WTF Weds: 12 of the Most Baffling Airplane Passengers I’ve Encountered

Posted on
Feb 1, 2012
Posted in: Air Travel, Top Ten, WTF

As I’ve noted before on the blog, the list of things that are beyond my understanding is vast and ever-growing.

Take Go-gurt, for example. Did we really need a faster way to consume yogurt? Were a bunch of people really sitting around thinking, “Well, we love yogurt, but it just takes so long to eat … is there a way we could leverage Otter Pop technology so we can get those calories faster?”

Or those commercials where the chickens want to be mistaken for ones from Foster Farms. Why, oh, dear lord, why do those poor chickens want to be eaten so badly? Is it some sort of sick death wish?

And when did people start wearing really thick tights in place of pants? Also, how did blue raspberry become a thing? I have never seen a blue raspberry in my life. Never.

It’s just that … I simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

But perhaps what mystifies me more than mutant berries and suicidal poultry are my fellow travelers. Time and time again I find myself on planes with people whose actions confound me. I try to understand a scenario in which their behaviors make sense: are they first-time flyers? Drunk? Sociopaths? Or do they know I am watching them and are simply trying to screw with me? (If it’s the latter … well, done. Well done.)

I can’t really say. But they constantly do things that have me hissing, “Why? Dear god, WHY?” while gently ramming my thumbs into my eye-sockets.

And yet, I’m truly grateful to them. Because their antics provide me with hours of free in-flight entertainment and tons of material for my blog.

And so, for this WTF Wednesday, I present the 12 most baffling airplane passengers I’ve encountered in real life. This is the sort of stuff – along with the enduring appeal of Dave Matthews – that keeps me up at night (and if these are the biggest battles I have, then I’m a lucky gal indeed).

  1. The person who brings nothing on the plane with them. Absolutely nothing. I don’t getit. What are they going to do when they finish the in-flight magazine? No, no, DON’T START TALKING TO ME. Unless you know where blue raspberries come from. That is information I need to have.

    Don't tell me you're going to stare at the natural beauty outside your window for three hours ... because that's just twisted.

  2. People who use the lavatory while barefoot. I hate to tell them the truth, but here it is: not every drop of liquid on the bathroom floor is water. Actually, I suspect most of it isn’t.
  3. Fliers who unhook their seatbelts the moment the captain indicates that they may do so. As though they are suddenly not traveling at hundreds of miles an hour, tens of thousands of feet high in the sky.
  4. Folks who try to recline their chairs when sitting in front of an exit row. They are Don Quixote, feebly chasing after windmills. The look on their face when the flight attendant explains that their seat does not recline is nothing short of devastating. I feel for them, I really do. But how have they never heard of SeatGuru?
  5. Individuals who get exasperated at other people’s crying babies. Oh, the shock! The horror! An infant who is crying. Clearly this is the first time that has ever happened in the history of time.

    A crying child? Who ever HEARD of such a thing?!


  6. Economy passengers who glare at the people in first class. Really? You’re jealous of the guy who’s spent so much of his life in the air that he now gets the privilege of a cup of warm cashews and a few extra inches of legroom in exchange for missing his daughter’s fifth birthday? Right. That makes sense. Glare away.

    You get fancy soup and a cheese plate, but your spouse is probably gonna leave you.

  7. Anyone who tries to move around the cabin when beverages are being served. They always seem so genuinely shocked that they can’t squeeze around a cart that is designed to take up the entire aisle. In a way, I understand: I’m still trying to squeeze my aisle-wide hips into skinny jeans.
  8. The guy who willingly offers to gate check his bag after he’s dragged it all the way on to the plane. I bet he was the sort of kid who reminded his teachers to assign homework on a Friday. He will one day rule the world, and we will resent him for it.
  9. IPad owners who spend their flight watching nothing but reruns of Two and a Half Men. Monsters, the lot of them.
  10. Folks who bring fast food onto the plane. The idea is to bring something more appetizing than airline food. (Also, to the woman on my flight who unwrapped a Whopper within 10 minutes of departure and slowly ingested it over the course of 45 minutes, leaving the whole cabin wreaking of onions: You, madame, are a sadist.)

    The "meat" was so tough I broke my fork on it, and the flight attendant got exasperated when I asked for another one.

  11. Fashionistas. Yes, you look amazing. But it took you 45 minutes to get through security, and now your feet are too swollen to fit into your Alexander McQueen hoof shoes so you are headed to the lavatory barefoot. God help us all.
  12. Anyone who manages to sleep on a flight. Please, for the love of mankind, teach me how.

    To this day, we still talk about this guy.

You, no doubt, have seen some equally weird stuff while traveling, right? Please don’t hesitate to share your stories in the comments section below. And seriously, if anyone can explain Go-gurt, email me. I need to understand.

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