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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 November 19, 2019

        20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

        20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

        Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

        If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

        1. Create a Daily Plan

        Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

        2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

        Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

        3. Use a Calendar

        Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

        I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

        Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

        4. Use an Organizer

        An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

        These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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        5. Know Your Deadlines

        When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

        But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

        6. Learn to Say “No”

        Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

        Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

        7. Target to Be Early

        When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

        For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

        Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

        8. Time Box Your Activities

        This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

        You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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        9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

        Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

        10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

        Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

        You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

        11. Focus

        Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

        Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

        Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

        12. Block out Distractions

        What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

        I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

        When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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        Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

        13. Track Your Time Spent

        When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

        You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

        14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

        You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

        Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

        15. Prioritize

        Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

        Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

        16. Delegate

        If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

        When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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        17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

        For related work, batch them together.

        For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

        1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
        2. coaching
        3. workshop development
        4. business development
        5. administrative

        I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

        18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

        What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

        One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

        While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

        19. Cut off When You Need To

        The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

        Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

        20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

        Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

        More Time Management Techniques

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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