Sunday, October 9, 2011

Next Time I'll Be Sure To Ask...


Now firmly in my 50-something years, I'd like to think I've learned a thing or two-- important things-- life lesson kind of things, but at age 53, apparently I am still learning.

Countless times, literally hundreds in fact, I've flown on commercial airlines both domestic and internationally. Over the years, when given the opportunity to either sit squashed in a center seat or in an aisle seat anywhere else on the plane-- Aisles always win. I am not a fan of being squashed on airplanes.

But, the last time I flew back to Ohio to visit family, I learned a new lesson, and it's one I won't soon forget. Where that aisle seat is located should be of utmost importance when making an airplane seating decision.

Take my word for it, you never-- ever-- want an aisle seat in the back of the plane near the lavatories.

Simply put, an aisle seat in this area means you are either looking at butts or crotches throughout the entire flight as passengers wait in line to use the "facilities". And for some reason, it seems the vast majority of adult passengers all need to use the lavatory the moment the "fasten seat belt" sign is turned off making the parade of potty passengers seemingly endless.

And, if it's not an adult's body parts facing you while waiting in line, it's the angelic face of a small child with an oblivious parent. Said children are usually looking the aisle seat passenger directly in the eyes as they pick their nose and wipe it on your shirt sleeve.

But nose pickers aren't even the worst part.

People-- adults, actually-- in line for the Lav, seem to think it's perfectly okay to put their foot on your arm rest to tie their shoe, or worse, they put their foot on the arm rest of the person directly across from you thereby placing their unpleasant booty right up in your face. Given the choice, I'd prefer the nose pickers, thank you very much.

Yes, by age 53 I should have learned the "center seat always trumps an aisle seat by the bathrooms" rule. It's a lesson I won't soon forget. I just wish other passengers wouldn't forget simple common courtesies when traveling.

Sheesh.

Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins

49 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Yikes! I don't think I've ever sat that close to the restroom.

Eva Gallant said...

Holy cow! I will keep that in mind if I ever fly again!

Eva Gallant said...

Holy cow! I will keep that in mind if I ever fly again!

Mari said...

Now there's a good travel tip if ever I heard one!

Fireblossom said...

I think they should just hold it or be blown out the airlock. But that's just me. :-P

Beth said...

A few years ago, I sat in the center seat of the row closet to the lav on a crowded Alaskan Airlines direct flight from Seattle to D.C.

The poor dude seated to my left, in the aisle seat, got jostled and bumped until we reached our destination. I've never seen so many people who had to pee, not even at a baseball game. T

noexcuses said...

The few times that I travel, I usually get an aisle seat, but have never thought about a seat close to the lav. Thanks for the tip!

lisleman said...

In addition to the problems you mention are the smell and noise issues. Really the only thing to improve the flights would be better seats with more room. That's not going to happen since they want to fit as my passengers into the plane as possible.

Brian Miller said...

ugh...learn them some manners jj....it has been a bit since i have flown, but cant you choose your seats if you check in online?

Taradharma said...

never ever by the bathrooms -- I have shared your experience and I vow to never to do it again! Though, in general, I take the isle seat for the extra room it affords me. ANd if I can get a bulkhead seat, ah, so much the better. And I'm only 5'6". I don't know how tall people do it.

Ina in Alaska said...

Good point!

Also in my opinion no matter where you sit on the plane it is no longer a good idea to recline your seatback. Everyone is all squished in and it makes people cranky. Especially me!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I'm sorry you had to learn this the hard way. I learned that if you sit next to someone that has a cane, the flight attendant will expect you to babysit the cane if you're sitting by the window. Every bump, I had to grab hold of the cane to keep it from falling forward or hitting the ground.

VM Sehy Photography said...

Wow, I feel for you. I prefer a window seat myself. I'm afraid of heights and I like to see where I'm going. Weird I know. It also helps to be able to take pictures of the cool clouds or landscapes. Although last time I thought I wasn't allowed to. Stupid new rules.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Eeek! What a nightmare! I usually prefer aisle seats but have never had one by the restrooms. That just sounds horrible. I just weathered an overnight flight from Maui to L.A. and had an aisle seat with full view of the ceiling mounted monitor that played movies and old t.v. shows ALL night!! Unbelievable! Even when I closed my eyes, I could see the flickers from the screen. It was a fully loaded plane and there was a stranger sprawled, snoring, in the middle seat beside me while my husband curled up in his window seat and slept like a baby. I felt tortured and couldn't sleep at all. But, truly, your flight sounds much worse.

Star Child said...

The worst experience I had on a plane was a boy telling his father over and over that if the plane actually crashed, everyone on the plane would die.

This was accompanied by the little darling repeatedly kicking the back of my seat.

I don't fly well at the best of times!!!

Moannie said...

Used to be my normal seat back in the day when we [then] smokers were relegated. Guess we deserved all the crotch and butt we got.

Formerly known as Frau said...

Yes I too have had that wonderful experience....brings back nightmares now that you mention it! I try to never sit in back of plane if avoidable. People are really just clueless!!

Hope you had a wonderful visit home.

Cathy Clementz said...

How funny! I never would have thought of that! But the rare times I have flown, I fight for the window seat!

Betty said...

Hopefully some of the people will read this who don´t know their manners in airplanes. I would be so pissed off if someone put their FOOT on my armrest!! What I hate is when they are standing in line they think they have the right to look at what I´m reading or even into the laptop and COMMENT on it. WHO asked??!!
I guess we never stop learning, he?

Nezzy said...

Umph!!! Where are the manners??? I've never sat near the potties and now I have to say...I never will!!!

Thanks for the (head's) foot, snot nose or booty up!!! Heeehehehe!

Your a hoot girl!

God bless ya and have a glorious weekend!!! :o)

DJan said...

I used to like the aisle seat in order to get up and move around, but I've found that the window seat gives me the most comfortable (if you can use that word about air travel) experience. This is one reason why: getting pushed and kicked and having to deal with the huge bodies of many passengers... it all goes away with the window seat. Except, of course, for the one next to me.

Hilary said...

I've only flown about a dozen times in my life so this is not something I would have ever thought of or noticed from afar. Sorry you had to learn the hard way.

Better is Possible said...

Excellent reminder. Accurate description. Oh dear!

mary said...

This gave me a good laugh. thanks.

Christine said...

poor Joanna, sounds awful, lol!

Emom said...

OMG!....ok, here is the poop, so to speak (sorry!) I worked as a flight attendant for 14 yrs, you must ask for the window exit row, more leg room, and rarely near a lav....now you know...so sorry...smiles.

ladyfi said...

LOL and Ugh! It always amazes me how people just ignore the poor people in the seats by the toilets.

TechnoBabe said...

Silly you, Joanna, courtesy went by the wayside with our generation. Our children and our childrens children should not be expected to think of others or to have the stress in their lives of not having what they want when they want it. Ha.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Plus there's the SMELL. I prefer the front of a plane. Acutally, I prefer to drive.

Ms Sparrow said...

Since I can no longer afford plane travel, this issue will probably never arise, but I can certainly offer my sympathies. I guess this is one of the many sacrifices to make for the convenience of speed. But, still...

Anne H said...

How funny is that! YUK!

American in Norway said...

LOL... sooo TRUE.. I have had that crappy seat loads of times... NOT by choice. THanks for the giggle!

blueviolet said...

There's no sleeping back there because people are always grabbing your headrest to steady themselves while walking back there. AND there is often rather unpleasant aromas wafting about each time the lav door is opened and closed. ICK!

Chris H said...

Why thanks for that info. Next time I find myself in that predicament I will utilise the saftey pin in me bag I think! I'm sure no ones backside will stay in my face long if I POKE IT! lol

Sightings said...

Your pain is our ... laugh-out-loud funny. Yet another reason not to fly if you can possibly avoid it.

JeannetteLS said...

Well, should I ever get lucky enough to travel again, I will definitely pay attention. the same may be said for all day tour busses...

Shug said...

Thanks for this good info...Sorry you had to experience it.
Blessings,
shug

Chrisy said...

oh dear darling...how rude...another timely reminder that 'the middle way' is usually the best way!

Beatnheart said...

not to mention the gaggy smell!. flying is such a pain now. The “waitresses” don’t even help you anymore.
They park themselves in the back seat with their ipads or Vogue mags and entertain themselves. they are bitter and angry. I hate to fly now... i got patted down last time on my bare legs...twice. wht;s the deal with that! Thanks for your visit and kind words I’m working it out sweet friend.

diane said...

My seat choice is window near the front. It's usually the quietest, and you get off the plane really quickly. I like to jam my pillow up against the window and sleep.
Just have to say, kids are the best. I would suffer through a booger or two to be graced by a pair of angelic eyes.

RNSANE said...

Well, it's half a dozen of one..or how is it the saying goes. Since I am on a diuretic, I always opt for an aisle seat toward the rear of the plane....not next to the potty but about six rows up. I don't especially like being next to the galley, either. I like to be able to get up and walk a bit, especially on those long transatlantic or pacific flights. I know people crawl over you and the flight attendants might break your elbow with the carts but, at least, you can grab them as they pass down the aisle if you need something.

I always check seatguru.com to make sure I'm not getting myself
an "undesirable" seat where the
armrests don't go up or the video equipment is under the seat in front of you so that, for 13 hours, you feet are locked in a 2"
space in front of you.

My biggest pet peeve is the passenger who tries to fully recline, crushing your patellas so there is no way in hell you can get up to go to the bathroom without having the flight attendants coming to pull you out of your seat.

I prefer sitting toward the
rear so that you get to board first, assuring yourself of that precious bit of overhead space for
your carry on luggage.

secret agent woman said...

Ha ha ha! Yes, definitely an aisle seat somewhere in the middle!

DavidShag said...

First, I got here from and extended wander from Carmen's Chronicles to which I got from King of the NY Hacks. I think your blog name - Fifty Factor - was why you particularly caught my eye.

Anyway, thanks for the tip - I am a confirmed aisle guy and I hadn't until now appreciated that there was at last a solution to a very long-standing problem of how to unobtrusively view the nether regions of others. With my luck, though, I'll get the nosepickers.

Mike Smith said...

Jings, JJ - sounds an ordeal.

Ann Imig said...

Words to live by. Thank you.

King of New York Hacks said...

You would hate being in the aisle seat of my taxi JJ ;)

Holly said...

Giggle....now you know why I always want the window seat! Love you!!!!

Relyn said...

You are cracking me up. I am SNORTING with laughter here. True. all too true.

Tammy said...

Wow, I never thought of that when picking a seat. Good to know - I'd have had a heartattack if some of those things happened to me, oy vey. I just flew to NC and lord I hate getting up and using the lav on an airplane - who knew all that happened. You poor thing.