Flying etiquette

By: Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo September 08,2017 - 11:36 PM

I’m on seat 9C en route to Jakarta, Indonesia, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — and I’m fuming mad at this man with his Android phone on his right hand as he is enjoying the time of his life talking to his friend using his loud speaker.

His phone rang three times as the plane took off. Then he did some recordings while we’re already on air even before the seat belt sign was switched off.

The flight was delayed for an hour. I was anxious to finish a couple of pages for a required reading for graduate school so I can freely enjoy my time in Jakarta with Madame Silvana Hermosa, my former humanities teacher at the University of the Philippines Cebu.

But the man did not even have the decency to speak softly and gently. I mean, come on, if you’re going to break rules, can you at least do it discreetly?

No, this man was flaunting it.

I should not be surprised about this for his nationality is notorious worldwide in defying airline rules.

“They give us headaches,” says one flight attendant of a low-cost airline in a Manila-bound flight. She looked helpless trying to explain to the woman why she cannot provide her with a blanket and a glass of softdrinks. I helped her out in explaining the situation to the screaming lady. I got chocolates and then 19-month-old Antoinette got a lollipop as tokens of her gratitude.

Not all flight attendants are as lucky.

Those who are slapped with bad luck had water thrown to their faces. In some other instances, an exit door was opened. You can imagine the look on the face of the young lady when she saw this happening. In my previous experiences, they were bullied and called names.

Nobody pays attention to the flight attendants until the passengers need something. A colleague once described them as “waiters and waitresses on air.”

I beg to disagree.

They are more than that.

What they do entails a lot of hard work and they did not get there just because they know the right shade of lipstick for their skin tone or they look good in those chic uniforms or sophisticated airline wardrobe.

Yes it is their job to take care of us, passengers. But it is our responsibility to abide by the rules set forth by the airline especially when it concerns our safety.

Unruly behavior of adults ticks me off.

Especially when it happens in airplanes.

My inner teacher comes out every time this situation happens.

Today is no exception.

I told the man — in his language ! — that he needs to turn off his phone.

He smirked.

Conscious that my language-speaking ability is now rusty and my words came out unintelligible, I resorted to my own version of the game “charade.” I sought the help of my phone. I got my phone, pointed to the “on/off” button and repeatedly said “turn off.”

He smirked again.

I was running out of patience.

The teacher in me needed to report the matter to the “principal.”

I stood up and headed to the lavatory where a flight stewardess was standing. I told her the situation and she was quick enough to respond. In less than one minute, she was standing beside Mister Loud Speaker Phone and told him to switch off his phone. He was also politely asked to move to another seat because by this time, the passengers near our row were complaining about his “loudness.”

Anyone else experienced rude people inflight?

What about those homo sapiens sapiens who stand up and get their luggage from the overhead compartment even while the plane is taxiing?

They do this after it is announced that “for your safety, please refrain from standing while the plane is taxiing or while the seat belt sign has not been switched off”!

I pity children who are with parents who deliberately defy rules. The adults are showing children all the wrong values. In exchange for what? For being the first person off the plane? Not worth it.

Take note that most of the people who do this are not first-time flyers, and they don’t appear to be ignorant either. I am not apologetic as I write this: these are people who can buy plane tickets but can never afford good manners and proper breeding.

So my dearest airlines, if you happen to upgrade your frequent flyer program which allows passengers to throw a slipper or a water bottle to people who break safety protocols, please put me on top of the list.

I don’t mind that you don’t give credits or additional points.

I just need to get my message across to do these rule-breakers: sit down or you go down.

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TAGS: airline rules, airlines, etiquette, flight, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur

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