Opinion

Dear plane passengers, where are your manners?

A LITTLE courtesy certainly goes a long way.

So what is it that causes everyday people to become hostile and lose all empathy for others just because they think they should come before anyone and everyone else?

Being no stranger to travelling on domestic flights, I'm increasingly amused by the "etiquette" passengers seem to employ when it comes to getting off a plane.

Upon boarding, everyone seems fairly civil - things are done in an orderly fashion and if you fly with airlines like Virgin you are seated in separate sections depending on your seat number to help avoid confusion and congestion getting on the plane.

But the whole story changes the second the plane touches the ground.

For anyone not familiar with the system on planes - there's a light that goes on when you need to have your seatbelt fastened.

When the light is off, you can walk around, which may be mid-flight.

The light goes on as the plane comes into land, and passengers are told to stay seated until the light goes off. 

Unfortunately, the bump of the plane as it hits the ground is usually accompanied by the sound of dozens of seatbelts unclicking, despite the warnings given to passengers.

What follows is a stampede of passengers who just can't wait that extra few minutes to wait until everything is safe and exit in an orderly fashion.

I'm curious as to what could possibly be so incredibly urgent on a domestic flight, with some routes being as brief as 45 minutes. And yes, planes do have toilets.

I'm curious as to what could possibly be so incredibly urgent on a domestic flight, with some routes being as brief as 45 minutes. And yes, planes do have toilets.

The people who would leave last all too often unbuckle early to get the jump on people closer to the plane's door.

What would be so bad about people leaving the plane row by row so everyone gets a fair go?

I recently witnessed a particularly brazen episode where a dozen passengers jumped up out of their seats before the plane had stopped running.

A flight attendant put a warning over the loud speaker and one or two people popped back into their seats, but the rest of them kept going - leaving the attendant to walk up and tell them in person, to which their response was to keep going and simply ignore her.

That moment really made me appreciate the hard work and decorum displayed by the majority of flight attendants who seem to have an almost magical ability to deal with members of the public who just won't listen.

But it also made me wonder... what if a real emergency ever presented itself?

If passengers can look a qualified, polite flight attendant in the face and act like she doesn't exist just because they want to get home two minutes before anyone else... how would they behave if their lives depended on it?

It's a scary thought.

We only need to look at the statistics of traffic crashes to know we're just not paying attention to the consequences of ignoring the rules where transport is concerned.

Have you been frustrated by fellow passengers on planes trying to jump the queue to exit? Are there other behaviours on planes or in airports that you find annoying? Leave a comment below.

 

Crystal Jones is the online editor for the Bundaberg NewsMail.

Topics:  editors picks, flying, opinion, travel



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