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10 Most Annoying People You’ll Encounter on Flights, and How to Deal with Them

10 Most Annoying People You’ll Encounter on Flights, and How to Deal with Them

Think about every flight you have ever been on. There are a few types of people you see, no matter what type of flight you take, how long it is, or where you are going, regardless of what airline you are flying on, and to where. The next time you fly, take a look around; you will see the following types of people. And if one is missing? Well, be careful… it might just be you.

The One with the Deathly Cold

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    Airplanes are germ factories, and even if you aren’t germ phobic, it can get a little overwhelming. There is always at least one person on a flight who is constantly coughing, sniffling, or clearing their throat. Sure, they may not be carrying the plague, but you don’t know that. Even if they aren’t really sick, the sounds themselves get really irritating after a while.

    Solution: Although you cannot stop the people from coughing or sniffling, you can keep yourself from becoming one of them by washing your hands frequently or using hand sanitizer.

    The One Who Obviously Didn’t Shower

    Have you ever walked onto a plane and simply wanted to walk off again because of the smell? Generally this is not due to a malfunction of the plane itself. In fact, it usually is because someone simply didn’t take a shower, wear deodorant, or otherwise has bad B.O. Sure, you can feel bad for the person, but you certainly don’t want to sit next to them.

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    Solution: This is a hard situation to deal with, because short of Febreezing somebody, you may think that you have nothing that you can do. Come prepared with a car air freshener and place it in between the seat near them and this should neutralize the smell.

    The Screaming Kids

    Cheap flights tend to attract families. This isn’t a bad thing, and not all kids on flights are bad, but you will find screaming children on nearly every flight who just ruin the whole experience for everyone. There are well-behaved kids too, but they are completely overshadowed by the ones bawling or screaming obscenities. When you experience these children, sometimes you don’t know whether to feel worse for the parents, or your eardrums.

    Solution: In my opinion, headphones were made for this specific reason. The screaming of a child is something that people who do not have children shouldn’t be subjected to, so sound-cancelling headphones will save the day!

    The One Who Won’t Shut Up

    Talking during a flight can be cool. It’s great to meet new people, and you can learn awesome, interesting things, but sometimes, you simply want to be left alone. Unfortunately, this person doesn’t understand the concept of personal time. They won’t shut up, even when you give normal social cues that you don’t want to talk, or in some cases when you outright tell them that you aren’t in the mood for conversation, these talkers won’t stop jabbering.

    Solution: Headphones will be a weapon for some of these people, and this is a great repellent to the chatty Cathy next to you who won’t stop. The pretence of falling asleep can work as well, and I have often put my head down on the food tray whether I was asleep or not when dealing with an offender of this sort.

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    The Complete Recliner

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      Airplane seats recline, we get that, and it’s great and all, but there is very little room for negotiation in today’s planes. When you recline your seat—even a tiny bit—you are taking space from the person behind you. Though it’s fine to recline a little, it can be really irritating to the person behind you if you recline all the way and then leave your seat like that for the entire flight. Sure, it’s your right to do so, but remember that it’s their right to bring their screaming kids, talk your ear off, and sniffle through the whole flight.

      Solution: Nobody wants to be the person who asks the one in front of them to move their chair back up. In many cases the person will be polite and move it up, but in other cases the person will say it is their right to do this. Note that it is also your right to call the flight attendant over and ask to change seats because this person won’t raise their chair. This may seem rash but as a man who’s 6’4″, this seems like the best solution over hours of extreme discomfort.

      The One Who Doesn’t Think the Rules Apply

      This flyer you can spot a mile away. This is the one who doesn’t feel that any of the flight rules apply to them. During security, they try to get
      through with things they know they shouldn’t have, and when boarding the plane, they ignore seating zones, and try to get on immediately. Every single time they are told to do something, they try to challenge it.

      Solution: This person tends to be confrontational in nature and will challenge anyone who thinks they should follow the rules like everyone else. Don’t let this person bother you; they make other people’s lives more difficult, and flight security will surely dissect their bag and take comfort in the fact they have to repack everything.

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      The Bin Hogs

      Checking luggage is getting expensive. We get it, but come on, people. There are restrictions to the amount of space your carry-on can take up, so don’t try to hog the overhead bin space with your bags, your personal items, your jacket, your sweater, your laptop that for some reason you pulled out of your carry-on… it’s just not nice to the rest of us. That space is as precious to every other traveler as it is to you.

      Solution: Do not touch this person’s things, but rather let a flight attendant know what they’ve done. The flight attendants are magicians in the way that they can fit so much in the overhead bins that it amazes me. If you think you’ve seen it all, trust that the crew has seen more and can solve any problem.

      The Seat Stealer

      Whether simply oblivious or obstinately ignorant, there is always someone who is sitting in the wrong seat. When they are confronted, this passenger always gives one of two answers: Either they take offense that you would accuse them of something so horrible, or they are shocked and appalled at themselves for making such a silly mistake. Both are annoying, but at least in one of the two cases you are not being blamed for their mistake.

      Solution: This is an easy fix—if you run into the person who becomes confrontational, just contact a member of the crew. If you run into somebody who made a mistake, just ask them to move; they’re already embarrassed, so do not bring attention to the situation. Don’t be rude to either of these people, as traveling karma will come around and one of your flights will be delayed for an inordinate amount of time.

      The One Who is Too Good for This

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        Flight Attendants deal with a lot of crap from passengers. They have to deal with all of the same annoying things the rest of us do, plus a lot of things that we may not see as an average flyer, and they get to do it several times a week. Just because this is their job, and they chose it, does not make them a target for harassment. One of the most annoying and worst flyers around is the one who is rude to the flight attendants.

        Solution: You cannot change the rude flyer but you can control your behavior. Make sure you are polite so the flight attendant can give the best care to the rest of the passengers without being annoyed.

        The One Who Has No Respect for Your Ears

        As laptops, tablets, and even movies on cell phones become more popular, more people are bringing their favorite television shows and movies with them on airplanes. However, too many people forget their headphones at home, or simply don’t care about the fact that you may not want to listen to what they have on. In addition to movies, music and audio books have all been used to perpetrate this offender’s crime.

        There are a lot of irritating people on any flight: flying is convenient, but it is also stressful and frustrating. To curb your irritation, and that of
        others, be as respectful of the other passengers as possible.

        Solution: On my last flight I encountered someone like this, and did what any sane person would do and bought them the five-dollar headphones that are available on the flight because I didn’t want to be subjected to their TV show.

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        Last Updated on March 13, 2019

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

        You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

        Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

        1. Work on the small tasks.

        When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

        Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

        2. Take a break from your work desk.

        Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

        Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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        3. Upgrade yourself

        Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

        The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

        4. Talk to a friend.

        Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

        Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

        5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

        If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

        Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

        Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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        6. Paint a vision to work towards.

        If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

        Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

        Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

        7. Read a book (or blog).

        The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

        Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

        Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

        8. Have a quick nap.

        If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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        9. Remember why you are doing this.

        Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

        What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

        10. Find some competition.

        Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

        Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

        11. Go exercise.

        Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

        Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

        As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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        Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

        12. Take a good break.

        Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

        Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

        Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

        Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

        More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

        Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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