What it comes down to is that passengers are self-centered, thinking everything is about them. But they have to remember that they are not the only ones on a plane, and there is limited space that has to be shared. I'm not sure when everyone forgot that famous childhood rule of sharing, but it seems to have completely disappeared. Perhaps people need to be re-educated on the ins and outs of proper plane etiquette.
Enter Lonely Planet. The travel website conducted a survey about the kinds of thinfs that make flying miserable for passengers. Based on what it learned, Lonely Planet created a practical "Passengers' Airline Behavior Bill of Rights." The overarching complaint: Other people messing with their seat and personal space. The "rights" of travelers said that passengers can recline, except during meals and when prohibited by the flight crew. And giving fair warning when one is about to recline is advised. Other problems like annoying children were common annoyances, and it is stated that if a child is kicking your seat, you have every right to ask the parent to stop it.
There shall be no requirement for other passengers to listen to you drone on about your child, cat or other subject not directly germane to an immediate inflight emergency situation. The right of other passengers to give you the ‘book-off’ shall not be infringed, nor shall you assist with the answer to 14-across if unprompted.I cannot tell you how many times I have settled into my seat, pulled out a book or my iPod, fully prepared to float off into my own world, only to have it disrupted by some middle-aged man telling me there is no way I look a day over twenty or some older woman telling me an hour long story about her book club.
I can also appreciate Article XII: The right of reasonable alcohol consumption:
No person, apart from those who are drunk and obnoxious or minors, shall be prohibited from imbibing an alcoholic beverage should they feel that it is a good idea, despite all indications to the contrary.I usually avoid drinking on planes--mostly because I fly coach and it costs more than I'm willing to spend for a glass of wine. However, if I have the privilege of sitting in business class, where an alcoholic beverage is complimentary, I figure, why not? And I should certainly have that right. After all, it has been a hell of a day, and I have a long flight ahead of me, and the guy sitting ten rows behind me decided to store his incredibly large bag in the overhead compartment just above my seat, forcing me to gate check my bag because there is no more space.