Thursday, June 11, 2009

When you say "under the seat in front of you" you mean "wherever I want to put it", right?

This article, written by an anonymous flight attendant, lists 7 ways to be an annoying airplane passenger. My favourite is #6:

Act like you don't know the meaning of "under the seat in front of you."

I am guilty of taking this directive, which is given on every flight and is very simply stated, to mean "We don't really care where you put your purse, we just have to say this because it's in the rule book." 

Turns out they really do care. They really want you to put your carry-on luggage that you haven't stored above (because you know it's just going to be a pain later when you have to ask the guy next to you to please move so you can get your chapstick) under the seat in front of you. Why am I, someone who is otherwise pretty good at taking direction, one of the culprits of this blatant disregard for safety?

I always always put my huge purse right in between my feet, which are NOT under the seat in front of me. Why can't I take this simple direction? Why must I wait until one of the attendants notices and shames me into correcting my mistake?


Upon consideration, I've decided that it's because upon entering an airport we are stripped of our independence - we have to answer to authority figures and we can't argue with them or we'll be sent to our rooms - or, well, we won't get on the plane. And so we revert back to childlike tendencies of not only waiting for direction, but knowingly breaking the rules (in little ways, so as not to get kicked off the flight) because we figure if it's really that important the flight attendant will tell us so. The mom isn't just going to tell the 3-year-old not to play in traffic; she's going to hold his hand tightly as they cross the street. We are that three-year-old, waiting for the flight attendant to hold our hand.

But maybe, as the writer of the article implies, that's asking a bit much of the flight crew. They're not there to give us diapers for our babies, or to lift our heavy luggage into the overhead compartment. They're there to serve us food and beverages, direct us to the washrooms, hand out customs cards and, most importantly, keep us safe.

So let's put our damn bags under the seat in front of us already.

1 comment:

nicolestamp said...