5 people who should just stop travelling

As much as I’d like to encourage everyone to get up and get out there, a recent flight reminded me that there are those people who as soon as you meet them you realize should never leave their home country again.

Nix that, their home.

It’s because they make travel so much more difficult for the rest of us.

So if you fall into this list, I’m talking to you.

Stop. And if you can’t, then at least stop travelling.

1. The entitled recliner: Congratulations!  You’ve discovered your seat can recline! And despite your four foot frame have also decided that there simply isn’t enough “leg room” there for you in an upright position. Instead, you’ve decided to maximize your space by taking this ride with your head in my lap. Seriously? Here’s a clue: If you can see up my nose when you are looking straight ahead, you’re too far back. And if you must recline, which in some circumstances is absolutely warranted, then can you go slow or offer a bit of warning? Ramming my tray table into my lap or my computer into your headrest is only going to make me accidentally on purpose make your life miserable from behind.

Crowded Airplane Seating

Crowded Airplane Seating (Photo credit: Frank Gruber)

2. The loud talker:  We are in a confined space together, granted, but that doesn’t mean I want to know your deepest secrets or what you did that you can never tell your husband. If I’m not a part of the conversation I shouldn’t be able to hear it. Keep your voice down and your racist opinions or dirty stories to yourself. The train/plane/bus  isn’t the place for it. Shut up.

3.  The dramatic eye roller/ heavy sigher/ head shaker – Yes, they are out of tomato juice on the flight. The stewardess has explained why. Your dramatic eye roll to me when her back is turned isn’t winning you any points. Sighing won’t help either. Grow up.
4. People who get too involved in your life too quickly: I said “hello.” That wasn’t an invitation into my life. I have actually met people on the plane who I’d love to hang out with but if I’ve spent most of the flight trying to use the old “my headphones are in so I can’t hear you” routine, chances are  this relationship is going to end when we land. You trying to find out exactly where I’ll be in town tonight and when we might grab a drink is over the line. Way over. Back away from your contact book buddy. Not going to happen.

Shhh, Lost Is On

Shhh (Photo credit: Cayusa)

5. Baby haters: The baby is crying. It’s loud. It’s annoying. I get it. But you know what, judging from the way his mother is juggling him and walking the aisles and suffering through it, I’m guessing she’s not enjoying it either. Loud talking about how much you hate flying with kids on the plane isn’t helping the situation and only makes you look like a boob. Stop it. Buy a pair of earplugs and suck it up. You’re the grown up, remember?

And voila. Isn’t the trip that much better without them?

Too harsh? What’s your travel pet peeve?

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{ 16 comments… add one }

Sue Williams March 17, 2013, 8:47 PM

Not too harsh, Heather, spot on!


Heather Greenwood Davis March 18, 2013, 7:57 AM

Occasionally I get cranky. ;)


Michele Peterson March 17, 2013, 9:01 PM

Can we add the travellers who take care of their personal hygiene — flossing and nail-filing — to the list?? Do it before you board folks!


Heather Greenwood Davis March 18, 2013, 7:56 AM



Gal Podjarny March 17, 2013, 9:05 PM

I’m with you on the baby haters. Of course, it could be because I typically travel with two kids (the older is now 3.5, baby is almost 2)… I almost always get sympathetic looks and offers of help, though. I don’t think I EVER got a negative response, not even on the flight in which my baby (then about 6 months old) screamed from take off to landing (fortunately that was a total of one hour, but it was a long one).


Heather Greenwood Davis March 18, 2013, 7:56 AM

Funny thing is I never noticed the baby haters when my two were little. I was probably too busy tending to the kids to pay it any attention. Now, though? I see it all the time.


Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments March 17, 2013, 10:26 PM

Not too harsh at all. Probably the best list I’ve ever seen!


Heather Greenwood Davis March 18, 2013, 7:55 AM

:) Thanks Maija!


Colleen Friesen March 18, 2013, 12:29 PM

Excuse me…not harsh enough. How about the woman on a flight from Frankfurt to Cape Town who refused to allow me to recline at all…ever…not a bit. “I am a tall woman,” she hissed. She is saying this to my 5’101/2″ self.
She jammed her knees into the back of my seat and refused. I talked to the flight attendant who also very politely asked her. “No!” she said.
At the end of the flight, after everyone else had reposed, including the knee-jamming-woman-her-very-own-self, the attendant came up to me, gave me a bottle of champagne and said, “We’re all so sorry & I shouldn’t say this, but that woman was a bitch.”


Heather Greenwood Davis March 19, 2013, 4:26 PM

Best story ever! And kudos to the flight attendant!


Ella March 22, 2013, 10:21 AM

I’d like to add those who refuse to believe that a full suitcase shouldn’t go on the plane. These people jam up every bit of overhead space not to mention can barely get up and down the aisles in a timely fashion. We all know it sucks to wait and pay, but your way is a little rude.


Heather Greenwood Davis March 25, 2013, 9:00 AM

I’m with you. 100%. Also travel writer rule is that you have to be able to carry your own bag. Packing it to the hilt and then asking if I can help you lift it? Not ok.


Rachel Messham August 12, 2013, 10:14 AM

OMG Heather ! This was me and the big blue behemoth wasn’t it? If only I had known what you were really thinking…… Whaaaaaaa “you have to be able to carry your own bag. Packing it to the hilt and then asking if I can help you lift it? Not ok.”


Heather August 12, 2013, 11:47 AM

LOL. I NEVER carried your bag. You are safe. ;)


Donald August 25, 2013, 9:13 AM

Can you explain why it’s OK to not want to
listen to loud talkers but then one is labeled as
a “baby hater” and one should “suck it up” if one doesn’t want to listen
to a high pitched crying baby? Yes, it’s obvious one is an adult and one is a baby, but understand this: loud, obnoxious noise in a confined space is loud, obnoxious noise, period. The source of the noise doesn’t ameliorate that fact; it’s still very unpleasant. The adult who has the baby should have anticipated the baby would be crying and annoying people. And do what, you ask? Answer: take your advice and “stop traveling” or go by car. In the U.S., when the airlines tried to segregate the people with small children in one part of the plane they complained and the practice was done away with. Result: they get to bother everyone with their crying, irate, poorly behaving etc. children instead of confining it to a group that is likely to be contributing the same obnoxious noise to others. Doesn’t seem rational or fair to me.


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