Flying used to be more fun! Don't get me wrong, in the post 9-11 era I am grateful for the additional security measures and also glad there are "fast pass" ways to get around the long lines at security like TSA Pre-check. But long lines, crowded terminals and even more crowded aircraft = some cranky pants passengers!
In the past few days, I have heard many "horror" stories of inconsiderate, and downright rude passengers. From the five year old and the mom, who spent the better part of a five hour flight kicking the chair in front of him till he passed out on the floor of the row...to the mom who just handed her baby to the passenger seated next to them and then disappeared for 20 minutes (without asking permission of the passenger!).
As a single mom, presently traveling with my 8 year old son, I am grateful for any kindness that a stranger may grant me. BUT, come on people let's exercise some simple manners on and around an airport or airplane to make the skies friendly once again.
I'm happy to report there IS still some kindnesses out there. In line to board, I happened to strike up a conversation about "teen age driving" because my son asked "how old do you have to be to drive" which was overheard by a father of a teen in line. This question lead to a meaningful work conversation and an exchange of cards and information with a fellow passenger. My son is always a great conversation starter (the Tomato doesn't fall far from the vine) and reminds me to show some kindness too in situations at the airport or on an aircraft where I may have been grateful for 5 hours of silence.
So now that I have had my overpriced glass of not so great wine and my son has had his overpriced snack box, I decided to suggest some other items the airline's may want to consider selling to keep the passengers "happier". Beyond the flight attendants who are there for our safety, but also paid somewhat to be nice to passengers, I think airlines should step up on some items to keep the human friendly-ness quotient "UP" on planes that service cross-country or cross-oceanic flights!
Overheard from two rows in back of me is the classic "snorer". I realize he may be on a long, multi-stop, cross-county trip, but this man has been snoring now for 4 hours. A female passenger only one row in back of me was overheard saying to our region " my husband only snores like that after a long night of drinking bourbon". So in case you are sitting in the vicinity of "Mr. Maker's Mark" snoring off a binge night of bourbon, it would be great if the little cart of snacks the flight attendants are pushing down the aisles also sold some simple "ear plugs". I am sure these would sell out if offered for under $10 bucks for those passengers not traveling with noise canceling earphones (and for the record, I DO have these but I put them on my son while he was sleeping so the "snorer" would not wake him.)
On a cross county flight, it's inevitable that "nature will call." But what do you do when you are inline for the bathroom and the person in the bathroom has been in there for a good 5+ minutes and was not trying to join the "mile high club"? You already "dread" what that stink chamber is gonna smell like without having to be "next" after Mr. Poo Poo in the Potty. What if the cart carried some "single use, air freshner" for sale or even better some "poo-pouri". That way whether you are the "offender" or a potential "victim", you could enter the chamber armed with some weapons to address the "destruction" zone.
Last, but certainly not least, what if the airlines offered "buy one, get one free drinks for you and your fellow passengers"? I am sure I would take advantage of that package and make a friend that would hopefully reciprocate the gesture.
These three simple "offers" by the airlines would certainly make flying the friendly skies more worthwhile!
Peace and Love from somewhere over Oklahoma,