How to Be the Worst Passenger on the Plane

airport-dunheger travel blog


Want to inspire the glares of all your fellow travelers? Make flight attendants wish they had chosen another profession? Follow these simple tips to become the worst passenger on the plane.

Crowd the gate

Your journey to being the worst passenger begins long before takeoff. When boarding begins, there’s no need to wait for your seating zone to be called. You should be ready and raring to go the moment a gate attendant arrives. Who cares if some passengers have special pre-boarding needs, or if others paid for a first class ticket? In spite of attendants’ instructions, this is clearly a first come, first served situation and if you just stand at the gate, you’ll have a much more enjoyable flight experience. The more you can obstruct other passengers’ paths, the better.

Shove your bag in the first available space

Just because your seat number is 32F doesn’t mean you should have to lug your rolling suitcase all the way down the plane. If there’s a space available over row 8, you should take it. What are the odds the people in row 8 have their own baggage to store anyway? Make sure you take a long time getting your bag situated up there, and try to use as much space in the bin as possible. If the folks behind you didn’t want to gate check, they’d have shown up earlier.

Take your shoes off

Socks too, buddy. If you’re going to be in a compressed metal tube for the next 8-12 hours, you should be as comfortable as possible. After all, you paid good money for this seat, so you’ve clearly purchased the right to treat this common space like your personal living room. Bonus points if you stick those bare feet out into the aisle, so the other folks in your row can admire your toes. They only glare because they’re jealous of your pedicure, obviously.

Recline your seat as fast as possible

Those prissy flight attendants might make you stay in full upright position during takeoff, but once aloft, you’re sending that seatback as low as it can go. Make sure you move suddenly and do not under any circumstances speak to or even look at the person sitting behind you. If you did that, you might see that they’re a) tall; b) a parent with a baby on their lap; c) eating on the tray table; d) working on a laptop with the tray table; or e) just a human who isn’t ready to lose a chunk of their personal space before the in-flight meal, and then you might have to take their feelings into consideration. Much better to just go for it during beverage service. You should also make sure you roll your eyes and scoff loudly when the person sitting in front of you reclines their seat. It completely defeats the purpose of you reclining yours. For extra credit, give them a strong knee to the back.

Complain about everything

Don’t limit your sneers to the seat recliner in front of you. Make sure you are adequately conveying your disdain for all the other passengers too. If a toddler cries when his ears pop during landing, shoot the parents dirty looks. Once you’re at the arrival gate, don’t show any mercy to those 31 rows in front of you. Your bag’s all the way up at row 8 and you need to get there fast, so brush up on those toe taps. And if all else fails, whine to the flight attendant. They’re there for your personal comfort, not everyone’s safety.