This post is my contribution to the Traveling Brown Girls Blog Carnival organized by Tracey Friley of One Brown Girl. Many of us bloggers often share the up sides of traveling to amazing destinations but the inaugural topic  gives us an opportunity to sound off and have a proper rant.  I love to travel but  many of my frustrations while in transit come from my fellow travelers.

Here are my Top 5 Travel Pet Peeves….as committed by other travelers. ugh!

*WARNING – This post may come off as negative but if you are discovering my brand of writing through the carnival for the first time you should know a) I love to complain and b) I’m quite cynical.

I am not angry, just…passionate. I promise.

So now let’s get into my Top 5 Travel Pet Peeves. DRUMROLL Please!


1) People who don’t prepare while waiting in line

Why, Lord? Why on earth do people wait for the last minute to get their ticket, boarding pass, and identification out?

I mean, what else have you got to do?

You know who you are. You arrive in front of the ticket agent and start rummaging through your hand luggage, purse, cleavage and or pockets to find your required documentation. Why is this not prepared in your hands to give to the person at the counter/gate?

Be prepared, folks. This also goes for the security line. You know you have liquids, a laptop, metal plated shoes, baby formula and a belt on.  Take off your belt, throw your jacket over your shoulder, unzip your bag so you can access your laptop, AND make sure you have a baggie for your liquids.  It’s so simple  yet every time I fly I am delayed behind some clown who “forgot” he had three pairs of keys, a butterfly knife and 30 euros worth of coins in his pocket.

2) People who get “lost “on the way to their seat and delay boarding

What’s wrong boo, you can’t count? Here you come, confused,  looking at your boarding pass… taking two baby steps forward…looking up at the seat plague…looking down at the boarding pass..taking two more steps. Do you forget the seat assignment between looking at the piece of paper in your hand and taking a few steps? The look of utter bewilderment on some of these people’s faces; you would think they were navigating a labyrinth and translating hieroglyphics.

Here’s a hint, the seats are in numerical order. Chances are if the number is high you have a bit of walking to do, and if the number is low, you guessed it, it’s towards the front of the plane. Thank me later.

And please, once you discover the lost City of Atlantis that is your seat, enter the row and move out the main aisle. You aren’t as thin as you think you are, you are blocking the way for other passengers. We have places to be people!


3) Want-to-be Seat Swappers

We’ve all encountered a want-to-be seat swapper. They are usually part of a traveling duo that can’t bare to be apart from from their companion for the length of the flight. Their life altering dilemma has somehow become your problem. They didn’t want to pay the extra booking fee to guarantee seats next to one another and they also weren’t smart enough to check in early  to increase their chances of better seats.

The seat swapping hopeful sitting in the middle politely taps you on the shoulder with a nervous smile and gives you their best proposition. The pitch goes something like this:

“My friend is sitting all the way in middle earth and I was wondering if you would be so kind to switch seats with her so we can both sit up here closer to the exit and inconvenience you. I should note that her seat is in the middle of  the last row, right in front of the bathrooms that will smell ripe in about 3 hours times. Whattaya say?”

Wait, what?

What kind of trade off is that? I’m just suppose to give up my not-totally-horrible seat because I’m a good person?

Ain’t love no love in coach!

If you were willing to sit next to your bestie above all cost, you would offer the person sitting in middle earth the chance to move up here. You have to offer an incentive, duh. Goodwill died a long time ago with leg room, I need to get something out of the deal.

4)Overhead luggage bin whores!

These perpetrators are  usually a male business traveler or some overly perfumed  man with luxury luggage. (no shade towards luggage baggage owners, just ones that act that this way)

I know how they roll. They arrive at their seat. Put their bag in the overhead bin, lay their sports coat down nice and neatly so it doesn’t get wrinkled and then gently closes the bin.

Don’t close that overhead bin, you don’t work here. ::sideeye::

Let me get this straight, your GQ magazine and hair pomade get an entire bin? You claimed it, huh? That’s yours? Okay.

Slowly the other travelers in his row trickle in. They are struck with the reality of closed bins, understandably assuming that the doors were closed by the cabin crew because they are all full.

Now a short shuffle commences, the opening and closing of overhead compartments all throughout the cabin. Eventually the privileged sports coat is discovered. The cabin crew member really wants to ask “What jackass-clown did this?” but they refrain and find a home for everyone’s bag. This entitlement business really bothers me.

5) Frequent Bathroom Visitors..that sit in the window seat

This is self explanatory. You know you have the bladder the size of a chickpea. Obviously you value clouds more than the opinion of your fellow travelers. 🙂 Every time you ask us to move so you can “tinkle” we hope you get trapped in the toilet.


So now that the world knows I am a horrible person, what are some of your travel pet peeves? 😛

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55 Responses to Travel Etiquette Revisted: My Top 5 Travel Pet Peeves

  1. I’m rolling over here. You were spot on with all of these. Now please exit out of my head!

    ladylittlefoot recently posted..Envision: Monthly Review – July 2012My Profile

  2. This is very funny Nicole. I can’t stop laughing! I have seen these scenarios many times.

  3. Requiring online check-in to get good seats – when I have already selected my preferred seat during the booking process – peeves me. Why do they have me choose a seat while booking if they’re just going to take it away and give it to someone who has better internet access before the flight than I do? I don’t have a smart phone or travel with a laptop at all times and don’t think I should have to in order to have a choice of seats…especially if I ALREADY PICKED ONE IN BOOKING! Damn you airlines!
    CN Heidelberg recently posted..The Vodafone Story, Continued.My Profile

    • Nicole says:

      ah. i can see how that is annoying. i havent flown long haul in a while but the short haul flights usually require you to pay upfront if you want a seat. they dont care about your preference. then once you check in you can choose the seat the free. i rarely far from a laptop so it works for me 🙂 i can have a whole blog just moaning about carriers. OMG

      • Please do the blog on the carriers. I’m getting ready to head to Barcelona for a few weeks (and hopefully longer if I get a job there following the TESOL course) and I’m interested which are the best and the worst of the European short haul carriers.
        ladylittlefoot recently posted..Envision: Monthly Review – July 2012My Profile

        • Nicole says:

          they are all crap but i think ryanair is the worst. easyjet are another group of vultures just make sure you check their specs with hand luggage and checked bags. you have to print out your boarding pass and get to the airport in time.

  4. Michaela says:

    Omg! These were too funny! Feels good to get that off your chest doesn’t it?? Lol!
    Michaela recently posted..Top 5 Travel Pet Peeves and How To Avoid ThemMy Profile

  5. Marsha says:

    LOOOOVE #3. As a solo traveler, this happens to me all the time. Since I’m sitting alone and am important to no one , surely I’ll give up my seat. Please. Personally, I *cannot* with people who are so joined at the hip with their significant others that they find it a major inconvenience to sit more than 5 feet apart from them for a few hours. Just makes me shake my head…
    Marsha recently posted..Capturing the Colors of San FranciscoMy Profile

    • Nicole says:

      Hey Marsha, thanks for also tweeting the post. You rock!
      Girl, I dont understand people like that either. I am totally fine traveling with people and not sitting next to them. I mean I see you when I see you. it’s not like I am going to parachute out the hatch and leave you here.

  6. Rhona says:

    That was so funny. You are correct on all accounts. I am still dying of laughter at #1.

    • Nicole says:

      glad you enjoyed the post in manner that it was intended. just jokes. i think i have offended people who can’t count and have smallish bladders. whoops

  7. cliff1976 says:

    Nice post — I like the snark.

    Regarding #3: Have you tried naming your price on a seat swap? Airlines are charging for the privilege of “better” seats or to guarantee seats, and why shouldn’t you, for all the reasons you mentioned?

    That said, maybe a seat swap isn’t the worst idea in the world, when your neighbor turns about to be someone you don’t want to spend 11 hours hearing, smelling or touching.
    cliff1976 recently posted..WEBMU 2012 in Berlin — Schedule of EventsMy Profile

    • Nicole says:

      I am not against the seat swap in general. I just dont like it when people dont think to offer an incentive. They not only want to sit next to a friend but want the better seats out of the deal. It’s pretty selfish.
      I think it’s common sense but then again, I’m a bitch. LOL I also have no issue moving out of the way for families and kiddies who want to look out the window.

      Long live snark, yes. I am going to see if the is taken. that should so be my thing.

      • Felicia S. says:

        Hello there!
        Great post. I WISH someone would TRY to ask me to exchange seats for whatever reason (unless it’s to upgrade me to first class, I love first class!). I’m like you, I need an incentive, you’re either moving me to the front of the plane, you’re giving up some major currency, something! Otherwise, you and your friend can go and visit each other from time to time. Good for the circulation, I hear.
        Felicia S. recently posted..Down to the LeatherMy Profile

  8. Angela Myers says:

    ROTFLMBO….this is hilarity! I agree with each and every one of these! My biggest pet peeve (besides the ones you mentioned) is the couple who not only can’t sit apart, but they have to hold hands/kiss/play with each others hair/snuggle and call each other pet names the entire flight! Damnit…go to sleep!

    I was recently on a flight with the BF and we asked to be separated. Once on the plane, the nice lady next to me offered to change seats with him. I replied “Lady I’m about to spend the next 5 days with his ass. Can a girl get a 4 hour prep period?!” she didn’t talk to me the rest of the flight – which was fine with me ’cause that’s another pet peeve!


    • Nicole says:

      LOL@go to sleep. i really love my boyfriend, we are affectionate but I dont find any joy in sitting in his lap and sucking his face off in public, esp. on a plane.

      Right, I have had people offer to switch so I can sit next to my friend, man, or mom. Nah, I’m good. I think they think that they will have to listen to our entire conversation the entire flight.
      Nah, once I’m strapped in, I keep to myself, let me know when we get there. I’m so anti-social haha.

  9. Girl, you reached right into my head and pulled out a lot of the things I didn’t mention. For the life of me, I can’t understand how people can even fix their face to ask #3. For the elderly or handicapped, I MIGHT consider it, but everybody else, KMT.
    April D Thompson recently posted..Sam Visits Jamaica — Our Montego Bay Villa VacationMy Profile

  10. OneBrownGirl says:

    Hysterical! #thatisall

  11. Julia says:

    I am crying over here. As a lifelong aisle person, you are so correct about the person needing to get up from the window all the time. They apologize and then say “but I just love the window seat.” You are not Erykah Badu my friend. Get an aisle.

    • Nicole says:

      i usually get the window if i know i plan on sleeping, taking two tylenol PM and a vodka/soda and it’s night night. I wake up right before landing to freshen up and that’s it. Even then I usually get up if the person on the aisle gets up.
      Once on a flight from Icleand to the states there was this woman who sat in the window and got up 6 times! ‘Oh I really shouldnt have drank so much water, I have such a small bladder but I just love the view.’ OOH AHH. GRRRR.

  12. […] Nicole Is The New Black – I sit in the aisle seat for a reason; I don’t like feeling trapped.  I understand that folks have to use the lavatory, but for God sake, don’t choose a window seat when you know you have to use the facilities regularly, as noted by Nicole. […]

  13. LOL! *cosign* to everything!

  14. Terri says:

    I feel like everyone said the overhead bin. Clearly this is an issue. Airlines? Airlines? Hello! I bet you soon, the airlines won’t have overhead bins just to spite us. I have the bladder of a small child, and I gladly switch for aisle seats now. 🙂
    Terri recently posted..Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child!My Profile

  15. Rhonda says:

    I’m laughing at all your travel pet peeves. Number #3 swamping seats is one I’ve not encountered. When I travel with my twin sister we don’t have to sit near each other on the plane. We live in the same house, I see her everyday.

    Read about my twin sister and I 5 Travel Pet Peeves at:

  16. Jay says:

    Hahahaha – LOVED this. I find similar snarky comments running through my head every time I travel.
    Jay recently posted..GuiltMy Profile

  17. Wifey says:

    LMAO! And, ditto to your whole list.

    Winks & Smiles,

  18. S. says:

    Too funny! I am laughing my butt of at work. I am leaving for Europe in 2 weeks and I am sure I will witness all the foolishness you described.

  19. AngelQT says:

    Hehe. All so very funny. All too very true! 😉

  20. Shellyann says:

    Ha! This post was spot on especially #1 and #3!

    I hate hate HATE people who commit #3 and I completely agree with you about the trying to exchange somethinfor nothin!

    A few years ago I did the overnight bus from Amsterdam to London and this couple woke me up in the middle of the night to switch seats and they would not take no for an answer. Never again I promised, never again!

  21. Hogga says:

    Some people never learn… I’ve been with people who are ‘seasoned’ and still commit every faux pas and are oblivious to it. I’ve just learned to go whatever at the time and write about it later lol
    Hogga recently posted..Scary Phnom Penh StalkerMy Profile

  22. Jade says:

    So what is a proper and polite response to #3 if you really do not care to give up your seat? I have begrudgingly agreed to switch seats in the past only because I felt completely put on the spot and made to feel like an utter bi-atch if I did not.

  23. Amanda says:

    Hahaha. We share some of the same travel pet peeves! I also am bothered by the people who aren’t prepared in line, AND by the luggage bin whores (those are the WORST!).

    I also hate the people who hover around the boarding gate when everyone already has a seat on the plane… I mean, CHILL OUT.

  24. Georg says:

    oh I totally missed this when I posted that picture the other day!

    TBH my biggest pet peeve is when people take their shoes/socks off. Drives me nuts, 0 consideration for the people around you.

  25. Jarmo says:

    So true! And that’s why I sit in the window seat always; and yes you better offer me a damn good trade to get me to move from it! 😉
    Jarmo recently posted..5 Hard Learned Lessons about Spanish Public TransportMy Profile

  26. Jean says:

    Great Post! I was laughing the entire time. My personal favorite is the parent who knows their child howls like a wolf but refuses to give them some sort of “sedative” to calm them down. Now the entire plane gets to hear you child’s impersonation of death metal band the entire flight.

  27. Christina says:

    One of my biggest pet peeves on flights is when the people sitting near you are talking and/or laughing SO loudly…this is a plane, not a bar! No one wants to hear every word of your conversation!
    Christina recently posted..Europe, Three Weeks InMy Profile

  28. Diane says:

    Haha luv this. My pet peeves would be the snorers or shoulder sleepers. If you know you snore and are going to doze off on a flight, give your neighbors permission ahead of time to jostle you into NOT snoring. And those who sleep on the shoulders of others and drool? Oh god, the worst.
    Diane recently posted..Island Company Quit Your Job Tee giveawayMy Profile

  29. Yep all of these plus the traveler who believes his seat is a recliner. Eh yo dude, you’re on my f’n legs. Let the seat up. Please and thank you.
    Dr. Reginia; The Social Mistress recently posted..Movie Review Monday; Love JonesMy Profile

  30. baron says:

    This article is so hilarious. Thank you. I’m an artist looking to spread my wings and land upon Berlin myself in the near future. Your blog just comforted the hell out of me. Thank you.

  31. Tex says:

    Oooh these are most fun and true, true, true.

    My personal:
    My ear buds are in, my sunglasses are on, my hoodie is up and I’m tucked into that window seat corner = please don’t talk to me. Just, sssshhh baby doll. Ssh.

    I was woken up on an eight hour flight. Yes I was.
    Woken out of my peaceful vodka/relaxant bliss by someone who asked if I could switch with her buddy-bud (of course, no incentive for me). This was three hours into the flight. Tha he…

    I am not sure why she thought it was even remotely ok to jostle me awake.

  32. Michelle says:

    Haha I agree with all of these! The last one is def the worst!!

  33. LaTanya Johnson says:

    These are definitely dead on! All of them! To the traveler that wants to swap seats–it’s a no-go with me! I do no swapping. That’s like trading lottery tickets to me. No will do. LOL!

  34. This article is hysterical!

  35. Alouise says:

    Love these – or actually because they’re pet peeves I really should say I hate these too. David Sedaris has a funny travel story on the whole seat swapping issue. And the people who don’t prepare in line – I used to work at airport security for a a few years, and those people used to drive me crazy – one of many reasons why I quit that job.
    Alouise recently posted..Road Trip Memories 20 – Crossing The Confederation BridgeMy Profile

  36. Brie says:

    That was hilarious! Love the way you write!! 🙂

  37. LaPita says:

    I’m done…I can’t even post a peeve…because I am over here dying. Butter…I can’t
    Thank you

  38. keston says:

    All of these I experience when I fly. It’s like some people should take a test before being allowed to purchase a ticket…

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