10 Things Travel

The Airline Passenger’s Bill of Rights

The Air Traveler's Survival Guide: The Plane Truth From 35,000 Feet
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Web Watch loves to travel, but we hate having to share our travelling space with strangers who don’t understand the RULES OF TRAVELLING.

It can be the basics – such as “don’t touch our luggage at baggage claim”, or “don’t hog all the electrical outlets at the airport”.

But it can also be the more courteous items, such as “don’t power-lean your airplane seat back onto our laptop so it cracks the screen.”  Yes, this has happened to us, and the airline says that there’s nothing they can do as it wasn’t their fault for the other passenger’s stupidity, negligence, and overall inconsideration.

There’s a reason why a product like KNEE DEFENDERS exists – it’s not to be rude to our fellow passengers by preventing them from relaxing, but it’s to protect our fellow passengers from pissing us off.  It ends up being a much more pleasant travelling experience for all involved when these are in play.

Which brings us to the PASSENGERS’ AIRPLANE BEHAVIOR BILL OF RIGHTS from travel website Lonely Planet.

It’s a simple listing, that sums up every single major complaint that airline passengers have had over the years about other passengers or about things they would like the right to do themselves.  Let’s take a look:

  • Article I: The right to remove shoes  – Web Watch doesn’t fully understand this one.  We recognize that removing ones shoes in flight may feel comfy, but various medical reports have said that it’s better to leave ones’ shoes on to counteract the in-flight swelling that may occur.  Your mileage may vary, of course.
  • Article II: Freedom from unreasonable aromatic assault – No stinky food. No stinky people.  We’ll put a corollary on this one:  nobody should be allowed to fly wearing a muscle shirt.  Gotta wear sleeves, folks.  If not for your self-respect, for ours.
  • Article III: The right to reasonable light
  • Article IV: The article of reclension – see “Knee Defenders”, above.
  • Article V: Freedom of no speech
  • Article VI: The right to bear armrests
  • Article VII: Conditions of passenger quarters
  • Article VIII: The right to heed the call of nature – which brings up a different question.  If you’re sitting in the window seat and need to cross over the sleeping aisle passenger in your row, do you put your butt in their face or your crotch?  Yes, it’s a Fight Club reference, but it still holds.  

    In case you were wondering, 50% of those surveyed preferred “ass in the face”, 14% said “crotch in the face”, and 36% made it a game-day decision based on their armrest companion’s attractiveness.

    Besides, you don’t want to experience the FIVE STAGES OF URINARY GRIEF while on the plane, do you?

    • Denial – “I don’t have to pee”
    • Anger – “I DON’T have to pee”
    • Bargaining – “I don’t HAVE to pee”
    • Depression – “I have to pee”
    • Acceptance – “I have to PEE
  • Article IX: Provisions concerning use of electronic devices – turn it off.  Yes, you.  No, not just the screen.  We know it’s still on.  Why do you get to ignore the rules while the rest of us actually do use the power buttons on our devices?
  • Article X: Cruel and unnecessary aisle clogging
  • Article XI: Freedom from feral children
  • Article XII: The right of reasonable alcohol consumption
  • Article XIII: The right to private media – Except for one flight Web Watch took to Cancun, where copies of Playboy were being passed around from seat to seat for some strange reason.  Or maybe it was Playgirl.  Whatever, it was pretty damn funny at the time to see how nobody really cared about scaring the children who were on-board.