Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ross's Traveling Pet Peeves

I am in San Francisco for the fourth time this year. After a nice amount of airplane travel to finish off the first half of 2010, I wanted to outline what are clearly big annoyances for me when it comes to flying. These have nothing to do with the airlines. They have to do with my fellow passengers.

1) A carry-on item should be small. I typically check my bag, and I walk onto the plane with my computer bag, which is big enough to carry toiletries, books and all my work materials. I slip the carry on under the seat in front of me. I take up zero overhead space. So it's pretty annoying to see people coming on board the plane with suitcases that are bigger than the one I checked. And to those people who have the large carry-ons, if you see people like me, who take up no overhead space, you should say "thank you."

2) You don't have to queue up to get on the plane as soon as boarding starts. Generally speaking, what happens is the gate agent announces that they are boarding zone one, and all passengers get up and line up next to the gate. While they are not boarding out of turn, they are blocking everyone else from getting to the gate to get on the plane, and it's impossible to know if the person standing next to the gate is trying to board or not. A simple suggestion: Don't even get up to get on the plane until your zone is called. Don't worry, the plane won't leave without you.

3) I share this one with my brother Brett: The fasten seatbelt sign means get your butt in the seat and fasten your seatbelt. It doesn't mean this is a great time for me to get up, stretch, chat with my co-worker, or leisurely make the walk back to the bathroom.

4) Don't recline your seat unless you absolutely have to. On my flight west last night, the gentleman in front of me decided he wanted to recline his seat, even though he spent the entire flight reading or watching the in-flight movie. Which meant I could barely look at my computer screen, given the angle his seat pushed back in front of my face. Remember, an airplane is shared space. (I, for one, never recline my seat.)

That's it for now. Enjoy your flight; make sure your tray table is up!

P.S. Very sad to hear that American Airlines is stopping direct service to San Francisco from Boston as of November of this year. A flight attendant told us that last night.

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