On our last trip back from Europe, we were unfortunate enough to discover the one thing that could make an Air France flight worse. And it is having to share a cabin with this guy:

Bastard.

-

I’m referring to the one on the right, closest to the window. I realize that he doesn’t look that evil from this picture, but neither did that little kid from The Omen, and he was the son of Lucifer.

So I’m simply saying don’t dismiss a douchebag by his cover. Context is everything in this picture. As you can glean from his surroundings, the entire cabin was dark, and the overhead lights were turned off. The stilted, I-spit-in-your-general-direction in-flight service that Air France is known for had stopped. It was midnight in Paris, our port of departure, and people were exhausted and struggling to sleep. But it was incredibly difficult to do so. Why?

That asshole in the photo above would not close his damn window. And for that, I say, Dick Move.

The people in the cabin tossed and turned, squinting in his general direction, hoping he’d get a clue. He did not. He kept it open for the entire trans-Atlantic international flight. It was as though he had never been on a plane before (though I doubt that was true – he was clearly on a business trip) and couldn’t bare to miss one second of all the nothingness passing below us. At one point, I peeked out of our window to check if there was anything worth seeing. It was like staring at a lightbulb.

But wait – it got worse. He had his cell phone out, and was doing something with it (seriously, I only vaguely understand what you can do with a smartphone on a plane. After a few hours, Angry Birds loses its appeal). Whatever it was, it meant that the light from the window was hitting the screen on his camera, and reflecting blinding rays of light directly onto – you guessed it – me and Rand. It was like he was signaling planes with a mirror … right onto our faces.

Now, I know – he got a window seat, it’s his right to keep it open, blah, blah, blah. It’s also his right to fart freely and not wear deodorant, but I wouldn’t condone those behaviors, either, and particularly not on a plane.

People in the cabin turned to stare at us, exhausted and sympathetic. A few lifted their sleep masks and shook their heads sadly (you can, in fact, see at man at left in the phone, struggling to sleep). Tired of having our retinas seared, Rand and I stood up. The look of hope on the other passengers’ faces was apparent. Someone was going to do something!

A lovely French woman leaned over to me.

“Are you going to zay zometing?” she asked, in a excited whisper. “Because he is very rude. I cannot sleep! We are so very tired.”

“I know. He’s a douche.” (Note: “douche” does not translate into French.)

We stood, flapping our arms to get the guy’s attention. He was obviously quite good at ignoring the feelings and sufferings of others, as quite literally the entire cabin noticed us before he did.

He looked up, utterly confused, and it was only as he sat there staring at us, and the reflection of the sunlight off of his phone hit us square in our faces and we fell to the ground, blinded, that he realized what the problem was. Making sure we saw exactly how much of a burden it was for him, he slowly lowered the shade of his window.

The entire cabin nearly erupted in applause. I heard sighs and whispers of relief.

Until, literally four seconds later, he proceeded to open his other window.

I shit you not. This asshole had access to TWO WINDOWS, and when we asked him to close one, he opened the other. The faces in the cabin, brightly lit by the harsh light of his window, were etched with pain and desperation. Somewhere, someone began to weep, softly. I heard prayers whispered in a variety of languages, all of them quietly imploring the mercy of a god who had clearly forsaken them.

Not ready to be defeated this close to success, Rand stood again, and flapped his arms, a majestic pigeon of hope. Our foe looked at him again, and closed his second window … only to reopen the first one.

Rand looked at me, incredulous. He sat down, defeated. It was hopeless.

And it was that point, dear readers, that I took out my camera and decided to document this asshole. Seriously, DICK MOVE INCONSIDERATE WINDOW SEAT GUY. You are heinous and rotten and selfish – and likely have a bright future ahead of you should you ever decide to work for AirFrance.

Full list of categories:  Air Travel » Dick Move
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Comments (65)

  1. 1
    Bromley says:

    Totally self-absorbed turd! I’m surprised a flight attendant didn’t tell him to keep his windows closed. They always do on the flights I’ve been on (mostly Air France flights, too). Boo this guy. And boo the attendants for not doing anything about it.

    • 1.1
      Caitlin says:

      I am surprised about that too. There are normally rules about having the closed and night and I have seen flight attendants enforce them numerous times. Did anyone complain to a flight attendant?

      • 1.1.1
        Michael says:

        airlines should take responsibility for the dimming / closing of blinds, as passengers obviously cannot be trusted.

  2. 2
    Runaway Brit says:

    There is nothing worse than an inconsiderate passenger on a long-haul flight. I feel for you!

  3. 3
    Eric says:

    What a douche, indeed! I almost wish all of you in the cabin turned into zombies, and he was the only one left, and he turned to see 300 (non) souls about to devour him alive, bite by bite.

    Mmmm…brains.

  4. 4
    Kelsey says:

    Wow. You’re much more polite than I am. I would have actually gone over and told the guy to shut his damn windows.

  5. 5
    Peter Y says:

    always, always, always travel with an eye cover, ear plugs, and a noise canceling headset!

  6. 6
    Kenbe Fo says:

    I don’t get it. You write that it was midnight, but that there was glaring light. Maybe at 5 a.m., but at midnight? Also, some people have problems with vertigo when they fly, and having a window open (even at night) helps to maintain some semblance of a horizon, which helps with the vertigo. Finally, I can’t believe that your blog is featured on Time.com when you can’t spell: “couldn’t BARE to miss one second of all the nothingness passing below us”?

    • 6.1
      Everywhereist says:

      Kenbe –

      Awww! A hater! Greetings! I’m so excited that you are here, because it is confirmation that I’ve made it in the world. In response to your comment – I have so many things to tell you.

      First off, I spelled “bare” wrong? Dear god. I must be flogged. Please excuse me while I go do that. In the meantime, please feel free to write to Time and explain to them how you are vomiting with rage at my typo. I’m sure they’ll care.

      Secondly, we were flying west, so yes, it was midnight at our port of departure, but also glaring white light outside. I could explain this to you, but I would need patience and a globe. I have neither right now.

      Thirdly, buddy, I have wicked vertigo. When you suffer from it, you do not stare down on to your lap while playing video games. You do not stare out on to the horizon. Instead, you quietly close your eyes, pray to the heavens that you will make it through this alive, and occasionally pull out a I-hope-it’s-leak-proof barf bag. This guy did NOT suffer from vertigo. He suffered from being a douche.

      And lastly, you spelled “awesome” wrong. It’s cool. Happens to the best of us (even me, as you kindly pointed out).

      Peace out, bro. And lighten the hell up.

    • 6.2
      DaleC says:

      “Kenbe Fo” may now be used as a synonym for “douche” in at least seven languages.

      Rule # 73 – Asshats always defend the actions of other asshats, especially if they have committed such heinous inconsideration themselves.

      • 6.2.1
        Everywhereist says:

        Now, Dale, come. We mustn’t be antagonistic to other commenters. That’s my job. Keep your innocence, good sir. I will be snarky for all of us.

    • 6.3
      CharlesD says:

      I agree wih KenbeFo, that this is poor English language, with one addition:

      “Bare” in ths context is not a typo, strictly speaking – it is a spelling/language/logic error. A typo is when the wrong letters are typed inadvertantly, with no relation to spelling or logiv. In the previous sentence, “logiv” is a typo, caused by the proximity of “c” and “v” on the keyboard.

      Substituting “bare” for “bear” is a spelling/logical error. It is highly likely that you did not hit the wrong key, but rather that you thought the word in this context was actually spelled “bare.”

      • 6.3.1
        Everywhereist says:

        Actually, Charles, let me clarify, since you don’t have the slightest idea of what’s going on in my rather massive cranium:

        I type slightly slower than the pace at which I think – which is still rather fast. The second a thought pops into my head, I type it, and yes, this leads to plenty of typos and errors, because it’s often a phonetic translation. Hence “bare” becomes “bear” and “here” and “hear” get confused, and sometimes it’s an even more pronounced error that makes little sense (fortunately, I tend to catch those are they are more egregious).

        Obviously, though, you and Kenbo can’t handle the occasional typo on a blog (of all places!) and are truly offended by it. It seems that the options are you can either scram, or I can try to think more slowly in order to make fewer mistakes (consequently making you and Kenbo happier).

        Maybe you’ll teach me how to do the latter? Actually, never mind. Just scram, okay?

        • 6.3.1.1
          Deepak says:

          Awesome blog and super awesome replies to assholish comments.

        • 6.3.1.2
          CharlesD says:

          OMG girl, so much hostility!

          However, I love the explanation that the thoughts in your head are stored as phonetic sounds rather than in terms of their actual meaning. You must be so happy with such a nice simple way to view the world, like a little mongrel doggie —- oh, look, I’ve fallen to your level of biz are ran dumb x treem poot downz (phonetically transcribed)

          hahhahahahahahah (also roughly phonetic)

        • 6.3.1.3
          Everywhereist says:

          “You must be so happy with such a nice simple way to view the world, like a little mongrel doggie.”

          What can I say – your mother taught me well.

        • 6.3.1.4
          Gem says:

          Your put-downs are bizarre, random, and extreme in the very best way. Speaking platonically and with mimimal creepiness, I love you and your brilliant blog.

          Oh, and poor analogy CharlesD. On the bright side, if you happen to own a mongrel at the reading and writing standard of a small child then you’re probably going to make quite a bit of money.

        • 6.3.1.5
          Gem says:

          P.S. I hope you like my typo, Merry Christmas CharlesD.

  7. 7
    Anthony says:

    The guy is a total shower. Still, if you don’t have an eye mask, you can’t expect darkness. The bigger problem for me is talkers and criers. It’s much more difficult to create artificial silence.

    • 7.1
      Everywhereist says:

      I have way less sympathy for talkers than criers (criers are usually kids who are suffering. Talkers are usually adults who should know better.) Have you tried sound-proof headphones? Rand and I both have pairs.

      • 7.1.1
        kiran says:

        I just traveled to nepal and back (18 hrs flight) with my two toddlers and boy that was a trouble. both of them are criers. I appreciate other fellow passengers being so understanding.

    • 7.2
      Caitlin says:

      Good airlines provide you with eye masks on long haul flights. Then again, good airlines also employ flight attendants who make you close your window when people are trying to sleep.

  8. 8
    Erin says:

    This made me laugh, a lot. Thanks for that. (Although I am sorry about your crappy flight.) Secondly, thanks for the heads up. I just added sleep mask to my packing list for my Trans-Atlantic flight later this month. Not something I had even remotely thought of, but obviously a must-have in case of rude seatmates!

  9. 9
    Mike says:

    1st. Congrats on Top 25!

    2nd. I can totally relate – I travel for a living and my wife and I talk about how to create/afford your current scenario often.

    3rd. Dick Move. What a great title and tag for posts of the like. I have my own top ten on Up, Up, and Away Faux Pas on my public journal but have neglected to include the unruly window passengers. You would think that the blinding light into the cabin would be enough. Oh well, it’s just a constant awakening to the plethora of self centered people out there. My glass will always be half full either way.

    And p.s. spelling errors are permissible in blogging.

    • 9.1
      Everywhereist says:

      Thank you, Mike. For not only your kind words, but for a post-script that will make me love you forever.

  10. 10
    Tim says:

    Dude, I just discovered your blog thanks to your glowing review on TIME, and I already am in love with it, and fell EVEN harder after this post and following comments. It’s completely riotous (is that even a word; please ask Kenbe if I spelled it right) and I think we could be BFFs for sure. Alright, now it’s time for me to keep reading while pretending to do work at my desk, just like all the rest of you guys. LYLAS!

  11. 11
    Christina says:

    Oh, I think I work with that guy…
    He is an asshat
    and
    a douche.

  12. 12
    RiderWriter says:

    O. M. G. I would SOOOOOO have been sitting on that plane simply seething with rage, with a heart full of murder and mayhem. I take my sleeping environment very seriously, and on a stressful red-eye flight I would especially be inclined to look with extreme disfavor upon anyone interfering with my attempt at rest. My husband can vouch for this – he’d tell you that I would have cheerfully strangled that monster with my bare hands.

    But why DIDN’T the flight attendants say anything? Boy, I sure don’t need any more encouragement not to fly Air France! (Of course, I was already feeling that way due to a couple of French businessmen who tied up the AF/Delta counter I needed for ONE HOUR, nearly causing me to miss a very important flight a couple weeks ago.)

    I, too, came over from TIME, and think I’m going to enjoy it here. Thanks for the humor and insight!

    • 12.1
      Everywhereist says:

      Honestly, if there wasn’t such a plentiful array of movies to watch, I’d have walked over and slapped him.

  13. 13
    Max says:

    Firstly, congrats on making it to Time’s Top 25! I owe Time big-time (heh) for leading me to this hilarious blog! Love your style of writing, sense of humour and the general wanderlust and merry-making! Good stuff! (You know you’re really psyched about something when pretty much every sentence is an exclamation.)

    On a side note, my pet-peeve while flying is a-holes who JUMP OUT OF THEIR SEATS before the plane has barely landed. Oh and let’s not even get started on the fools who think it’s completely acceptable to burp in all their loud glory while seated inches away from fellow passengers.

    Once again, good job on the blog, Geraldine… Hope it finds way many more fans! Cheers!

    • 13.1
      Everywhereist says:

      Oh, damn, Max – I hate that, too. It’s probably because I’m a must-adhere-to-the-rules Seattlite, but I positively claw my seat when people get up before they are supposed to. In Europe, there is no avoiding it.

  14. 14
    Youjun says:

    Is it because of its subtleness of complex feelings that makes this blog become a Time one?

  15. 15
    Sriram Narayanan says:

    How about simply talking to such a person in the future ? You sometimes need to come down to the level of the other person and communicate with them.

    All this casting looks in his direction, etc, is not going to help.

    Perhaps he may have given you context on why he wanted the window open all the time.

    Also, why not call the stewardess over in case verbal conversations didn’t help ? You’d surely be able to give someone or the other some feedback on the in-flight service quality.

    • 15.1
      Everywhereist says:

      Honestly, we did try talking. And he lowered his one window, and opened the other one. I would have walked over to him, but he was on the other side of the plane. First class was in front of us (so I couldn’t cross there) and people were asleep in the bulkhead aisles, blocking them.

      Also, douchebaggery is NOT something you can talk someone out of.

    • 15.2
      Everywhereist says:

      “You’d surely be able to give someone or the other some feedback on the in-flight service quality.”

      You clearly have never flown Air France.

  16. 16
    Air France Frequent Flyer says:

    Although I agree with you that this guy is a douche, maybe there was some more important reason that required him to have a window open.
    Also, why did you ask a flight attendant to say something? AF attendants are very nice, and then maybe you would have found out…
    Lastly, did you neglect to see the feedback button on your individual screen as well as the sleep masks they provide for you (along with earplugs) in that little kit?

  17. 17
    Chris says:

    “Air France Frequent Flyer” is not just a customer…..he is the CEO…ha

  18. 18
    AnitaSF says:

    I also just found your blog and this really made me laugh! We flew AF direct to Paris from SFO last year and were in business class and it was almost the opposite problem. The plane left SFO around 4pm and we weren’t in the air more than an hour before the AF flight attendants came around and forcefully shut ALL the windows down on the plane. There attitude was “you WILL shut up and sleep now and service is officially over until 1 hour before arrival in Paris.”

    Since I am one of the Mere Mortals that cannot sleep on a flight I was not happy about being already plunged into darkness for 11-12 hours. But, I was not a douche and did not open my window for fear the AF attendants would be off with my head!!

  19. 19

    After I read this post for the first time, I stopped selecting the window seat on airplanes and always look around to see if @everywhereist is on the opposite side of the row. I don’t want to be featured as a douchebag in the next post on this blog because I was opening or closing the window when I wasn’t supposed to. :( #paranoid

  20. 20
    Liza says:

    Ohcrap. I think I am guilty of this. Well, not quite to the extent of this guy – I actually mean I think I’m guilty of keeping my window open. I haven’t been on a flight in years (and back then only with my parents) and when I flew to Melbourne from Perth a couple of months ago I committed the crime of keeping my window open THE ENTIRE TIME. Nobody told me about the window-shutting custom! I just wanted to see the clouds on my first flight in years, I swear!

    *goes to a corner to rock back and forth uncontrollably*

    • 20.1
      Everywhereist says:

      Liza – it’s okay. It really is. This was an entirely different situation. The guy was not looking out his window. Certainly not for entire duration of the 8 hour flight, during which dozens of people were trying to sleep, but were unable to because of the searing light coming from his general direction.

    • 20.2
      Caitlin says:

      It is OK. You don’t have to close your windows on every flight. It’s just when they dim the cabin lights and people are tring to sleep. Melbourne to Perth does not cross enough time zones for this to be a problem.

  21. 21
    Robert says:

    I’m rather late to the party, BUT if this guy is like me he probably never sleeps on a flight.
    I fly about 300K miles per year and I’ve had a few scares with Deep Vein Thrombosis. So I stay awake the whole flight I also get up and walk at least once per hour and try to do a few minutes of simple leg exercise every 15 min. I generally try to get some work done (I review electronic designs). I also like to have the window open because every so often there is something to see, otherwise the only thing I get to see is a bunch of sneering passengers looking back at me.

    • 21.1
      Everywhereist says:

      Robert – that’s genuinely a drawback to sleeping on planes that I have never, ever thought of. If only you had some sort of alarm to wake you up once an hour, before you sit down and fall asleep again.

    • 21.2
      Caitlin says:

      I get up and walk around the cabin too, especially since a friend had DVT a few years ago. That’s why I try to take the aisle seat for long haul. I don’t want to be climbing over people and disturbing their sleep. If I want something to look at, I watch a movie or use my personal overhead light to read a book.

      For short hail, I like the window seat andi look out the window. You’re not expected to close it for short haul because people do not expect to sleep. Short haul flights are usually in the day and if they were at night it would be dark outside since you do t cross many time zones. It’s totally different.

  22. 22
    Georgios says:

    Maybe he was using a solar charger:)

  23. 23
    Annett says:

    No matter where you fly to there are always someone getting on your nerves. Whether it is a kid screaming, a snoring or stinky person next to you OR the guy that can not close the window. I feel with you!

  24. 24
    Hannah says:

    I just discovered your blog and it was love at first comment reply! I think you might be my new literary hero :) I am subscribing right away and can’t wait to read more. Thanks for the laughs xxx

  25. 25
    Alex says:

    Why not just go tell him to start with? Maybe he is inconsiderate, and maybe he’s just not very empathic, or a tiny bit Asberger´s?

    I agree that opening the other window after you asked him to close the first was inconsiderate, but I must admit that I thought sitting there, hating him more and more and still not telling him was a bit childish.

    (There’s a lot of things you can do on a smart phone that’s not Angry Birds. Personally, I read books on my smart phone during long hauls. =)

  26. 26
    Taryn says:

    To Tim, why do you feel such a strong need to go on a tangent and start talking about how you want to be bff’s? Was it so important to know if he likes pie or cake? Come on man! It was so far out there it was almost annoying.
    As for the eye mask, noted for next time I fly! That is one thing that never crossed my mind. I am sure that will come in handy more than I think now that I know there are still people who have horrid airplane manners out there. Obviously ipod is a basic necessity. I am just so confused as to why someone could not take a hint? You can almost feel people staring at you, and you can for sure hear when people whisper and point at you. Be observant! If you don’t want to close your window because everyone thinks you should do it because you want to and don’t want to be the dick that everyone hates on the plane.

  27. 27
    dylan says:

    Interesting, I have mixed feelings about that one…. I go out of my way to get the window seat, because I actually enjoy watching the sights below. The fact that you were over the ocean and there was nothing to see does make it strange that the guy had the window open. On the other hand, if there was something awesome to see, then I certainly wouldn’t blame the guy for having it open.

    Once on a flight from Amsterdam to New York we flew over the coast of Greenland. I was not in a window seat, but the guy across the isle from me was, and he would open the shade every few minutes or so, and I was able to get a peak. I was totally blown away by the fact that only a few people in the cabin are looking out the windows, most people, even if they weren’t sleeping, had the damn shades closed! As if this was just another bus trip across town — Fjords of Greenland? Booooooooring…. I was so pissed that I didn’t have the window seat on that flight. Since then I ALWAYS try to get the window seat.

    If I’m on a long distance flight I’ve paid a ton of money for and had gone out of my way to get a window seat on, and the flight is going over interesting terrain that I’d never seen before, I really don’t care what the other people in the cabin think — I’m looking out the window, no question about it.

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