A simple travel etiquette request. Please don’t be a jerk.

a man holding a chair and a skateboardSometimes during travel you get to witness people being so kind to each other. And then other times you witness incredible rudeness. This week was the latter, I’m afraid.

Okay, I’m probably exaggerating. Maybe this guy wasn’t the rudest guy ever. But I rolled my eyes so hard at his general jerkiness that my eyes may be permanently stuck in the back of my head.

Let me back up.

Earlier this week at the ungodly hour of 5:45am I was on a plane, enjoying my coffee, and hoping the seat next to me would stay empty. My suitcase was in the overhead bin above me, my purse was put away, the plane had plugs so I knew I could charge my phone—generally things were good (except that it was so early).

Then a guy –we’ll call him B—came down the aisle, and the way he banged his rollerboard on every seat he passed without adjusting his grip should have warned me. He stopped at the seat behind mine and threw his suitcase in the overhead bin, sideways (when it was pretty clear it would have fit longways, allowing more bags to fit, but whatever), then closed the lid. He paused, pulling his computer out of his backpack.

This is when things got weird.

During this time guy behind “B” had been trying to find a spot for his suitcase in the overhead bins. He tried a couple of different places but nothing would fit. He started to put his bag in the bin over B’s seat. Then B said, “Nuh-uh,” to him and pushed the other guy’s suitcase aside so he could put his backpack up there.

Then—as if that wasn’t bad enough—B’s wife said, “Honey I don’t think you’re supposed to put two bags in the overhead. One is supposed to go under your feet.” And he said, “Oh, I know,” and then laughed. Meanwhile, the other guy just went back a few rows and put his suitcase up and sat down, silently.

I witnessed this whole thing with my mouth hanging open. I mean, putting two bags up is annoying if not uncommon. But moving someone else’s bag out of the way, as it’s being put up, and telling the other person, “Nuh-uh,” and then laughing….That guy was a huge jerk.

Usually I like to have a point to my travel etiquette stories, or at least a suggestion for how to handle a situation differently. This time, though, I just have a plea. Don’t be a jerk! Thanks in advance.

Readers, what would you have done if this guy had moved your bag as you were putting it up?


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