Randy Petersen's Opening Remarks – May, 21 2010

Randy Petersen's Opening Remarks – May, 21 2010

Switching Things Up

It’s June, that time of the year to fly away and enjoy yourself for once. By yourself, or with plenty of friends and family, travel during the summer months is always unlike travel the rest of the year. I worry less about earning more miles and actually become a student of what I see while traveling during the summer months. Sure, I want to put the earbuds in and listen to Led Zeppelin (okay … Young Jeezy) when rowdy young passengers make themselves known, but by and large, travel is meant to be an experience. Does it take more than just a couple of summer leisure trips to renew my resolve on why I must maintain elite level status? No.

I’m a fan of the Gadling travel blog and read it often for the type of travel information that is not found on BoardingArea. Recently, a piece from Annie Scott caught my eye and I thoroughly enjoyed the idea behind it–it is difficult to be faux-pas free as a passenger. So rather than me rattling off my personal list of the commandments of passenger behavior, let me share and give a plug to Gadling and have you read for yourself what Annie “sees” in travel:

10 annoying things you might not realize you’re doing on the airplane

1. Reclining your seat during a meal.
You are moving someone’s food. While they are trying to eat it. That’s mean.
2. Leaving your window shade open.
If you’re like me, and out like a light (fast asleep) as soon as the aircraft leaves the gate, be sure that if you’re in the window seat, you’ve pulled down your shade. People need that added darkness to see their screens and/or to sleep. If you’re out cold when the movie starts, and your window is still open and letting the daylight blaze in, you have failed in your window seat duties.
3. Eating messily, especially if it’s your own food.
I know it’s not grade school, and you can bring your own snacks even if you didn’t bring enough to share, but you may be making a terrible faux pas anyway. If you’re not eating during the meal service, it’s very likely that you forgot napkins, and are making a mess either of your row or on your tray table. As anyone who’s ever flown in economy knows, those tray tables don’t always get cleaned (well) between every flight. The stickiness stays. Seriously, choose your airplane snacks wisely, and bring wet wipes for you and the tray table.
4. Putting trash in the seat pouch.
That little magazine pouch in front of you is not for trash. Even if your mother told you it was, it’s not. Hold your trash calmly or leave it on your table until a flight attendant comes by for garbage. When you use the pouch for garbage, it is the equivalent of making a mess and hiding it.
5. Attempting major grooming in the restroom.
Not only does it take a good long time to shave, pluck your eyebrows, brush your teeth or whatever you’re doing, but it inevitably makes a mess. That’s not your fault–the plane is moving–but making the decision to do it while nice people wait in line IS. Then, they get into the restroom, which you may or may not have made an effort to clean up after your activities. Please try to remember that though it’s true, someone else will eventually clean it, it’s not like a hotel room. People you don’t know have to use that same space.
6. Bare feet.
Come on, really? Nobody wants to see your nersty toes.
7. Standing in the aisle to rummage through luggage in the overhead during boarding.
I know it “only takes a couple seconds,” and you “just have to get your phone” or whatever, but it’s not okay. Everyone needs to get onto the plane. If you have to rummage through something, pull it into your row and do it out of the way.
8. Talking too much.
You’ve just got to assume that nobody cares. If that seems cold to you, you’re looking for warmth in the wrong place. Keep in mind that your seat mate is a captive audience, and forcing them to listen to you may be borderline criminal, depending on their disposition.
9. Audio imposing.
Do you ever wonder if everyone around you can hear your iPod via your earbuds? Then ask a friend, because you don’t want to be “that person.” Additionally, turn the sound off on whatever games, computers and other devices you’re using.
10. Wearing a scent.
Even if you think you smell awesome, the person next to you is not likely to appreciate your bubblegum-scented body lotion, sexy cologne or even Chanel No. 5. Take a good shower and leave it at that. If you don’t have time to shower, and you happen to be a stinky person, everyone will smell it regardless of any additional scents. Don’t use them.

Just Febreeze yourself. (kidding)

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