As I flew back from a recent trip, having experienced a few random annoyances, my mind immediately sought to mentally catalog all my pet peeves about flying (I did have nine hours to kill…). A few months ago I shared my hotel pet peeves. I greatly enjoyed hearing from you on your own hotel pet peeves, so I thought I’d share what came to mind during that flight – and I hope I hear back from you on yours as I am sure five pet peeves cannot be all there is!
Nota bene: I will even skip the obvious one: what passes for food (or snacks)… Too easy.
Let’s work our way to the number one pet peeve…
5. Poorly engineered entertainment systems
Ahhh… I sit down and get comfy. I turn on the entertainment system. How cool, I get to watch some movie I have not watched that I have been wanting to see. And then takeoff rolls around. Blip. Entertainment system turns off and when it finally re-starts, we start from scratch.
I have never really thought there was ANOTHER WAY. Until a recent flight where that did not happen. I was blown away! I was able to pick up the movie where I had left off. What a frigging concept! And then the system did not shutdown 20 minutes before landing – all that time to kill until I could get up to exit the plane. I have never understood why the cursed system could not keep me entertained up until the rows ahead of me had cleared out and my turn to walk out had come. Soup-to-nuts entertainment is what I want on a flight. Is it THAT hard? Some engineer somewhere must have the answer!
4. “8-track age” PA systems
Those public announcement (PA) systems on the plane used by the flight attendants to tell you 100 times during boarding to stow one carry-on under the seat in front of you to save overhead bin space… Is it impossible in this day and age to get clear sound coming out from speakers??? Please, give me a break!!! Feedback and noise are easily solvable these days, folks, come ON! Spend some money on engineering please! And then the pilot comes up during the flight and you can’t hear a thing. Really???
3. Continuing the entertainment theme
My next pet peeve applies to airplane configurations where there is a personal TV screen in the back of a seat and where said screen is a touchscreen. I imagine you can guess what this one is about… It’s about the fact there always seems to be a boxer behind me who thinks the touchscreen is a punchscreen. PUNCH. PUNCH. PUNCH. Hey, idiot, the force of the punch makes no difference. TAP IT! I normally do not confront people when they are being inconsiderate but on this one, after a few rounds of PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH, I will turn around and inform them tapping is preferred. I have a lot of patience to be sure it was not a one-off PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH but after a round of these, I do turn around…
2. Slingshot seat
Oh, boy, do I just HATE this… Especially when I am FINALLY asleep (it is hard for me to fall asleep when flying) and the moron behind me thinks the back of the seat in front of them is PURELY for leverage when they get up. It is one of the most inconsiderate things in a plane in my book… Added propulsion as I sit placidly, in turn, in a propelled metal tube… I will give said fellow passenger a look on the second or third incident and after that, if it is a long flight, I do speak up because I don’t want this game going on for hours…
And, drum roll please, …. the number one inflight pet peeve…
1. Parents behaving badly
Even more than the slingshot seat, parents behaving badly is about the most intolerable things in a plane. It is not the screaming child that annoys me. OK, that does, but I understand that toddlers are not always controllable and I can deal with it. However, it’s the dumbass parents who think the time we are all trapped in a metal cylinder being propelled through the atmosphere by combustible fuel is the time to demonstrate the ideal child-rearing parental behavior are just FREAKING RUDE. What do I mean about the ideal cihld-rearing parental behavior? Well, it is that behavior in which you don’t tell the child “no.” You just let them go on and on yelling (not crying) though it is an overnight flight because you don’t want to “traumatize them.” Well let me tell you, some day, someone will step up and yell at them and traumatize that child. It will not traumatize the child if for once you act like a mature adult and be considerate to others around you!
So, there they are. What do you think??? But I don’t want to leave just thinking about why flying can be so annoying. Because flying also affords us great opportunities to see the world and some magical images of our planet and our sun – as this picture shows!