Parents in front of us spread out across three seats with their very young baby, intent on keeping all strangers out. The cabin hostess told them they would have to free a seat. They were forced to, when the last few travellers boarded and a single man asked for the end seat in the row. No, he didn't mind a noisy baby, (baby was not noisy) he was just glad to have a seat, after all this was a full flight. Hogging seats is a trick often tried on all sorts of transport. This was by no means the worst behaviour to occur on this flight.
A large group of adults, young and older, set out to behave as they chose; they grouped together, making sure that passengers of a different persuasion did not impinge upon them. They flagrantly ignored international air safety rules, flouted the polite requests and directions of the cabin staff. They pushed past orderly queues for the toilets, a hostess carrying a pot containing hot water was knocked off balance and a passenger bore the brunt of a spouting of the hot water on the hand. There was not even a demonstration of the merest remorse. These people ignored requests to keep out of the galley, and just helped themselves to cold water, draining the supplies, meaning there was no water for anyone else who might need to have some during the remainder of the flight.
It was wearing getting landed with that arrogant, allegedly godfearing, totally inconsiderate mob, in the confined space of a tube many thousands of feet towards the heavens. It would make you question, if a deity existed, was this some idea of a warped sense of humour. We could only hope that the weather conditions remained kind to us and that the flight crew would remain on a calm course, unaffected by the turbulence in the cabin.
Forty minutes from landing, many of the overhead lockers were opened anywhere these people had possessions. They pulled out their hats, some luggage, jackets and so on. Staff firmly asked these passengers to stay in their seats, and they moved along shutting the overhead locker doors. Did those passengers stay in their seats; in a word, no! This time the plane banked with the doors open. Every instruction, every request was flouted. They did just what they wanted, and to hell with everyone else! I have been on some curious flights before, nothing though as bad as this one. What those people did was inexcusable. Carriers should name them and refuse to carry people who misbehave to this extent. It is totally unacceptable.
A friend of ours, who left Jerusalem before we did, said that he preferred the overnight flights home to America, when such individuals and like-minded families did not usually travel. He could curl up and get some sleep, arriving unharrassed. Lucky guy. We did not have that choice; there were no overnight flights to the UK from that part of the globe. Doubtless, we would have selected one, if it had been an available option.
Plane pictures courtesy of planepictures.net