Two travel etiquette reminders

Oh boy. Yesterday was an insane travel day. Even though day trips are always long, I should have known how rough it would be when my alarm was set for 430am, but my baby woke up at 4am. “Please, Mini Warrior!” I said. “Please can I have my extra 30 minutes!” He declined. At DFW, the Skylink was only working in one direction so I wasn’t able to get on an earlier flight to Nashville; it would have taken me like five minutes to get to the gate going the right way, but going all the way around took almost 25. Sigh. While driving back to the airport to go home the traffic was so bad that I was afraid I would miss my flight. But no worries! Because the minute I got to the gate the hour-long delay was announced. Eventually, I made it back home and was in my bed at 2am. Ouch.

In the middle of all of that, I noticed two etiquette scenarios that I wanted to talk about. On my first leg, I was sitting in the aisle, people watching. Boarding was about halfway complete, and so far there hadn’t been any drama or excitement. But that ended when I saw a passenger put his two smaller bags in the overhead bin near row 8, then proceed back to row 24 to sit down. I turned around to check, and there were still plenty of open bins towards the middle and rear of the plane. This is one of my major pet peeves—especially because he put the smaller bags in the DEF side where the rollaboards are supposed to go! What made this even worse was that he was a captain with the airline. Seriously, shouldn’t he know better??

Then on the way home, I was at the Nashville airport going through security. I counted myself lucky because I was running behind (I thought) and the lane for Elite travelers was much shorter than the rest. But after going through the machines I had to wait for several minutes for my stuff. Instead of picking up his bins and moving out of the way, the man in front of me painstakingly picked up each coin, piece of paper, and key and placed them slooooowly in his pocket. One at a time. OMG.

Two of my pet peeves, happening right in front of me, in one day! What I would have recommended to the captain from the first flight is to have placed his bags in an overhead bin nearer to his seat (and to have at least tried to fit them in the AB side). To the second gentleman, and everyone else who goes through airport security, I would recommend to PLEASE pick up your bins and other belongings and take them to the bench just a few feet away!! If you need to pause to put your (hopefully slip-on) shoes on, that’s one thing. But all of the little stuff can wait until you’re at the bench.

Whew! What a day. Readers, have you seen any etiquette breaches you’d like to call out?



  1. I agree that the pilot should not have done that, but I would definitely not tell him that. That is not a good way to start a flight.

  2. I hate it when people take the overhead space by a bulkhead. The folks seated in bulkheads have to store their stuff overhead, and if others take up that space, it’s a real PITA.

  3. Thanks for being part of the continuing effort to get travelers (and others) to show good manners. Travel can be difficult enough without having to endure selfish thoughtlessness from others.

    It would be difficult to correct these people in a way that also showed good manners. However, both situations are supervised by professionals (a flight attendant and TSA) and one would hope that they would encourage travelers to be more thoughtful.

  4. Argh. I have heard of people pulling “foreign” stuff out of bins and leaving them in the aisle, stating that no-one had claimed them when the FA asks about them. Then of course the FA has to find the owner/put the bags elsewhere, but I bet the inconsiderate bag owner learns a lesson after searching high and low for their bags!

    Thing is though, if it was a PILOT, I’d actually write a complaint to the airline about it, because anyone who flies that often should know better. Perhaps he was steamed because he wasn’t flying up the front?

  5. Forgot to add: I hate it when people hold up the line going in to the xray too, pulling bunches of stuff out of their pockets etc. Be READY man! Usually I walk around them to put my stuff in before them, to hopefully reduce the bottleneck a little.

  6. I had the same experience at security this week. Two (leisure) travelers – 20-to-30-something men – reminded me of Mary Poppins, pulling item after item out of their pockets, and putting them in the xray bins. I groaned, knowing that the reverse process was sure to follow on the other side. And yes, just as you described, it did. Crumpled receipts, change, candy, keys, pens, lord knows what else. Slowly slowly slowly. Standing at the conveyor belt. I wanted to shriek.

    I also want to rant about security at LaGuardia terminal B Wednesday eve. This is the terminal from where the shuttles between NY and Boston or DC depart. Lots of travelers catching the evening shuttles after a long day of work in NY. Lots of other people traveling as well. So I was aghast when after being in line for 20 minutes, I finally got close enough to the front to see that there was one … one guy checking IDs, one conveyor belt to xray, and one people-xray machine running. I could not believe it. I was so furious that I actually asked the ID-checker if they always only ran one line. He said that they were short-staffed. Short-staffed? Seriously? At peak time? Argh. Infuriating.

    Also, I hate to say it, but I think you should give up about the luggage going in the correct bin. You are right of course, but it isn’t going to change. It is not a concern of the flight attendants, and people will do whatever. Better to close your eyes or bury your head in reading/knitting. Really – you will only continue to get angry.

    Kiley, of course these are first world problems. And that’s the world we live in.

  7. One thing I’ve done on occasion is close the bin once my stuff’s in, so that randoms walking past are less likely to use it, but a guy in the same row will probably open it to see if he gets lucky. Of course this only works for my row and could be counter-productive, but it’s might help a tiny bit.

  8. That Skylink issue at DFW got me twice a few weeks ago – such a pain in the rear when you’re already running late for your flight. (Each parking deck in Terminal C was completely full – ugh!) I’m not sure what is going on with people and the overhead bins. If i see one more gentleman put his jacket up there BEFORE anyone can put any rolling bags in, I may lose it.

  9. Crowding the baggage carousel! Stand back, people! There is no reason to be closer than two feet until you actually see your bag–that way, everyone has an opportunity to see all the bags.

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