Saturday 25 November 2017

Plane annoying... the fliers we love to hate

Let's face it. We Irish are not the most sophisticated when it comes to flying. Why would we be? We're stuck on a tiny island in the wilds of the Atlantic so it's only natural we get a little carried away at the prospect of getting off it.

Flying turns us into giddy children. We burn our plastic on giant Toblerones in duty free, drool at the sight of the drinks trolley coming through the cabin, insist on starting chats with neighbouring passengers, and burst into rapturous applause when the captain lands his aircraft in one piece.

It's all very quaint, but really, as a race, we need to big up a little when we hit the clouds, not least because our quirky in-flight habits run the risk of inducing air rage in our fellow travellers.

A new survey of the most irritating practices at 30,000 feet has found that boozers, chatty passengers and clappers are among the most despised people in the air.

Top of the list are travellers who take up too much space -- the type who cause mayhem in the aisles during boarding with their baggage, encroach on elbow space and kick the seatback every time they move.

The next big bugbear in the poll of 6,000 air passengers, carried out by Last Minute.com, is screaming children. One airline is finally getting to grips with that particular gripe -- Air Asia has just announced that passengers under the age of 12 are to be banned from the first seven rows of its planes.

Loud talkers who force everyone around them to listen to their holiday woes come next in line as in-flight hate figures, alongside those who impose their music on you from their iPod earphones.

Noisy eaters and snorers are also high up the unpopular list followed by those bothersome landing clappers, a habit seemingly peculiar to Irish, German and Kiwi fliers.

Applauding the pilot is probably the most uncool thing you can do on a plane bar buying a scratch card and chatting up the air stewards. The only time it might be vaguely acceptable is when catastrophe has been averted. And anyway, it's a pointless exercise as they can't even hear it up in the cockpit.

So keep the volume down, elbows off your neighbour's armrests, and emotions under control on landing. It will make for a much happier flight all around.

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