The Loop

Since summer air travel is the worst anyway, let’s just agree to follow these ‘rules’

June 22, 2017

Tom Hussey

People do not make sense on planes. Well, people don’t make sense anywhere, but they’re more confined on planes, so their behavior is far more obnoxious. Flying is being jammed in a 1976-era tin Band Aid container for hours with other people, nearly all of whom are farting, so let’s just scrap the notion that we’re adhering to any basic rules of human interaction and rewrite a few important rules for summer air travel:

• When they announce “Now boarding Zone 1,” SPRINT IMMEDIATELY TO THE LINE, regardless of what your stupid loser ticket says. The “Zone 4” on your ticket is obviously some sort of airline oversight, and if you are not on that plane RIGHT NOW it has a very good chance of going to Raleigh-Durham without you.

• Whatever object you are carrying will ABSOLUTELY fit in the overhead container. You’re gonna hear a lot of yang from “flight attendants” and “other passengers” and “the rules of matter” but ignore those idiots, you are entitled to bring a suitcase the size of my first apartment wherever you like.

• When the overstuffed compartment fails to reorient its molecular structure to accommodate your huge carryon, turn the bag around in the other direction. Then turn it 90 degrees. Then 90 degrees the other way. Then try the first way again. Repeat ten times.

• When the flight attendant tells you to put your huge carryon in a different bin that isn’t near your seat, act like she just told you the government has come to take away your kitten.

• The person next to you may want to be your friend! Break the ice by telling them the story of all your recent delayed flights.

• It is customary, when traveling with children, to let them play with the little hook and tray table on the seat in front of them for the duration of the flight. If they get bored, a fun game is to have them open and close it, 5,000 times.

• When they say, “Please turn off your phones,” they mean, “Unless you’re on an important business call, then just take until whenever.”

• Headphones block out the world around you. Solve this problem by listening to “Smurfs: The Lost Village” out loud on your laptop’s speakers. To engage with other travelers, ask them which Smurf is the most attractive.

• If a parent with kids sits down next to you, sigh and look obviously put out, because these people are carrying squirming, lip-quivering mucus production machines in a metal tube for four hours and definitely give a s**t what you and your business travel think.

• To airlines in the terminal: Please make sure your CNN broadcast is turned up loud enough to alter the orbit of the Earth.

• Complain loudly about turbulence. That’s the pilot’s fault! Has nothing to do with “weather systems” or other fake science.

• When being dragged off of a United Airlines flight, let your arms go limp. It makes it harder for them to move you. You know when your kids do that thing when they don’t want to be picked up so they liquefy their bones and squirm out of your grasp somehow? It’s like that, only you’re on video.

• BAD: iPhones, which emit a fearsome electromagnetic field that will scrambles every last navigational system on board the aircraft. GOOD: Ads for airline credit cards, which emit from the screen before you at 150 decibels.

• If your 2-year-old is quiet, satiated and calmly watching you play Temple Run on your iPad, it is acceptable to take a copy of the airline magazine and pretend you’re really interested in the profile on David Beckham to hide the fact that you are absolutely not turning the game off while they “land their plane.” (NOTE: This one is not satire. I’ve done this a lot, it totally works and I will do it again.)

• When you’ve landed and the pilot turns off the seat-belt sign, EVERYONE STAND UP AND RETRIEVE YOUR BAGS FROM THE OVERHEAD BINS AT ONCE, because you are definitely all about to move immediately.