Handling a Nosy Fellow Traveler

I totally sympathized with the sender of this question as she has much experience traveling with the general public and dealing with them.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett, 

On a recent flight, there was a man who was one of the last to get on the plane and of course, he sat in the seat right beside me (the middle seat in a row of three). He had a faint odor of liquor, also, so I think he knocked back a few before boarding. I was on a business trip and once it was safe to do so, I began to work on my laptop. The man began to look at my screen and comment on the report I was working on! He went so far as to suggest edits!!! While it was nothing confidential (like a medical or financial report) I was taken aback by the ballsiness of this person. In frustration, I slammed the laptop shut and put it away. He then said in this ridiculous high and mighty tone, “Gee, I was only trying to help.” I said nothing, pulled out my eye shade, and pretended I was asleep. As an aside, I missed getting the pitiful drink and snack they serve because I just wanted him to think I was asleep and not deal with him. Any thoughts on this situation? Should I have told him off? 

A Good Passenger

Dear Good Passenger,

I commend the restraint you showed and feels that you were wise to behave so. In the confined Aluminum Tube, it is best to control your temper. Bad enough to have a heated exchange with feet firmly on the ground, but at 33000 feet….well, one has seen the news about these types of things.

Obviously, it goes without saying that you did nothing wrong. While one wishes to not deal with these types of people, in the circumstances you found yourself in, it is best to ignore and be silent to the best of our ability. One never knows how volatile a person can be after a few drinks (as you stated) and it was best not to find out. So, let him be pompous, after a few hours, you won’t see him again.

I’m also sorry you missed snack service, although with the meager servings they give you these days, I’m sure your nutrition didn’t suffer that day.

Best Travel Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

The Lady’s Thoughts On Her Travel Experience

Travel annoyances are, alas, a universal occurrence in our present age, especially when traveling by air. I try to be an easy-going traveler as we are jammed into the Aluminum Tube and we must make do in a small space with hardly any leg room. In those circumstances, we are all suffering and I realize we cannot all be at our best. However as I observed and shared space with my fellow travelers yesterday, it was clear that it was to be a lesson in poor manners, indeed. At the very least it is a lesson in complete unawareness of those around you. 

Let’s begin with the security lines, which is not really etiquette related, but things that have become my peeves!

When I travel I dress for comfort, but I always wear proper shoes that are stable and cover the foot. I also always wear socks. I believe that going barefoot through the security line is a bad idea. To me, it is not simply a matter of aesthetics (many people have unattractive feet!) but, my biggest concern is how many other barefoot people have stood upon the footprints in the screening machine?

I believe that wearing crazy high heeled shoes and flip flops are a bad idea. If there is an emergency during which you will need to vacate the plane quickly, these shoes offer no protection or stability. They are a trip hazard and you may prevent others from exiting quickly in an emergency.

Standing where the carryon luggage comes out of the X-ray machine on the conveyor belt and putting on your shoes, jacket, arranging yourself etc…impedes the flow of the security line and holds everyone up. Every airport that I am in has benches a few feet from the conveyor belts. Grab your stuff and arrange yourself there.

Rant over.

Best Travel Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett