Irked Travelers

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December 2nd 2018
Saved: January 7th 2019
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From Alex Halverson of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Commuting or traveling, it doesn't matter. Both involve surrounding yourself with strangers and their breaches of unwritten social conduct.

But sometimes people are just unaware. Whether it's the man who took his shoes off on the plane or the woman who leaned up against a bus pole in a crowded bus, sometimes people travel in their own little bubble.

So Genfare released a survey with the top annoyances for air travel, public transportation and ride sharing all ranked based off percentages of responses. There were some duplicates throughout the three lists like loud and talkative strangers, but each list had a different winner.

The survey also broke down some preferences for air travel. The percentage of people who were fine with no shoes on a flight? Sixty-four percent. But that number plummeted when it came to no socks -- just a 20 percent approval rating. (I once saw a guy clip his toenails on a Jetblue flight!)

It wasn't just annoyances on a plane that the survey broke down. Respondents were asked about their sleep habits on a plane. Seventy-five percent of those asked said they were able to sleep on a plane, while 34 percent said they needed a pill or drink to fall asleep. That would be me.

A minority also struck down the option of reclining. Thirty-six percent said that reclining seats should be banned.

A majority of those surveyed preferred to be left alone on a flight. Fifty-seven percent said they don't like talking to a seatmate, and the most popular remedy for a talkative neighbor was to put on headphones. I need to recline since I have chronic neck pain.

And yes, the survey did inquire about mile-high club membership. Twelve percent said they've been "intimate" on a plane. I have yet to experience this!

For my two cents, I do recline my seat when I can. Why? I have an old neck injury from a bad workstation back in the 90s. So, it feels considerably better to recline a little.

And I only take my shoes off on longer flights, and when a pair of socks or slippers are provided by the airlines. But I do have a pet peeve: you flip flop travelers! What would you do in the case of a fire in the cabin? Or traverse across multiple runways and into the scrub brush and trash in between runways?

In my earlier days of travel, I always talked at least a little. Lately, not so much. Why? I realize I need the time to relax, maybe read a little, watch a movie, or just veg out. I hate the loud talkers, and those who move around constantly during even the shortest of flights. Did I just mention travelers from China? YES!!!

I also do not like flight attendants or passengers who slam the overhead compartments. It hurts my ears!!!! Please learn how to close them quietly.

Toe tappers are another problem. They bother almost everyone around them, front, back, and sides. Perhaps they have on headphones? Their music is often loud enough to hear.

And don't even get me started on loud phone talkers. Both business people and tourists are equally guilty. Why would you want someone to hear about your top secret billion dollar business deal? Or the mess your dog made on your brand new leather couch?

Curiously, this does not seem to happen on trains, except for one occurrence on the way to Machu Picchu. Amtrak seems to be great for peaceful travel, perhaps with an older demographic? Or maybe we self-select, knowing that the journey will be more relaxing, and peaceful.

Speaking of odoriferous smells, people who bring fast food onto planes should be banned! That sickening smell of a Big Mac or Whopper is enough to make me puke! Puke? That's a funny word (remember Steinfield and Kenny Banya?). I read recently about an airliner that had a bunch of durian in the cargo hold. There is a good reason the durian is banned from hotels, public transportation, and places of business. Passengers on a Sriwijaya Air flight headed to Jakarta staged a protest, insisting that a large shipment of the foul-smelling fruit durian be removed from the plane.

But all of this pales in comparison to the relatively new mainland Chinese traveler. They seem to lack any understanding of your personal space or well being. Perhaps they live in a densely inhabited area? Or maybe they just behave like they do back home. Even my Geography book for my class at Clovis Community makes a comment about obnoxious Chinese tourists!!

I encountered so many loud and obnoxious Chinese tourists on my recent trip to SE Asia. The seat belt sign means nothing to them. Likewise, any admonishments from the flight staff. And a total disregard for anyone else, either standing in line, boarding, an deplaning. They remind me of the old Green Bay Packer sweep, running over anybody in their way!!

Whatever you do, wherever you go, please don't be THAT person!!!!

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