Many of you know that I recently attended a healthcare professionals conference in San Diego,which was a real thrill. Due to busy schedules, however, I had to fly to the west coast and back in less than 72 hours. I don’t often fly and when I do, my flights are rarely so lengthy. My time in the air has allowed me to make some observations about the etiquette of air travel that others may find helpful, specifically if they are also non frequent fliers, like myself.


First, let me set the stage. My flights on Wednesday and Friday were not actually on air planes. They were on what is called air buses. As a general rule, I have avoided buses since the sixth grade as they seem to be a slightly less sophisticated mode of transportation. While you may call me a snob, I ask you when was the last time you saw paparazzi swarm an arriving Greyhound. Additionally, the air buses that I flew recalled a particular expression that my parents and grandparents used to use to describe crowded vehicles: “belly to belly”. Belly. To. Belly. I don’t know about you, but I can live through a brushed knee or an awkwardly shared armrest, but if my belly is touching your belly, we have a really serious problem. Serious as in I am looking for the exit door. Good -bye -cruel -world kind of problem.

A few things to contemplate when travelling a “belly to belly” air BUS:

  1. I can see you. Don’t pick your nose. Don’t scratch your balls. Don’t groom any form of facial hair in any fashion. They’re called eyes, people. We are jammed in here together and I can see you.

  2. For the gentlemen in particular: don’t bring, wear or associate yourself in any way with a neck pillow and expect to be ever seen as attractive or masculine again. By purchasing the pillow ahead of time and bringing it on board loudly communicates that you are delicate. And wanting a nappy-poo. The anticipation of your own potential discomfort doesn’t make you an Eagle Scout here, it just reminds us of a hemorrhoid donut - near your face.

  3. For the LOVE OF GOD, if you do have a neck pillow, you should not be allowed to sit in the exit row. We already know you are no one’s Harrison Ford.

  4. You have the right to lower your seat back. Into my row. For the entirety of the flight. You do. You should also expect to be clotheslined at baggage claim.

  5. Flight attendants: most men over 60 have an enlarged prostate. If they aren’t seated in the aisle, don’t serve them liquid. Please. They are pissing of the neck pillows with all their ups and downs.

  6. Upon purchasing an airplane ticket, one should have to complete some form of spatial relations test. I don’t know traveller’s think they are kidding trying to bring Wilt Chamberlain’s coffin protocol for the overhead bin, but I can tell you that if I get hit with it upon disembarkation, they too can expect a clothes line.

  7. Another caution:  if you are not in the window seat, do NOT act like an eight year old trying to find your house from 30, 000 feet. It isn’t much but it is my personal space. Get out of it.

  8. Finally, if I have to use the bathroom (God forbid), kindly swiftly stand up and step aside. Don’t make me wake you, neck pillow. Neither of us want that.

Please keep in mind these rules are for in flight only. I have a plethora of others for TSA check behavior and baggage claim etiquette.  But I think that’s enough for now.