I have spent ample times on airplanes. By myself, with friends, husband and on several occasions with my son (five week old newborn to present). It is not always fun (layovers, waiting, stress, cancellations etc.) but especially annoying when there are certain passengers on the plane.
As soon as I board a plane I check out who travels with me and quietly pray that it is not the crying baby, the Huge muscle guy, the Snorer or the Chatty woman. Usually, every time upon landing I complain about my seat mate in one way or another. For some reason, it is usually the same people on every flight I have taken so far. Like they are fundamentally the same in a way or follow me by booking the same flights.
I always attract the frequent pee-er but silently wish he does not sit next to me when I have the aisle seat. Doesn’t it sometimes seem people drink like an entire ocean on purpose before boarding? The most annoying frequent pee-er I ever sat next to was a guy in his thirties who had to go to the bathroom every 45 minutes (on an eight hour overnight flight to Germany!). We ended up switching seats, it was just insane so hear, “excuse me, I am sorry” throughout Ernest Hemingway and several tearing up paramount moments.
I am a mom so I know what I am talking about here. Babies and kids on the plane: eff this! It is stressful for myself to sit in one seat for 8+ hours, so I understand putting a child through this is torture for everyone involved. Before I had a child, I felt so sorry for the parents I observed who separately struggled to keep their kids from losing it, screaming and throwing crayons all over the plane. I sometimes flew with Petit Joel and he was the cutest baby ever. From lactose coma sleeping when he was a baby to silently painting and watching things on his iPad for hours. But there have been other flights as well, too. I always love these parents who are swaddling a screaming ear-infection baby on the plane, dirty diapers all over the place and then yell at me when I unintentionally cough twice, “Shut up. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? You were a baby too at some point and screamed, right. RIGHT?” No! I wasn’t. I was the cutest little angel baby. Then again, I flew for the first time when I was 14 years-old so what do I know. Sometimes annoying on the plane: Petit Joel. I am also still not quite sure if baby or child on a plane is worse. Children can be creepy, too. When my son kept staring through the partition of the two seats facing the people in the back. Initially, it might be funny, the people smile, maybe play with him a bit but it gets annoying after some time, especially when they then have this urge to make smalltalk. Also, when he does that to the people in the front while constantly kicking into the seat, not so cool. But 95% he is the best travel companion ever.
Moving on to The Healthy passenger who brings tons of snacks. Hundreds of ziploc bags and plastic containers full of hummus, fruit, pretzels, grains, sliced paprika, carrots and celery. Eating constantly, crumbs all over and yes, she eats all this during the flight from Montréal to Ottawa. Constantly mentions that the airplane food is disgusting and unhealthy and that they should offer green juices and raw food options. Annoying!
Or I sat next to The Coma Sleeper. A person who gets on the plane, puts on a sleep mask and passes out the entire flight without moving, eating, talking, peeing or drinking (8 hours+). German Angst tell me to at least check on this person once like if he/she is still breathing. Is the chest rising? Checking the vital functions quickly? I decided once to put my ear close to the person’s face which just made the rest of the plane ride feel kinda creepy and strange. Since then, I opt for accidental poking instead.
I also sat next to the The Rock. The person who is like 2m 20cm tall, 200 kg of pure muscles, suntanned and talks about his workout nonstop while occupying both elbow rests and is all over in my personal German space. He brings his own power muscle shakes powder and needs milk (liters of milk) to mix them all up in his shaker. Just imagine sitting in between two Rocks. For eight hours.
The paranoid passenger vs. Mrs. Nevershutstheeffup vs. I-cannot-sit-still. Sitting next to either of them can be very annoying especially when the paranoid passenger tells you constantly that they forgot their medication at home while they slightly curl up in a bend forward fetal position rocking back and forth. They occasionally add that this plane will go down for sure while checking every five minutes where the life vests are and where the planes current coordinates are on flight tracker. Mr./Mrs. Nervershutstheeffup is self-explanatory, eh. She/he is also interested in everything you do, read, work, watch or listen to and skim the pages you read right along with you. The I-cannot-sit-still-passenger is pretty much all the way up there on my annoying-scale. She (usually a ‘She’) constantly looks for something to do, starts reading, puts the book down, takes her phone, listens to music, turns on the TV, puts on lipstick, wipes it off, puts on lotions and smelly glitter body stuff, takes back the book, takes out the Vogue magazine, writes things in her notebook, highlights things, rearranges everything in her purse to just put everything back and and back out. Eight hours+!
I-am-so-busy-with-work-and-never-ever-rest-passenger. This person has about a million chargers and gadgets, his iPhone, iPad, moleskin journal, several pens, his Kindle and books. He desperately tries to log on the air-wifi and buzzes for the flight attendant a million times. This passenger has of course all his gadgets constantly on, even when electric items need to be switched to Airplane Mode. If this plane goes down, it is about a 58% chance that the crash happened because of this passenger. When I fly alone, I just give him the occasional “look”. He does not get much work done when I fly with Petit Joel, however.