When I fly, I go prepared to entertain myself. Because who wouldn't? One time, I was seated next to a guy with no carry-on. Seriously, he had no book, nothing to listen to... just like, nothing! Who does that?? And inwardly I was all thinking, wtf is he going to do for the next 4 hours?? Attempt to talk with me in close quarters?? It made me very anxious. We managed somehow, random guy and I. I used the Universal Signal of Don't Talk to Me (headphones, obviously), and he looked out the window for several hours. It all worked out.
There are always a handful of people that you come across on airplanes that really just shouldn't be allowed to be there. The most important thing to be when you are flying with 250 other people, is to be courteous, don't you think? It's the people that are completely inconsiderate of others that should have their flying privileges revoked. I've compiled a list of people that I believe fall into this category. Feel free to put your two cents in.
1. Parents who don't corral their kids: I get it. We've all been there. It's hard to fly with kids. The fact that you are confined to a space that is the equivalent of a short, skinny telephone booth, with a short, sometimes screamy, slobbery, whiney person makes this hard. Most kids just don't like to be forced to stay in a tiny space for hours on end, and the average person actually does understand. I honestly don't care if your kid is crying or flipping out - for whatever reason that has never bothered me. It's the parent who blatantly ignores the flipping out child that shouldn't be able to fly. Because guess what? It's your job as the parent to be prepared to be in the short telephone booth with the short person for a while. Bring some shit to entertain your short person. And if Shorty is kicking or yanking on the seat in front of him, or throwing crushed up saltines at the people seated behind him, manage it. You and your kid aren't the only people on the plane.
2. People who don't seem to give a shit about your personal space: Again, we are all confined to a small space. When your elbows encroach upon my area, or when you manspread your legs into my invisible rectangle, that is very uncool and I am silently cursing you and your mom. When you lean your seat way, way back, the people behind you actually lose some of the very tiny space that they are allotted. I am opposed to the leaning of the seats, actually. It really isn't fair. Just remember that everyone is as uncomfortable as you are - the more respectful you can be of other's space, the better.
3. People who are yappers and don't grasp the Universal Signal of Please Don't Talk to Me: Some people just don't like small talk. That doesn't make them a jerk. That doesn't mean they don't like you. It just means that they are either uncomfortable with mindless chatter, or they're tired, or they just aren't the best at talking with randoms. Typically, in order to avoid coming off as a jerk, those people pop their headphones on once the plane is in motion. The usage of headphones is the Universal Signal of Please Don't Talk to Me. Everyone should know this and respect it.
4. Gas passers, burpers, or otherwise smelly people: This should go without saying, but invariably, there is always some fool who obliviously unwraps a tuna sandwich or some smelly cheese on a long flight. Or they take off their shoes to uncover some ungodly, nasty, sweaty travel feet. And if you can't hold in your bodily smells for the duration of a flight, get your shitty ass to the bathroom. Some people have weak constitutions and can't handle your stench in such close quarters. And they shouldn't have to! Refrain from the refried beans prior to boarding, for the good of the people.
5. Those who partake in PDA: PDA = Public Display of Affection: I'm not referring to holding your partner's hand, or a little snuggle. I'm referring to forcing everyone around you to be subjected to you and your significant other publicly making out and pawing at each other. It's just uncomfortable for everyone. Save it for the privacy of your own space, please.
6. Generally loud people: If you're a loud talker on an airplane, you're probably a loud talker in real life. I get that some people have naturally loud voices (one of my kids does, actually), but you really need to be aware of your volume. Not everyone on the plane wants to hear about your life story for 3 hours. To avoid people wanting to duct tape your face, just shhhhh... take it down a notch, or three. It's all about respect.