I was having a conversation with a colleague who was expressing his dissatisfaction at Air Transat. He commented about the quality of the other passengers onboard. His biggest gripe though, was that the fact that the passenger in front put the seat back as soon as the seat belt sign was turned off after take off. In his opinion you have no need to recline your seat on a day flight and it was bad etiquette.
My thoughts are that I have paid for the seat and if I want it reclined then that is what I am going to do. As an economy/coach customer It does aggravate me when the crew ask me to put my seat upright for meal service. The trays are more often than not on a short runner so can be pulled closer to you so why does the seat back angle interfere with being able to eat? So if my seat needs bringing upright then so do all the others don’t they? The crew are never consistent and I always challenge why me and not them. The whole thing stems from the personal choice of the passenger directly behind you.
Of course if you fly up front this will be alien to you. Actually the process of boarding drives me insane. If you are seated at the back you have to slowly maneuvere your way across the galley and follow the late boarding other classes who will not, at what ever costs move aside to allow the traffic building behind them so they can carefully put their cabin luggage in the overheads.
I am very short at 5ft 4 in and leg room isn’t really an overriding factor in choosing a carrier but there was one flight where a gentleman seated directly behind me must have been over 6ft 6in and he had his knees up to his chin. He grumbled and moaned especially when I put my seat back. Not sure why he didn’t swap with his wife who had an empty seat in front of her.
Food choices are awful on flights and why do they persist in serving these choices only – Beef, Curry or Pasta? Curry on a flight permeating throughout the cabin is just disgusting. Coffee is over-brewed and you always get half a tiny cup. Advice to airlines – Keep it SIMPLE! Stop trying to be a cordon bleu bistro at 40,000 ft.
So you select your perfect seat and keep moving your selection around if the is a seat next you becomes occupied and you stare harshly at anyone coming within a foot of your seat in the hope it isn’t the one next to you. Once my carefully chosen window seat was challenged by a loved up couple who separated by the aisle!!! I was at the window and the guy sitting next to me was travelling with the young lady across the aisle. She called out asking if I wanted to swap seats…..Noooo way Jose! The lady sat next her though said she would and we got chatting and that was one of the most interesting flights I had experienced. She had been a Whitehouse Staffer during the Reagan administration!
Avoiding school holidays is an art as well. Some children are perfectly versed in how to behave and other little darlings are simply left to their own devices regardless if jumping on their seat or leaning over the seat back and just simply making you uncomfortable. You glare and sometimes the child will recoil and start to behave but parents there is no doubt that these bundles are your responsibility.
Another thing I have real problems with is the over perfumed or after shave splashed on by fellow travellers. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that is makes my head spin. I guess it is better than the passengers with body odour or had a spicy dish the night before and are still sweating it out through every pour.
Random checks by security staff are a necessary evil but often undertaken by rude and surely staff members. It is best to keep quiet through this process.
I know we all do it but as soon the long journey has taxied to a complete stop and the seat belt sign goes out there is a massive scrum to get your overhead cabins open, being careful that nothing has moved south during the flight, and then stand impatiently in the aisle, staring longingly at the line in front with the expectation of it’s sudden movement towards the begging bowl for spare change, false smiles and insincere thank yous’ from the staff.
The battle lines are then drawn for the race to immigration or border control. My worst experience was at Houston International when I had arrived at the international terminal with a two and half hour connection to make. There were at best 3 desks open out of 42 lanes. People were pleading with the airport staff to be moved to the front because of their connecting flights. I think if you had remonstrated with them they would have had you arrested. Needless to say I missed my Dallas flight and was re-booked on the last flight of the day to my destination.
So what are you least favourite aspects of flying? Unfortunately for me my colleague opened up a whole can of worms!