Allowing Others on a Plane to be Productive by Meggin McIntosh, PhD

Mar 14th, 2013

airplane signI wrote the first draft of this week’s tips on a plane and after you read them, you can imagine why I was prompted to write them.  This will be a list you will want to share with others because YOU are not the problem because you aren’t violating these.  I know that.

Upon entering the plane and throughout your time on a plane:

  1. Modulate your voice.  Whether it is when you are still on the cell phone before take-off or after the plane is in the air and you are talking with a seatmate, use your 6-inch voice, as teachers say.  If you’re using your 2 foot or 10 foot voice, that means that many others are part of your conversation whether they want to be or not.

    Note:  This is why I have told people that the day Delta and Southwest allow cell phone usage during flight, I have flown my last flight.

  2. Get settled as quickly as you can.  The flight attendants say, “Remember that there are people behind you.”  Apparently, some people think that doesn’t apply to them.

  3. Remember that a plane is a public place, FCOL (for crying out loud).  It’s not your living room, your bathroom, your office, or your bedroom.  That’s all I’m going to say here.

  4. Food and beverage.  If it is at all possible for you to eat your anchovy, onion, garlic, and sardine pizza before you get on the plane, the rest of us would appreciate it.  And, just like your mom used to tell you in a restaurant when you got to the bottom of the glass with your straw, stop sucking and making that sound.

  5. Sounds – ear phones.  If I can hear your music and you have the buds in your ears, then you are doing serious damage to your ears whether you are listening to music or watching a movie on your iPad or other device.

  6. Visuals – movies, magazines, etc.  If you are watching or looking at something that has the possibility of being troublesome to others given its violence, sexual content, or language (written in 60-point type), then save it for when you arrive at your destination or situate yourself so that no one else can see what you’re seeing or read what you are reading (unless they are going to great lengths to do so – then that is their problem).

  7. Courtesy to other passengers.  Be polite in deed, diction, and delivery.  We’re all living in this relatively small space for an hour or several hours.  Let’s not get testy with each other.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.

  8. Treat the flight attendants with respect.  Their job is to help you and everyone else get to the final destination in a safe and reasonably comfortable manner.  I don’t envy them their job.  Usually, the nicer you are, the nicer they are.  If it doesn’t work out that day for you, just know you are making up the karma for someone else who made the flight attendant’s day perfectly miserable.  And there are plenty of those folks.

  9. Preparing to exit (egress).  It is not a surprise when we land.  Please have everything put away in plenty of time so that when it’s OK to get up and begin to leave the plane, you can get into the aisle and begin moving down the aisle with the flow.  If you are in no rush, then stay seated because you can be sure that there are people with close connections and they really need to go as quickly as possible.

  10. Do not bring old meat onto a plane.  I just had to write this because I recently read about a flight that had to go back to the gate after passengers realized there were maggots falling out of the overhead bin because some guy had brought meat that was spoiled onto the plane in his carry-on luggage.  AYKM?  Are You Kidding Me?

So, given that particular occurrence, I guess I can put up with loud talkers, sardine pizza, and people acting as if they have all the time in the world to get themselves settled.  Well, not really, but, it does help me put it into perspective and be thankful for what is or isn’t happening.

© Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D.  | Emphasis on Excellence, Inc. |

Meggin is a natural-born entrepreneur, which is evidenced by the fact that she sold Creeple People & Fun Flowers in elementary school, plus she had a catalog that was passed around the 5th grade so other students could order doll clothes, furniture, food, and other accessories.  Oh, and then there was the time she was prohibited from going to the prom (not that she had been invited anyway), because she sold candy in her high school classes and only “clubs” were allowed to do that.  Oh well…

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