Another flight, another fight. This time, a Delta flight to West Palm Beach from New York was diverted to Jacksonville over another dispute about reclining seats. The war between the recliners and decliners has broken into the open as airline travel continues to get decidedly more angry. I’ve already pledged my flying allegiance to the decliners — I don’t go back and I don’t think the passenger in front of me ought to, either. And I’m more than a little cranky about it.
But let’s not stop here. There are more passengers than the seat recliners who ought to be tossed off flights — preferably at 10,000 ft. — although that’s a good place to start. The list of uncivil aviation offenses just begins with the people who insist on intruding on my personal space. Here are other things you can do to qualify as the complete airline a-hole:
1) In the lounge, hog all available outlets with your myriad devices — phone, tablet, laptop, and headphones — and then start talking loudly on your mobile. Because you’re so, so important, aren’t you. Ignore the dirty looks for everyone within 25 yards of you. Yes, we’re still staring at you.
2) Try to barge on the plane before your row is called. Just act stupid — it won’t be a reach — and proclaim complete surprise when you reach the agent. All of these people should go to the back of the line — uh-huh, just like grade school — but the gate agents seem to have given up the fight. Can’t say I blame them, but if the carriers are going to go through the trouble of sequential boarding, a little enforcement wouldn’t hurt. Except in France, where this is completely futile.
3) Bring an oversized rolling suitcase, a briefcase, plus a couple of shopping bags on board and get ticked off when you can’t fit it all in the overheads. Extra annoyance points for arriving late. Then, keep opening bins that are already full until stuff cascades onto another passenger. Then act frustrated because you have to pick up the stuff you just knocked over. Yes, this is yet another case where the carriers are the root cause. Since the airlines have added outrageous fees for checked baggage, people naturally want to bring their stuff on board. All of it. So passengers push the envelop with oversized bags and everything from guitars to cases of wine, slowing the boarding process and sowing hostility because there isn’t room for all their stuff.
4) Once seated, take as much room as you can. That’s right, use both armrests for yourself. Spread your feet out until you make contact with the passenger next to you. Of course you are going to recline your seat with saying anything — slam — right into the knees of the guy behind you.
5) Now, when the plane taxies to the gate, push your way back to where you stowed some of your stuff, and then push your way forward to get back to your seat. Then, try to beat the passengers across the row into the aisle, so you can leave the jet 15 seconds faster than them. And be sure to complain about something on your way out.
You’re never going to fly this airline again, you say? Great. Can you start today?