quite willing to concede the armrest territory.  i am NOT, however, willing to extend that turf 4″ into my personal space.  i was awakened by her elbows about 10 minutes into the flight.  Popping on my headphones, i re-settled myself and hoped she was settled in as well.

Nope.  The next thing to come my way was her pillow.  The goofy kid was trying to sleep in a middle seat, and had her left leg up and over the other armrest, a foot pushed against the back of the seat in front of her, and her head within inches of mine.  If this were a long haul flight, i’d be a bit more sympathetic – but it was a fucking HOUR!  You can’t sit upright and stay awake for an HOUR? 

More aggravating?  She kept sighing and re-adjusting herself – such an invonvenience to be stuck in a middle seat.  Poor dear.  Sucks to be her.  Especially when i took back my armrest. 

Trying to sleep sideways in the narrow seat of a 757?   Not a good idea unless you can put your feet behind your head, honey…

You ought to see what i can do on a regional jet, baby!

You ought to see what i can do on a regional jet, baby!

*One of my least favorite planes – crowded, uncomfortable seats.  Although these days, a plane that gets successfully from point a to point b is winning my crusty travel heart…