Use headphones when you’re playing a game. Please!!

a pair of black headphonesIf you follow me on Facebook, you have already heard about this. (And if you don’t follow me yet, go do it! We have some fun discussions on there.) A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in my seat, waiting for my plane to take off. The pilot gave us the dreaded announcement–just a few more minutes folks, we’re waiting for a mechanical issue to get cleared up. Then he came on again–really, just a few more minutes, we’re sure this time. By the time the plane took off we were 45 minutes delayed.

In the grand scheme of things 45 minutes isn’t that late, and with a snack and my Kindle I was pretty happy. But there was another factor this time–a guy in the row behind me was playing a game, with no headphones, with the volume all the way up. Not Candy Crush or a casino game with little pinging noises, but a shooting game. So every few seconds it would sound like there was a shootout behind me, jarring me out of my book.

It wasn’t just me–others nearby were looking around, trying to find the source of the noise. After about twenty minutes a flight attendant finally came and asked him to turn the volume down. I heard audible sighs of relief all around me as the noise stopped.

This is just a friendly reminder–when you’re on a plane, please only play games or watch movies using headphones. If for some reason that’s not an option for you–and I may get grief for this–turn the volume down as low as possible.

Of course, this very situation is also a good reminder that we can’t always control the environment around us. Sure, it’s easy to tell someone to please turn their volume down, or use headphones. But sound isn’t always something so easily contained, like a crying baby or loud talkers. In that instance it’s SO HELPFUL to have headphones of your own to drown out the noise. I was able to put on my noise-canceling earbuds and mute a lot of the sounds, which made it more bearable. It’s also why I have an eye mask in my travel purse at all times–if I need to sleep and someone’s bright light is shining in my eyes I can block it out.

So. Here’s hoping on my flights next week this won’t happen!

Readers, has this ever happened to you? What is the worst noise someone has made on one of your flights?


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  1. My current biggest pet peeve. I’ve actually asked flight attendants to add “use your headset for games, music, moves” to their spiel and had some fellow passengers refuse to mute their action movie or game when I’ve asked politely. Volume low doesn’t work for me — headphones or mute, it is just common courtesy. I now carry a spare set of unused headphones to give to someone who doesn’t have them and every time the person has been super grateful.

  2. Or watching a program, or listening to music or anything else that might play over a speaker.

  3. I’m pretty sure every major airline has a policy that personal devices can only be used with headphones. It’s INSANE that this is something we have to worry about. And I agree with Arun– “low volume” is no solution; if you can’t play your videogame without headphones, maybe don’t play your videogame on a fricking airplane?

  4. All of the above – but in ANY public place! I am constantly amazed at the people who use devices that are spewing noise in Starbucks, in the doctor’s office, in the airport, on the bus, etcetera etcetera etcetera!!

  5. I agree, but I also put this into the class of inexplicable things people do on air planes. Like take off their shoes. Ugh. I started traveling with noise-cancelling headphones a few years ago and now I won’t fly without them!

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