When you travel a bunch, you have some pet peeves- these are mine!

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Pet peeves

I love flying. I love travel. I do not always love those who travel around me. This post was motivated by a total jerk of a seat mate Zach from DTW to SBN. Let me set the stage for you. Lisa & I were flying all carry-on. My laptop bag fits, even on a CRJ200 in the overhead. My carry-on, that is Delta Size Check AOK does fit under the seat on a CJR-200 but takes a little bit of the leg room of both seats. However, we all know that plane side checking anything can greatly shorten it’s life. Anyway, Zach sits down next to me and says:

Zach – Your bag is encroaching my space.

Rene – I am sorry it will not fit above.

Zach – Check it.

Rene – You know how bad they beat up plane side checked bags.

Zach – That does not matter.

Rene – You could ask to be reseated.

And we shared a few more words and proceeded to ignore each other since the flight after all from DTW-SBN is a full 30 minuets long. So what does good old Zach do next? He has both his phone and his iPad on in cell mode for the full flight and hides the cell connection corner on the iPad each time the FA walks by. Thanks a lot Zach for endangering all 50 of us so you could send out some e-mail about aluminum soffits that I am sure are changing the world!

Without getting into too much of a debate as to the danger of using a cell phone on a jet the FAA does say:

“Cell phones differ from most PEDs in that they are designed to send out signals strong enough to be received at great distances.”

I follow the direction of the FA s and as soon as I hear the boarding door close I shut off my cell connection. Not so important for good old Zach!

But on to the rest of my travel list of ultra annoying people / events many of which I have experienced on this very trip. In no special order:

1) Speaking of bags and overheads, can you learn to put your bag in the right way? I mean these equally make me nuts. Either the “yeah the door will close” when we all know it will not or the “let’s put it sideways and take up 2 spots” when wheels out or handle out will work (but please do a test close to be sure).

2) Chewing gum with an open month like a pig. I get the need to chew gum but does it need to sound like a pig at the trough chowing down?

3) Slamming of hotel room doors. We all know those things are heavy. Hey, guess what, there are people trying to sleep all around you; how about NOT letting it go and slamming against the jam late at night or early in the AM when you come and go! Please close the thing gently!

4) Blocking seats in the Skyclub with your bags. Ya know we all have bags but we don’t need to take up extra seats with our bags. I know the Skyclubs will soon be much less crowded due to the price jump (we will see if the test perks offset the price jump) but until then please keep your bags off to the side.

5) Back to jets. Even if first class space is a little limited, please person behind me, unless you are actually nearly 7′ tall, get your knees out of my seat back and stop massaging my tushy with your feet. I like neither one.

6) Hotels again. Why do you and your kids have to YELL down the corridor? You see all those doors around you while you yell, yeah those, there are people like me trying to sleep behind them. Please shut your trap! Geezzzz.

7) This is mostly in an airport but works anywhere. Please don’t just STOP in the middle of the walkway without warning. I will walk into you if you do as I walk with a purpose. If you need to stop then step off to the side please.

8) Back to noise. I understand it can be hard to hear each other on an airplane. But on an early morning flight, should and FA be SO LOUD up in the galley that I can hear every word from row two in 1st class? Hello! Some are trying to sleep back here! Grrr… (can I get another “like” valley girl)?

9) While on the FA topic, why do they have to play demo derby with the drink carts into my seat. I mean, it is hard to sleep in a seat and really hard after that jarring BANG by the cart. Please pay attention to where you drive the cart people!

10) TSA Pre Check newbee’s. If you are going to use Pre Check learn the rules. You don’t have to get naked. Just toss it all on the belt and run through the arch. If it beeps take out your cell phone and toss that on the belt like you should have in the 1st place and then run through again and get out of my way I need to go to a Skyclub and drink some #SkunkyBeer.

You know I could do this all day long but it is now your turn. What are your most frustrating pet peeves that people do when traveling? What are the best of the best I have left off this list? You tell me. – René
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65 comments

  1. How about the person in the window seat in FC that has to force their way into the aisle while waiting to get off the plane.

    Hey buddy…yes that is my foot you stepped on! What made you think there was extra room in this aisle already crowded with people?

  2. 1) People that sit all of their stuff on the next barstool in a packed airport restaurant or airline lounge.

    2) Wheeler-dealers on their cell phone.

    3) People that are rude to staff and other customers.

    4) Small bags and coats in the overhead before boarding is done.

    5) Recliners.

    That’s about it.

  3. Hey zone 2 & 3 people. No need to rush the gate door when they are calling kids and assistance. Or even when they call FC. Wait your turn.

  4. Sorry, gotta side with Zach here. Keep your stuff outta my way. But, if you’re gonna encroach, at least make an up front gesture of asking if they mind.

  5. @kenny – would have if Zach had not been such a jerk from the start. Also, had it been a longer flight no problem but this is up/down often less than the 30 min scheduled flight time.

  6. Seat yankers is my #1

    Why does the person sitting behind me seem to always need to yank & pull on my seat when standing up or sitting down? It seems to especially happen when I am about to fall asleep.

  7. My pet peeve is people abusing the carry on rules and bringing on board more than fair share. So I agree with Zach on that, but obviously not on the cellphone issue.

  8. Your bag did not fit under your seat, but you didn’t want to be inconvenienced, so inconvenienced a fellow passenger. The end. The rest of the post now lacks credibility.

  9. People who complain because my knapsack and winter coat are in the overhead. I checked my bag. The space under the seat in front of me is for my feet.

  10. @Adam – I fly a lot of CRJ200 (unfortunately) out of SBN and have had the same thing happen the other way. Did not say one word as I know the results to your bag.

  11. Rene- you knew your bag would not fit in your space when you boardrd the plane. I think it is your responsibility to ask your seatmate if you could please take up a bit of his space at your first encounter. Your seatmate was justified to be annoyed at your ‘entitled’ behaviour.

  12. @MSPpete – fair enough, but someone who uses not just one, but two cell ON items, from gate to gate, does tend to show the type of jerk I was dealing with. Yes – No?

  13. Sorry, Rene, but when you brought your bag which you knew did not fit, you didn’t know you would be sitting next to a jerk. His being a jerk does not seem to justify your breaking the rules too. Check the bag.

    And if you cared so much about the cell, you should have alerted the flight attendant instead of sitting there seething with anger.

  14. Zach sounds like a jerk but I do agree with him on the carry on size. If you can’t fit it in your own space or in the overhead check it. I agree with you on the door slamming at hotels. So stupid.
    Some of my others:
    If you can’t lift your “carry on” you should check it.
    If you “have to” wheel on your big giant bag then it’s not a “carry on”, check it.
    People who jump from the row behind you into the isle so they can get in front of you to stand there for 20 minutes while everyone gets off the plane. Take your turn.
    FA serving snacks or beverages or anything really on flights less than an hour. It just stresses me out as they rush around trying to serve everyone only to bark about how we are coming through to pick up everything. I think most people can last an hour without a diet coke, well most people.
    People who recline their seats. I know, I know opinions vary on this but until you’ve had the rude person recline into your lap for an 8+ hour flight and never put the seat up you can’t understand. With seat sizes shrinking there really isn’t room for this. If you have a small car with passengers sitting behind you do you recline into there lap or face, no you don’t unless your a jerk so why would you do it on a plane.

    Rental car outlets or counters where you are forced to wait for people who have never rented a car before so they can walk you around the same Suzuki Reno that you’ve rented in San Diego 10 time because your boss is too cheap to let you get a normal car. Enterprise comes to mind here.

    Showers in hotels that have the shower head like 4 feet off the ground so you can’t stand there normally and take a shower unless your a dwarf.

    Hotels that make you pay for internet access. How about making us pay for HBO? Why not because we don’t “need” HBO. How about paying for air conditioning. It’s also the most expensive hotels that do this the most. I can get free wifi at about every Super 8 on the planet but heaven forbid I want to get wifi for less than $20 a day at the Marriott or Intercontinental “fancy” hotel.

    Airports that don’t have free wifi. Sure 15 years ago I could understand the cost but now days, really? Oh and thank you to those airports that do, we appreciate it, really.

    I could go on but I won’t bore you with anymore of my issues.

    Nice post by the way.

  15. @Sam – as you can see by the other links, I did not break the rules per Delta and it does fit (btw it also DOES fit on CRJ700/900 in overheads if anyone flys those a bunch this one works). Next, I did not “seeth with anger” and considering the type of person I was dealing with did not want to take it to the next level. Actually I took a nap on the flight :-)

  16. Love this post!

    Totally agree on the door slamming in hotels! This is why I love Hilton Executive floors – lots more courtesy.

    I would add gate crowding. If you are in Zone 2 or 3, sit down! Your standing there isn’t going to get you any more bin space. I also hate when Zone 1 folks bust up in Sky Priority…and when the gate agents let them on!

    A huge pet peeve of mine is screaming TSA people. I know there are tons of non-frequent travelers, but you are already “managing” a stressful environment, Mr. Agent, so screaming at folks isn’t making it any better. Also, a smile would help.

    Can we all agree to use our inside voices on any plane, anytime of the day?

    I could go on forever with this… :)

  17. @Charles – I think you may get a few comments about “using a cell phone is not a big deal at all“. Anyone who is a PRO (ie knows more than me) care to comment about if there is any risk to the jet to use a cell phone in transmit mode (and an iPad the same way) from gate to gate?

  18. Oversize people encroaching on my space. Hey, I know it’s not entirely their fault, but it is unpleasant and there’s nothing to do about it except hope the flight is short. I remember 1 flight where this huge guy was in the middle of a 3 seat row (and I am trapped in the window seat). Not only did he overhang the armrests on both sides, he straddled his legs (as much as possible in the constrained space) so that I and the passenger on the other side of him were in body contact in spite of trying to stay away. His body also put off a lot of heat so it was hot, crowded and generally unpleasant. A 3.5 hour flight that felt like an eternity!

  19. @DaninSTL – oh the short shower heads. That is a “great” one. I am just under 6′ so sorta std but hate to have to do the “shower dance” to get clean. I mean really?

  20. @VH – Delta does have rules about this if willing to speak up about it (I know a “touchy” topic). I had that happen once on a SBN-DTW flight but since just 30 min I just got comfy with my seatmate of size on the CRJ200!

  21. Rene – Zack may be a jerk but you did not “Do the right thing” by cramming your stuff where you as a seasoned flyer knew full well it was not going to fit. I run into this all the time and it is very annoying to those of us who purposely did not bring our extra bulk onto the plane.
    Check it or leave it at home. You should know better.

  22. Unless Zach is 7 feet tall I dont not see why it was such a big deal that your bag which was sized correctly was encroaching a bit of space. They design these planes to super small that is is so hard to bring even a small bag on!

    I often have problems when I fly with my Chihuahua and her soft carrier bag takes some of the other person’s baggage space. I think if Zach was so upset she should have asked to move.

    On my list of Annoying things:
    1. Gate lice who are in zones 2-4 when I am trying to board FC or Sky.
    2. Recliners – the seats are small enough – give me some space!
    3. People who do not bring entertainment for their chidren during a flight. There is a difference between a baby who is crying because her ears hurt and children who are yelling when they are bored. On a recent transatlantic trip two children only have 1 Ipad between then nothing else. They were crying and fighting over who got to have it. The parents did nothing.
    4. Parents who do not sit with their children and make other passengers babysit them. On a recent flight from MKE to AZ two parents decided to sit across the isle togther and left their two small children sitting next to me. I then became their parent and had to help and deal with them while their parents slept soundly next to me. Parents please sit with your children – or I need to start charging a babysitting fee.
    5. People who complain about being seated next to me and my dog. My little one is VERY quiet and sleeps the entire flight (and is a seasoned traveler- more than most people). If you dont like that you are seated next to me then ask to be moved. I understand if you are allergic (this has never happened) but if you fear a loud dog then move and dont give me mean looks and talk about me to your spouse on the phone – hello! I am there here!.
    6. People who encroach on my seat! I had a flight where the middle seat was empty and the woman by the window placed her feet on my lap. I kept moving them and she kept placing them back. Nothing seemed to bother her – even me asking nicely! I dont want your nasty feet on my lap!!!

    End of rant!
    PS – I <3 Delta Points!

  23. @e – just to share a bit of balance here, it is not like I took up both sides. We are talking an inch or two (yeah I know, every inch on a CRJ matters so that does not carry much weight – but at least my opening photo was appropriate to the post and events ;-) )!

  24. People who bring dogs in the cabin.
    People who bring children in the cabin (they should be checked luggage).
    People in economy who rush to the front once the seatbelt light is turned off.

  25. @Darth Chocolate – ouch! Well, I think you may get some feedback on points 1 & 2! I don’t mind dogs at all if they are quite and the same goes for kids.

  26. Rene – I’ve had person behind me stuff his junk under the seat so far i was stepping on it while sitting. I wish they didn’t allow anything under the seats. It is also a safety trip hazard if the unthinkable (accident) ever happens.

  27. Have to say that one of your “pet peeves” — knees in the back of your seat when you recline — makes me feel a bit less empathetic to your other complaints.

    If the person behind you is tall enough that your reclining forces the seatback onto their knees, then you really shouldn’t be reclining.

    Personally, find it highly inconsiderate when a 5′-something reclines their seat all the way back clearly crushing the 6’+ person behind them. Sure — it’s their “right”, but do they care that little for the well being of the person behind them just to get that extra little bit of recline? Just seems callous.

    Dogs on flights also get to me, but mainly because people who travel with dogs falsely circumvent the rules with fake “therapy dogs” and generally act entitled.

  28. @e – I agree with you 100% there. I even like your idea very much. I think there are many things that could make this work like airlines changing the rules on what a damaged bag is i.e. a broken wheel does NOT count for getting a new bag even gate checked! Or, having overheads big enough when a bag does fit in the airlines size check unit. Great comment! Txs.

  29. If you are allergic to dogs, it can trigger an asthma attack. They take precautions with peanuts, why not dogs?
    And if children as baggage is harsh, I am not opposed to having their parents join them in the hold.

  30. @AnotherDeltaFlyer – careful on the “therapy dogs”. Whiles a few may abuse this, there are many who do truly NEED this and I will not presume to judge such a person and happy the dog can help them travel and live!

  31. @Rene – http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/cell-phones-interfere-plane-instruments.htm That’s the result of their 2006 episode that demonstrated phones have no effect on planes. So while Zach wasn’t endangering anyone, he was still being a jerk.

    Were you window or aisle? If I recall correctly, the window seat for most CRJs has less legroom due to the curve of the plane’s body. So taking an inch or two from already narrow leg room would be an annoyance. A similar annoyance is in some 737’s where the braces under the seats don’t line up evenly, making the aisle seat leg room narrower.

  32. Agree with pretty much everything already said, but will add that screaming and yelling during the flight will not win you many friends amongst your fellow passengers. I was on a flight from LAX to ATL in December, and one of the big college football games was on. Everyone was watching the game, and everyone save the two jerks behind me were watching quietly. The idiots behind me screamed and yelled and kicked my seat back the entire flight. The flight attendants asked them to keep it down a few times, and it did no good whatsoever. Ungodly self-centered behavior.

  33. the persons that are immune to their own stinky over used perfume, and lace it on in toxic proportions bug me.

  34. Sorry Rene, but I also agree with prior comments that Zach had a right to expect his area to be clear. I probably wouldn’t have cared, but can’t fault him. Also, I thought the FCC voted to lift the ban on cell phones in flight and left it up to the carriers?

  35. @MikeO – I would love more feedback as I have talked to people who tell me that cell phones can cause issues with jets vs PEDs. If Delta says it is OK to use them and they will NOT mess with the guys driving the plane, I am fine with that! If they, as they do now, tell us no, I am fine with that as safety 1st.

  36. Mine are these:
    -People with more cabin luggage as the trunk of my SUV can handle
    -People leaving a mess in the cabin
    -the ‘I don’t use deodorant’ guys
    -FA filling ICE in the drinks without asking about

    And: People placing thier belongings in my legroom instead of checking it.. René, this Time I am a little bit disapoited of you!

  37. I agree with Zach Sorry!

    1) people move / smash my backpack / coat or want me to keep it in my lap so they can put their roller bag in sideways that shouldn’t be on the plane anyway!

    2) SLAMMING DOORS! I try to take my clients out late and sleep in the mornings. Dam GYM people!

    3) How come no one mentioned the sweaty fat person who’s fat spills into my seat and thinks they own our shared armrest. I have had to ask the flight FA to move me or credit me for the 1/3 of my seat the other person is taking up. I try to let this go on short flights, but sometimes I can’t. however I try not to make the person feel bad anymore. (turning over a new leaf)

  38. Got to go against you on this one, Rene. You should have plane-side checked. It’s still less brutal than normal checking. You “jerked” Zach first by grabbing the under-seat space. His cell abuse probably did not put the flight at risk but I would have gotten up for the bathroom and told the FA out-of-ear-shot, so she could just repeat the announcement.

    Great list of pet peeves. Some of my own:

    1. People who cannot walk in a straight line, but wander as they walk towards their gate. (And stop abruptly). Similarly, those who walk on the left side. Common sense dictates one should walk as if driving based on driving rules of the country you are in.

    2. Hotel housekeeping who close the bathtub drain after cleaning, so that my first action is to bend down to open before showering. Actually, bending down is ok, but at my age, getting back up is a problem.

    3. Hotel housekeeping who leave the shower valve in the shower position, so that when you first run the water, you get a head of cold water.

    4. Hotels that put foil seals on the toilet paper roll. That first wipe hurts!

    5. Hotel housekeeping who forget to turn off alarm from prior guests. If you stay in a golf area, those forgotten alarms go off at 4am.

  39. I forgot Gate Lice!

    I seems most of us don’t like others to make decisions about the personal space we “rent” for limited periods of time.

    I often make sacrifices for others when traveling but don’t like when others try and make those decisions for me. So people ask first! who knows you might make a friend.

  40. Sorry Rene but I also have to take Zach’s side on the bag issue. While your bag might be within the guidelines, that doesn’t mean it will fit probably under the seat. It wouldn’t be an issue for me as I’m short but my husband would have said the same thing (hopefully more politely) since he’s 6’3″ and barely fits on CRJ’s.
    Pet Peeve-People who get on the plane, put their bag in the first spot they see, and then sit in the back of the plane. Also, those who do not sit in their assigned seat.

  41. When will Delta start requiring people use the size wise thing. Massive oversized bags need to be gate checked and they should be charged DOUBLE for not checking it at checkin. Oh, and Zach was right to complain, you’re error not his.

  42. 1. Moving sidewalk blockers. Related to the people who “stop” on concourses are the blockers on moving sidewalks who take up the walking lane so people can’t get around them.

    2. (A bit tongue in cheek) People who can sleep on airplanes. I can’t and there’s always the person next to me who snoozes and snores their way through most of an 8 hr flight. I have to wake them up to go the restroom and also I’m just jealous.

    3. Sick people. A woman hacked and wheezed her way next to me on a flight to Spain last year. Of course I got her disease and it ruined my trip.

    4. Bad food and body odors, overwhelming perfume (mentioned previously) (unless she’s really good looking).

    5. Whiners. Take off or landing is delayed, there’s nothing the FA can do about it.

  43. I’ve recently been getting annoyed by FAs who announce that “we have a full flight and lots of carry-on bags so please reserve the overhead bins for larger items”. If I’ve earned priority boarding because of loyalty or thru a credit card that means I get first dibs on the overhead bin, regardless of the size of my carry-on. Don’t punish me because you nickel-and-dime folks for their checked bags, making them carry everything on.

  44. Sorry, Rene, but I’m with you on everything except the initial run-in with Zach. Don’t take up my space with your stuff. Period. End of story. Why should he have to ask to be re-seated when it’s your bag that doesn’t fit in the allotted space? Now, perhaps he could have handled it better, but it’s really not fair to put someone in the position of having to ask for you to not encroach on their space in the first place.

  45. Probably my biggest pet peeve is when someone won’t fit between the armrests and yet they only book a single seat. The end result is that they want the armrest partway up so their thighs can “flow” underneath it and press up against me. Yuck. This is one of the best things about the fixed armrests in the bulkhead — they create a barrier to the aforementioned thigh flow.

  46. I hate people who put their stuff in my underseat space or encroach upon my seat. If they’d like to compensate me for the portion of my space they’re taking up, thats one thing. Otherwise, please only use the space alloted for the seat that you purchase!

  47. Sorry Rene, Zach was right. Granted he handled the “encroachment” situation badly; however as my mother always said “two wrongs don ‘t make a right”.

    As for pre-check, don’t be so quick to judge. I am not a “newbie”. I fly at least a month and have had both knees replaced. When an airport does not have an Xray
    machine and uses only scanners you are “beeped” because of the implants. That means you have to be frisked. If your shoes are on you have to take them off go back through the scanner. Therefore, it makes sense to take them off before you go through. The next time you see a 72 year old woman taking off her shoes in the pre-check line, give her a break. It might be me going to visit my grandchildren.
    If your answer is that i should not go on the pre-check line…forgettaboutit. I’ll sic Zach on you ! Keep up the good work. I love your blog even when you are wrong.

  48. To be fair in precheck lines… dont scowl at me when I put my rfid wallet in the cup and take off my safety shoes as both will set off the alarm. I know how surprised you are that Keen makes steel toes actually look cool. This goes for TSA as well as travel pros, get off my back!

  49. -The person(s)ostensibly in First Class,who stands at the head of the priority line 20 minutes before the flight is called. You’ve got a seat assignment and it will be there when you get on the plane.
    -Those folks who fully recline their seat the moment the wheels leave the ground. I refer to them as Laplanders. Often they are 4 feet tall and sitting in the bulkhead.
    -Same bulkhead folks who put their feet on the wall in front of them. Do you do that at home??
    -FAs on international flights who primp before landing and bathe in their favorite perfume/cologne
    -Passengers who leave the toilet in a mess–paper towels,tp and bodily fluids on the floor; splashed mirror, etc. I once entered the toilet on an international flight to find the seat had been torn off the stool and thrown on the floor. Who does that??
    -FAs who don’t check the toilets, especially on long haul flights to ensure there is adequate towels, tp, soap, etc.

  50. I try not to sit behind a bulkhead seat because so many people try to stuff bags over the bar under their seat and under my feet. I’ll cooperate when asked ahead of time, but otherwise I object.

    Unless you want my feet on top of your bag, ask ahead of time.

  51. I hate people I see in the restroom at a skyclub who exit without washing their hands. This is especially annoying when I later see them grabbing some of the club snacks.

  52. 1) people who have to putall of their stuff up in the overhead bins///causing others to have to check their carryon DAAA very annoying.. noFA’s say anything usually…2. babies with stinky diapers..parents get a grip 3) kids allowed to run wild they are only cute to u and ur hubby or immediate family.. 4) do not let ur 2 year old try to get on and off the plane carring their own bag(dragging it) esp if it is bigger than them others may have to get somewhere…(off the plane

  53. Rene, my concern isn’t the one person who has his ipad and phone turned on – its the entire plane that has them on that I am concerned about. I’ve been told that it isn’t that big of a deal; but what if every person on the plane thought they were the only ones who had their ipad on and thus there was too much interference generated.

  54. @Christine – THANK YOU! Maybe these do NOT make a difference but for now Delta says NO and they could. I don’t want to land at the wrong airport (or worse) due to some email or facebook page or whatever. Or am I way off base here too?

  55. When the 5’2″ person in front of me goes into full recline as soon as the wheels come off the ground! Especially when it’s my mother in law and I bought her ticket! (true story) #Disney2013 ahh the memories…

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