Ask The Swag Gal – February 23, 2011

Today’s Ask TSGal comes from a frequent flyer who is fed up with obnoxious passengers.

My boyfriend and I recently flew down to FL for vacation, and we found ourselves stuck behind this really loud, really obnoxious woman. We’ve come across this many times, as we fly at least twice a year. What’s the best way to deal with this, without coming to blows at 30,000 feet? 😉

I’m willing to bet that every one of us who has flown has had to deal with an obnoxious passenger – a crying baby, the person who leans their seat all the way back while you’re trying to eat, the little kids who kick the back of your seat, the snorer, etc. I have to admit that I was once the obnoxious passenger. I was about 8 years old, and I accidentally knocked into the woman’s seat ahead of me. She turned around, and in the nastiest, loudest scream she yelled “knock it off!” That was it – I was scarred for life! And I now refuse to ever be the obnoxious passenger again.
So when we’re trying to relax on a long flight, how do we fight the urge to get up and scream to that annoying passenger “knock it off!?” First off, try your best to be patient. If it’s a one time kick in the back of your seat, just brush it off. But if it’s a rhythmic tap, tap, tap then it’s time to step in (no pun intended).
In a polite, yet firm way, ask the passenger to please refrain from this annoying behavior. Do not threaten – this will only enrage the person and exacerbate the situation. If confronting them doesn’t solve the problem, ask a flight attendant for assistance. Passengers are more likely to listen to an authority figure over a fellow traveler. If possible, ask if you may change your seat. Although this is not always a feasible option, when it is, it tends to alleviate the issue. If the plane’s too noisy, put on your headphones and blast your favorite song. This will comfort and relax you, and hopefully let you drift off to sleep, despite the commotion. And hey, if worse comes to worse, most airlines serve alcohol! 😛
I wish you the best of luck in your future travels. I hope you don’t have to endure any more obnoxious passengers, but if you do, I hope these tips help to make your flight more tolerable.
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