Three weeks ago, I was assigned to teach a class in Denver. “No problem,” I thought, “I LOVE Denver!” So, I booked, got my first class upgrade, the plane left the gate on time, and I was hip deep in a Ted Bell spy novel an hour later when I first heard the ruckus.
Near the rear of the plane, there was a lot of gesturing, loud talking, and all of the flight attendants were back there trying to restore some order to an obviously tense situation. Shortly afterward, one of the flight attendants walked back up through the first class cabin carrying a whole raw chicken; feet and head intact. She threw it away and turned to walk back to the scuffle (still in full boil) and that’s when I stopped her. “I’m sorry,” I said, “you can’t just walk through here with a chicken and not tell us what kind of party we’re missing back there…” “Later,” she said.
Eventually, I learned that a woman from outside the U.S. (a woman unfamiliar with the “country” of Denver managed to carry a fully iced cooler with four whole raw chickens onto the airplane, AND she turned the cooler forward 90 degrees to shove it into the overhead bin! It didn’t take long for the melt water to leak out, soak the bags in the surrounding area, and begin to drip onto the passengers. How she got through security, I’ll never know. I’ve been known to bring a few pounds of fresh shrimp home from Houston, or a Lobster or two from Maine, but a cooler full of chickens?
This brings me to my point; we need to be more courteous and aware of our fellow passengers. Here’s my list of “Courteous ways to achieve harmony and bliss on the Airplane.” Please feel free to post your own:
- Modern cell-phones are a marvel of technology. They actually pick up your voice when you speak in a normal tone at a moderate volume. There is no need to scream. Your fellow passengers don’t want to hear about the results of your colonoscopy.
- You don’t have to call someone just because you have a phone. Its amazing to me that when the flight attendant announces, “You may now use your cell phones,” the sudden shifting, reaching, beeping, dialing, and connecting that immediately occurs. What on earth is that important? Most of those conversations go like this (I know, I’ve memorized them), “Yea, Larry? Yea, it’s me. Bob. Yea, I just landed. Yep, I’m here. Tell ya what, I’m gonna head to the rental car counter and I’ll touch base with ya there. Talk to ya then. Yea.“ Does that conversation really need to take place?
- People who are in violation of rules 1 and 2 simultaneously are especially annoying.
- Airlines establish rules for carry-on baggage for a reason. You’re not so special that you need to break them and carry on a world of bags. If Tiger Woods can check his golf clubs, you can check the two weeks worth of business casual clothing you’re bringing for the two meetings you have scheduled (over packing is a subject for a future blog).
- Stow your bag above or near your seat, and pack it with the wheels up and facing the aisle so others can put theirs in there too. People who toss their bag “landscape” style into the first open bin they encounter prior to walking to the rear of the plane to find their seat, should be punished. They should have to sit forward while their bag rides in the rear. Give them that experience once and they’ll never do it again!
- Close the door when you leave the lavatory. Most of the rest of us weren’t raised in a barn!
- Slinging your backpack over one shoulder is certainly comfortable. For YOU. It’s not especially comfortable for the aisle passengers that you smack in the face with your bag as you wander down the aisle with that goofy grin on your face.