The holidays are always a busy travel time and, as we have seen a couple of times this week, airlines are exercising their right to refuse service to anyone. The presumption is that most passengers who purchase a ticket and board a plane have a destination other than their point of origin as a goal, and getting shoved out the door back to where you started kind of spoils that.
I’ve been a frequent flyer for a very long time now. I am also not fond of people. Add to that mix that I am easily irritated and highly judgmental and you would probably think that it’s a miracle I’ve never been booted from a plane. The first dozen or so years that I flew a lot I probably didn’t get in trouble because I was in a dead panic. As in, I was sure I would be dead soon. I was too nervous and/or sedated to get in trouble. Since I calmed down though, I’ve still managed to avoid having an onboard altercation despite the fact that I have usually red-flagged as least nine fellow passengers I can’t stand just while walking down the jetway.
Using the events of this week as a springboard, here are a few things to be cognizant of avoiding if you want to get back to Muskegon for Christmas or New Year’s Eve.
1. Don’t Be A Millennial
I know that it is popular to blame millennials for everything now, but I rarely do it. In fact, I can’t think of anything I’ve blamed them for. As a professional observer of U.S. politics and the culture, I probably have some sort of annual millennial blaming quota I’ve sorely neglected, so here goes.
Adam Saleh is a YouTube prankster, which is like the most millennial kind of job one can have. If he had worked at a Starbucks, this first tip would be titled “Don’t Be A Hipster Douche Barista” instead.
This whole thing reeks of millennial though. Saleh has brought shame on his generation (told you I was judgmental) and needs to be called out for it. If you are a millennial travel with someone who isn’t and don’t speak. Ever.
This may seem harsh but, again, talk to Saleh about it. It’s on him if President Trump puts all millennials on a no-fly list next year.
2. If You’re A Celebrity, Make Sure You’re One People Actually Care About Before You Mouth Off
As we have seen all throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, American celebrities are a little too full of themselves. They think that they can tell people who to vote for, and they think that they should be given special treatment on commercial flights. A, B, and C list celebs spend most of their time surrounded by people who tell them how awesome they are. It only happens to the C list types because their sycophants are unaware that they’ve fallen from the ranks of the As and Bs, but it still happens. They all then make the mistake that the general public will fawn over them regardless of their behavior. Flight attendants are not amused when Billie Joe Armstrong or Josh Duhamel believe that their boorish behavior should be accepted because, “HEY, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!?!?”
Pilots are particularly willing to get rid of celebrities who are acting up because they prefer the largest egos on the plane to always be in the cockpit.
3. Be Aware That Your Stupid Political Opinions Sound Even Dumber On A Plane
There was a time when it was considered a bad idea to ever discuss politics in public. Then social media happened and people who don’t know a caucus from a fungus started weighing in on all things political, all the time.
If you thought that the 2016 election was too divisive all you have to do is board an airplane to find bipartisan agreement on one thing: nobody on that plane is interested in that political opinion that you believe will bring on your immediate demise should you fail to share it. Using current examples, it really doesn’t matter if you are a Trump supporter or Trump detractor. Everyone on the plane will hate you and be quite thrilled when airport security removes you. You will also have succeeded in making sure that every non-political person on that flight spends the rest of his or her days despising whichever candidate or cause you were supporting.
4. Don’t Be A Drunk Jerk About How Rich You Are On A Plane That You Don’t Own
There are a lot of drunk people on any commercial flight. It’s what you do with that drunkenness that makes you stand out in a crowd. This isn’t a challenge, people, it’s a cautionary tale. Try not to drunkenly brag about how much money you make if you’re flying with the common folk, it’s just poor form. Even thousandaires can afford the occasional charter jet rental. This blabbering tool should at least have one of those on reserve. He’s lucky he got thrown off this flight because the dude in coach who had a middle seat between one guy who reeked of cigarettes and another eating a tuna sub in his stocking feet probably would have killed him mid-flight.
He might still be looking for him, actually.
5. Never Go Full Lamar Odom
A lot of people who end up in party-induced comas try to take it down a notch if they ever wake up again. Lamar Odom calls them “underachievers.” When he came back from the dead, he headed for the bar and tried to drink away whatever horrors Kris Jenner visited upon him in her campaign of destruction aimed at all of the men around her. As long as he kept to Los Angeles clubs he was fine. You can’t take that kind of liver assault on an airplane though.
Look, I’m no Miss Manners, but I would suggest refraining from vomiting in any social situation that isn’t happening in a frat house. People seem to not like that.
There you have it. Simple ways to make sure you remain on the plane for the duration of the flight. Try to not be drunk. Try to not be political. Try to not be Lamar Odom.
Now if I can just get the airlines to do something about the people who take off their shoes as soon as they settle into their seats. People like skanky feet even less than they like political opinions. If we can’t kick them off, at least send them to the cargo hold to be with the animals.
Stephen Kruiser is a professional stand-up comic and writer who has had the honor of entertaining U.S. troops all over the world.