Friday, October 26, 2012


We are still fizzing about an experience we had on a flight home earlier this year.  The experience was not exclusive to our particular carrier. 

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.

Nice mum and baby, but this picture is not of the family on our 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


Flighty said...

I sympathise, and I'm really glad that that I don't fly any more.
I never did like it much and stories like this are much too frequent nowadays for my liking. Flighty xx

Jenny said...

It's a long time since I last flew, ZACL and, reading this, I have no inclination to do it again! Interesting how, in certain situations, some people lose all their inhibitions and become totally selfish and self centred.

Anonymous said...

How infuriating and frustrating, and if they were 'religious' even more shame on them. I've flown a fair amount and never been subjected to this kind of behaviour. I hope it doesn't put you off for the future.

snowbird said...

Ouch!!! What a horrible experience, that would certainly put me off flying. I'm always amazed on flights how certain individuals can behave in such an obnoxious, selfish manner.
Recently flying from Dubai, a bunch of women left a good foot of rubbish on the floor by their seats, I was horrified, given that staff come around with bin bags, what is the need for such disgusting behavior?
Oh dear.....I'm ranting!xxxxxx

ZACL said...

Hello Mr f,

On some flights there may be the odd individual or family that can be objectionable, however, this experience was with a whole group of like-minded people, not necessarily directly related to one another.

ZACL said...

Hi Jennyta,

Interesting you use the phrase 'their lack of inhibition.' Sadly, the more mature individuals can, in their society, be seen to behave similarly, as a way of life it seems. They provoke ill-feeling. The younger ones, belonging to the group will copy and becomes their norm.

ZACL said...

Hi GS,

The attitudinal issues we saw are not prevalent on other routes I have travelled. There are individuals whose behaviour can be of concern on flights; that can be more straightforward to handle than dominating groups who flout every convention of safety and respect for others.

Fortunately I have other more positive air passenger experiences.

ZACL said...

Hello Snowbird,

A rant, yes, both you and me.

Though, I fully understand the need for it,I find the getting through airport check-in, checks and security the main hassle, as a rule, especially when I have already travelled many hours to get to an airport. By comparison to just over four hours with those awful passengers, all of us imprisoned together in an enclosed tube, airport security appears 'sweet'.

Luckily for us, the flight checked in about 20 minutes earlier than usual. It would have been four and half hours of discomfort otherwise.

The individuals were no better behaved in the luggage hall. The main difference there was, with the spaciousness of the place, we could set ourselves firmly, well apart from them.