Sun, Nov. 17

Prepare for worst when flying the not-so-friendly skies

Judy Bluhm

Judy Bluhm

The summer travel season is here. Before you hop on an airplane, please be aware (in case you haven’t flown lately) that there is a new report out by flight attendants that reveals that flying is more terrifying than ever. That’s right, it seems people used to dress up to travel. Now sometimes they barely show up clothed, wear flip flops and bring enormous amounts of food onto planes and display bad manners.

Bring plenty of anti-bacterial wipes and hope for the best. Because what is happening is something that we, gentle and kind folks, will not believe. First, it seems that many people on planes have kicked off their sandals and then stick their (smelly) feet right in between the seats in front of them. This has caused near fist fights, the horrified passenger looking at a disgusting foot might do things like poor hot coffee on it. Yes, it is even more disturbing that flight attendants see folks cutting their toenails on flights.

Just when I thought it cannot get much worse, there are folks who have removed their pants on flights (for the ultimate in comfort), drink too much alcohol and use the tray tables for things we might not discuss in this fine paper. OK, babies’ diaper changes occur, but let’s say I might never pull down a tray table again without a full-on bleach cleaning.

Doggies barking, peeing and pooping are not so uncommon on flights. Well, at least they are usually kept in their crates. But if you have ever sat behind a doggy with an upset tummy on a four- hour flight, it is a less than pleasant experience. In fact, in can be doggone stinky.

Sometimes babies scream on flights. OK, we deal with it. But a dog howling throughout the flight is ridiculous. One man said he sat next to a lady with an African Grey parrot. The parrot kept yelling, “Get the h -ll away from me.” It was sort of funny, but after three hours the man thought he might go mad.

Then there are just rude people who are “space invaders.” They take over the middle armrest, move their leg into your leg space and might even hijack your tray table for an “extra” device or laptop. Then there are those who do not follow an essential travel rule: if you cannot pull it, carry it or lift it – your suitcase is too big. Everyday fight attendants are asked to lift large and heavy pieces of luggage into the overhead bins because the owners won’t or can’t.

There have been reports of people on long flights doing yoga moves in their seats, push-ups in the aisles and hand-stands (yep, this is true) at the back of the plane. And food? Let’s just say everything from burgers, pizzas and big gulps are finding their way to a seat next to you. One time I got a glob of guacamole in my hair from the guy eating next to me.

Flying soon? Fasten your seat belt for a wild ride. And bring alcohol wipes.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at

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