How to Win “The Silent Battle” and More Strategies for Improving Your Flights
Earlier today, Reuters published some light fare about airline etiquette, positing a few initial questions:
“Who owns the middle seat arm rests on an airplane, really? How do you break away from the marathon talker in seat 12E? And what do you do, if anything, about the angelic-looking child kicking the back of your seat?”
The piece went on to explain that so-called “incivility and rudeness” result from stress, and that there’s nearly nothing worse than getting onto a plane today, what with all the security, delays, and the lack of leg room and in-flight grub.
I couldn’t agree more. I just didn’t love Reuters’s suggestions for creating a more peaceful flying experience: arrive early, stay calm, “create your own environment.” My solution? Break TFT Travel rules and offer some service-y improvements on Reuters’s list. Herewith, my top ten:
10. Gain weight. Lots of it. The fatter you get, the more uncomfortable it will be for your row-mates, and while you may grow uncomfortable as your girth spills further over the armrest each time you fly, you will notice that the likelihood someone moves away from you increases with each pound. With the absence of someone next to you, you will avoid fighting the “silent war” of armrest elbows and possibly even have enough room to eat more.
9. Arrive as late as possible. Getting to the airport early only makes it easier for the airlines and your fellow passengers. F them! This trip is about you. So get to the gate as late as possible, and hold up the flight if you can. You’ll spend less time on your feet being herded through lines like cattle, and when you get onto the plane, it could actually take off.
8. Don’t just get pissed at airline agents if they muck up your travel plans: Get Crazy. Draw attention to yourself. Speak loudly about how inappropriately the agent has just behaved: No, you won’t have sex with him or her for a better seat. Yes, you do think you have the right not to be objectified due to your skin’s color. (Planting drugs on their person as they lean over to look at your ID also doesn’t hurt, especially while asking them within earshot of security why they smell like pot and are blackmailing you to carry it with you to a man in California called “Scrote.”)
7. Wear more than one jacket, and complicated outfits, while carrying all kinds of odd carry-on items. You want as few people around you on the security line as possible. All those people dressing light and packing appropriately will easily jump to the side when they see that giant IBM desktop from the 80′s and the case of Red Bull that you plan to send through the scanners.
6. Yell at children. They’ll fear you and shut the hell up.
5. Treat all flight attendants, regardless of gender, like cheap sluts. If they don’t submit to your impressively chauvinistic Don Draper-ish behavior and treat you Really Well, they’ll stay away from you, which means you’ll be able to put that giant computer behind your legs instead of under the seat in front of you.
4. Ask the pilots questions about physics on your way into the cabin. They will not know the answers and therefore feel so bad about themselves, they’ll be more careful during the flight and maybe even get you to your destination.
3. Skype video-phonesex on planes with Wi-Fi. What else is there to say?
2. Lots of alcohol and painkillers. Sure you’ll get dehydrated, reek of urine, and wind up possibly dead but at least you won’t be conscious if the aforementioned suggestions fail.
1. Respond to anyone who attempts to converse with you with the following question: “Would you be more worried if a sex offender moved into your neighborhood or simply sat near you on a plane?”
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