“The Rules for Packed Planes” by Scott McCartney. The Wall Street Journal, 5/21/2015.
Record numbers of airline travelers are expected this summer to board ever more confining planes, and this is sure to result in more complaints and increasing “airline rage.” The airlines feel the problem is with their boorish customers who simply need education. JetBlue has created four jokey etiquette videos to accomplish this, freeing them from the onerous task of enforcing their own rules. Their recommendations (and my clarifications):
Board nicely. Many travelers push ahead in the boarding line to grab overhead bin space before it gets filled, mistreating their more laid-back fellow passengers. Maybe if you all would just pack lighter, you wouldn’t have this problem.
Stay within the confines of your seat. As we doze, we tend to spread into strangers in the adjoining seats. If you want the seat next to you, buy it. And always ask the person seated behind you before you recline. Your seat may already be resting on his nose.
Share your overhead. Don’t jam your baggage into someone else’s belongings that you find already taking up your space. And don’t throw their stuff on the floor while muttering something about an anal orifice. Get a smaller bag or check it, they advise. (See the first recommendation.) Store your own fragile items under the seat in front of you (where your feet will do the damage).
Don’t bring smelly food onboard. That dripping Philly hoagie may work at the ballpark, but not in an enclosed airplane. You need to lose weight anyway to squeeze into that tiny seat—Fatty.
JetBlue says more etiquette videos are coming that will run on the onboard “entertainment system.” They needn’t bother—I’m staying home.