Well, 2019 has come and gone, and our thoughts turn to all the travel opportunities a new year brings.
Maybe this will be the year you take that dream vacation, or maybe you’ll be traveling more for work.
But if there’s one resolution we hope all travelers make this year, it’s to stop behaving badly on planes – because 2019 was a doozy.
Sure, we all expect a few inconveniences when we fly – crowds, delays, and impatience and rudeness on the part of our fellow travelers.
But then there’s the unbelievable, the disgusting, the downright shocking stuff we never thought we’d see in a civilized world.
So let’s hope this year is a little better than the last when it comes to people behaving badly on planes.
This place is a zoo!
Besides the crowds of disgruntled passengers we encounter when we fly, we can now expect to see an animal or two on board our flights as well.
Once upon a time, it wasn’t unusual to have a dog or cat crated and sent to meet their owner at their destination, but thanks to the new “normal” created by frightened and easily offended lefties, we never know just what kind of creature we’ll encounter on our next flight.
Thanks to the federal Air Carrier Access Act, emotional support animals are welcome to accompany their shrinking violets on planes.
Dogs and cats, sure—but also horses, pigs, and domestic birds. (In 2016, a turkey was even brought on a flight as an emotional support animal, and although “farm poultry” is excluded from the list of accepted ESAs, he was deemed a domestic bird and even got his own seat.)
It may not shock us anymore to see a canary in a small cage atop their owner’s lap; maybe a parrot or parakeet.
But in 2019, passengers were surprised – but also pretty fascinated – to see two men bring three giant falcons on board.
Although it’s not a sight we often see in the U.S., it’s apparently quite common on flights to and from the Middle East, like on Jordanian Airlines.
The hooded raptors were well-behaved and beautiful, so most of the social media comments were positive.
And while we can’t say the same for all the pigs and ponies and pugs, the good news is that the Air Carrier Access Act prohibits creepy-crawlies like snakes and spiders.
But as much as I dislike spiders myself, I think I would actually prefer spiders when it comes to the most common – and disgusting – passenger behavior of 2019.
In fact, one Twitter user described her experience of this nauseating behavior saying, “This is my worst possible nightmare not involving spiders.”
One that haunts us all.
Put your best foot forward…
Or, don’t. Please.
At least not on the back of my seat – or worse – on my armrest between the seats in front of you.
Feet. They’re polarizing, to say the least.
And there’s a big difference between hanging out on the beach with a bunch of other barefoot people and having feet shoved in your face on a plane.
Feet can be disgusting, and it seems that was the case with every passenger-shaming story on social media in 2019.
The tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram photos about the lack of podiatric courtesy on planes are endless. And really, really gross.
There are the passengers who fling off their socks and clip their toenails next to their helpless seatmate – and, yes, leave the clippings behind for the flight attendants to clean up.
Then there are the scores of people who take off their shoes and wedge their feet between the armrests of other people’s seats.
It’s usually not pretty – and there were several social media pleas about travelers with dirty, even fungus-infested feet, placed way too far into their personal space.
Then there are the women who think a long flight is the perfect opportunity for a pedicure, nail polish and all, in a confined space with poor air circulation.
Another major foot offense of 2019 involved an entitled millennial who wanted to be comfy by reclining in her seat.
But it was obviously too much work to sit up to reach the tablet on the seat in front of her. So, she took off her socks and shoes – and used her big toe to swipe the touch screen for the rest of the flight!
Yet even still, this next story is the absolute worst. I literally shuddered when I read about it.
Passengers on an American Airlines flight found themselves in a horror movie turned reality last year when a woman decided she could no longer deal with the massive blister on her foot.
Unbeknownst to her fellow travelers, she proceeded to work on ridding herself of the boil.
And it was the “pop” heard ‘round the world as blood and pus splattered onto two people in adjacent seats, on the cabin walls, on the window next to her, and all over the novel one poor guy was reading.
Disgusting isn’t the word here. These people are probably scarred for life.
Paramedics were called in to check out all involved parties, as is protocol when there’s a blood spill on an aircraft.
Have these people never heard of “no shirt, no shoes, no service?!”
No boundaries… none.
But it wasn’t just people and their gross feet flying in 2019.
There were also plenty of men – and women — who thought it was totally fine to take off their shirts while napping – beer bellies, back hair, and all (not on the women, I hope).
And one passenger on a United Airlines flight posted a video of a man shaving his head with an electric razor in business class.
Several social media users posted photos of the seats and aisles after their fellow passengers had pigged-out during the flight.
Chips and crumbs, wrappers, chewed gum, you name it – and these were not children, but grown adults who thought their plane fare included garbage pickup.
And not just once, but several times in 2019, passengers shared photos of water bottles left on seats. No big deal, right?
Wrong – they were filled with urine. Because, of course, it’s such an effort to use the little bathroom in the cabin.
And it appears that bladders aren’t impatient just on planes. A man waiting to board his flight in the seating area unzipped and urinated all over the floor in front of everyone.
His performance was caught on camera and posted on Instagram. Comments ranged from disgusted – “even my dog wouldn’t do that” – to surprisingly impressed… obviously from men who admired his lack of shame and impressive aim.
And while we’re still in the airport, a man in Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport tried to board his Ural Airlines flight buck naked.
Before you think, “he’d never get through security,” he did. Because, at the time, he was completely dressed.
But before arriving at his gate, he freed himself of his oppressive attire and told airline employees he would be more “aerodynamic” if he flew sans clothing.
He is now a viral hit on YouTube. As for me, I think I’ll skip the video footage of a large, nude, Russian man running through the airport.
Not just the Mile-High Club
We’ve all heard the stories – or have seen couples exiting the cabin bathroom together after making people stand in line wondering what was taking so long.
But the members of the Mile-High Club were not the only ones thinking dirty thoughts on planes in 2019.
One gentleman appeared to be exhibiting courtesy and awareness of his fellow passengers when he turned on his laptop, put in headphones, and turned the glare of his screen away from his seatmate on a nighttime flight.
Unfortunately, he didn’t pull the shade down on his window seat and it reflected his entertainment choices for all to see.
He was watching porn, and of course, someone whipped out their phone and caught him – and his facial expression. Eww.
Then there was the blow-up doll one crafty passenger carried aboard their flight. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have gotten past security with his little friend, so I’m assuming he blew it up once he boarded.
It’s doubtful his vinyl travel companion was worth the cost of an extra seat, so he kept it on his lap. And, you guessed it, an Instagram user got a pic before flight attendants deflated his hopes and dreams.
Disgusting? No. Dangerous. Duh.
Last but not least, passengers were disappointed to hear that their flight out of China’s Wuhan Tianhe International Airport would be significantly delayed.
Bad weather? Nope. Superstition was the issue for this flight delay.
A poor man with pushy relatives was ordered by his mother-in-law to drop coins in the plane’s engine for good luck to ensure his young daughter’s first flight would be a safe one.
The stunt didn’t bring him much luck, though. He was arrested and detained for ten days for endangering the flight’s manifest of over a hundred passengers.
The yuan coins were found and removed – on the ground under the engine – but the plane still had to be checked, and he was the villain of the day for his fellow passengers.
And coming in at number one on the “are you a complete idiot?” list for 2019 is a woman who was cold during her flight.
It does get chilly on planes – and that’s why many overnight travelers are given blankets and pillows.
But that didn’t do the trick for this little Einstein. Like me, I guess her nose is always cold when the temperature drops.
Instead of drawing the blanket up over her nose, she thought it would be a good idea to put the plastic bag the blanket came in over her head, thinking her breath would eventually warm up her face.
She’s lucky she’s alive, thanks to a fellow passenger who told her maybe it wasn’t such a good idea – although only after they snapped a pic of her stupidity to post online.
I hope you encountered better behavior on your flights in 2019, and if not, hopefully your safe this year.
This kind of stuff can’t possibly happen that often, can it?
Maybe I’ll take a road trip this year. Better safe than sorry!
For more stories about people behaving badly on planes, check out Proud American Traveler, and leave us your in-flight horror stories in the comments!