We all have an idea of the perfect fellow passenger on a long trip. Sometimes it’s an attractive man or woman that you fall in love with between takeoff and landing. Sometimes it’s a businessperson who reads their magazine and then sleeps the whole way, never saying a word to you. While these passengers represent the ideal, they’re rarely the reality. Oftentimes we’re placed next to people who are rude, loud, or just oblivious. Here are a few tips for dealing with the inconsiderate passengers – that won’t get you kicked off of the plane.
Pick Your Battles With Screaming Kids
There are two different types of kids on airplanes: those who can control their behavior and those who can’t. For example, an 8-year-old who is playing Candy Crush with the volume on while kicking the back of your seat can control his behavior, while the infant who is confused and fussy can’t. With this knowledge, pick your battles carefully. There’s no point in berating a stressed and probably embarrassed mom who can’t control when her infant cries, sleeps, and poops.
When you address kids, treat them with the same respect you would treat an adult. Ask them nicely to turn off the volume or stop kicking you, and explain that it’s frustrating other passengers. If possible, smile at their parents to show that you mean well. This should reduce conflict while getting the solution you want.
Ask Talkative Neighbors to Let You Rest
Of course, children aren’t the only annoying travelers. Some people will talk your ear off from the moment they sit down. You might try everything from pretending to read, trying to sleep, and turning away, but they will always have something to say. If they’re not picking up on your subtle hints, mention that you were hoping to sleep on the flight but enjoyed talking to them. This allows you to end the conversation in the same way you would a phone call.
It’s also okay to ask them to quiet down, as long as you’re polite. Remember, they’re sitting inches from you for the duration of the trip.
Consider Splurging on Comfort Seats
You’re not the only one who is uncomfortable and frustrated. Everyone else around you is also stuck in the same metal tube in the same tiny seats. However, if you find that you get frustrated by the people around you easily, consider upgrading your seats to create a more comfortable experience.
The bulkhead and exit rows tend to have more legroom, so the people around you can get up without causing a scene, while many airlines have comfort seating that doesn’t cost as much as business class. Expedia typically has good deals on upgrades and hotel discounts, so you can spend more on your flight and less on your accommodation.
Try to book early on Priceline so you can pick your seats, and then choose aisle or window options. Many airlines allow you to pick your seats when you buy or when you check in. This limits the number of annoying passengers you have to deal with to one (instead of two when you’re in the middle).