Have Travelers Lost Their Manners?

One need look no further than the public reaction to slide-jumping JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater to see just how many people sympathize with his reaction to a customer who allegedly cursed him out and hit him with a carry-on. So it brings up the question — have we forgotten how to behave in a civilized manner when it comes to traveling?

Travel journalist Chris Elliott recently polled his readers and found that around 70% of them believe that travelers now behave worse than they had previously. Only around 2% said that travelers’ behavior had actually improved.

To back up his poll, Elliott points out five ways in which travelers have let their manners slip in recent years. Basically it comes down to:
*Travelers treat their destinations with a sense of “I’m on vacation so I can do what I want” entitlement;
*They either smell bad or like a walking perfume/cologne sample;
*They dress like a depressed George Costanza when they travel;
*They’re ill-prepared and ill-informed and “act as if they’re still at home”;
*They let their offspring run wild like the world is their playground.

Do you agree with his conclusions? And what role, if any, has the travel industry — specifically the airline industry — played in allowing our behavior to sink to such levels?

Oh no, you didn’t! 5 ways travelers have lost their manners [Chicago Tribune]

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  1. SuperSnackTime says:

    Well, shoot… if there’s one thing I know, we as a society never pine for the politeness of them good ol’ yesteryears.

    • mobiuschic42 says:

      Ditto. I wonder if you did this poll 20 years ago, 40 years ago, and 60 years ago if the results would be any different? My guess is they would be very similar.

      • DariusC says:

        Doubt it, Do you remember the 50s?

        Pepperidge Farm Remembers…

      • finbar says:

        I saw a cartoon from the 1940’s depicting poor behavior on street car’s in power point slide on urban transportation. The examples were people standing too close, eating, reading other peoples newspapers from over the shoulder, etc.

        People have always been annoyed by other people on transportation.

    • apd09 says:

      see my post below, I said the same thing, was just typing it up while you posted.

    • Leksi Wit says:

      Maybe if the airlines didn’t pack as like sardines into planes and security didn’t treat us like potential combatants and the airline employees didn’t get sarcastic if you ask a question, no matter how “dumb” it seems to them, just maybe flying would be less stressful and human beings would behave less like stressed out cattle and more like, well, human beings.

  2. tbax929 says:

    I agree that travelers aren’t nearly as polite as they used to be, but I have to admit to dressing down when I travel. The only time I dress up for a flight is if I’m going to a business meeting right after I land.

    More often than not, I travel in jeans and a t-shirt or hoodie.

    • Robofish says:

      I don’t see anything wrong with that. I do the same when I’m on a flight. I think it’s more of the pajama pants wearers

      • roguemarvel says:

        While I’m a jeans and a tshirt person all the time, flying or not. I hae no issue with pajama flyers. Flying has gotten rather unpleasant if wearing jammy pants makes it a little better for them, good for them

      • j_rose says:

        When I have to take off all metal (my belt if I’m wearing jeans), and my shoes, and sit in an uncomfortable seat for hours? Yeah I’m wearing my PJs.

        I also wear my PJs to drive cross-country. Heck, I wear my PJ pants during the day at home, and occasionally to run quick shopping trips. Who cares? How are my PJs hurting anyone else? They’re no different than sweatpants.

    • FerretGirl says:

      I find that I’m treated better by the flight attendants if I’m dressed business casual at the very least. The two times I was upgraded for free I was dressed in a suit and heels.

    • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

      I always wear flip flops too, because if I have to take my shoes off, I’m going to wear a pair that I don’t have to use my hands to put back on. Plus, I don’t think dressing up would work for me, since I have two little kids.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      The last two times I’ve flown it has been a long haul from Houston, TX to Melbourne Australia. That’s 25 hours flying time each way. I wear the closest thing to pajamas there can be without actually being pajamas, like yoga or sweat pants and a tank top. I have to sleep on the flight sometime and there is no changing in an airplane bathroom. Being in a seat that long means I’m going to be sore anyway, but if my clothes contribute to making me MORE sore then that is just unacceptable. I think that the flight attendants on flights like this understand, and would do it the same way if they didn’t have to wear a uniform.

  3. Illusio26 says:

    travelers are probably acting ruder because the airline industry keeps treating them like crap. More fees, less perks that used to be included. Its a 2 way street.

    And why does it matter what I wear when I travel (as long as its clean). I dont think I need to be in a suit to sit in a metal tube for 4 hours.

    • Sarahnoid says:

      Amen. I’m sure people would be more polite if they weren’t being ass-reamed by fees from every direction.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I do think that, in general, people are more mannerly when they are dressed nicely. It puts them in a different frame of mind. When I was in high school, all of the football and basketball players had to wear slacks, shirts, and ties for game day because it helped put them in a better frame of mind. They seemed to act much less obnoxious in class on those days.

      • Conformist138 says:

        My private school did the same thing, but for all students. It was once a week, we had to dress sort of like business or church casual (it was a religious school). The idea was that dressing yourself up in more formal clothes subconciously made you act more like an adult. It’s the same as “dress for a job you want as if you already have it”.

        It’s something I need to remember- when I wear baggy jeans and old tshirts every day, i get into a rut. When i take 5 minutes to pick out something a little more polished (even if just the best fitting jeans i have and a nicer top), i do usually have a better day.

      • Zaphâ„¢ says:

        My high school made the sports teams do that as well, but that did not keep the players from acting like douche nozzles all day.

      • djshinyo says:

        Uh yea….that’s ’cause they wanted to play in the game that day!

    • Chris V says:

      A lot of these problems can be attributed to the airlines themselves.

      Let’s not forget the new practise of the airlines filling every single seat on the plane. It wasn’t that long ago when a good percentage of the seats went empty and people didn’t sit on top of each other all the time. We know from experiments with rats that mammals don’t like overly populated areas and will attack each other in those conditions.

      Further, the seats themselves have little space. As a 6’5″ man, I literally have no legroom. I sit the entire flight with my knee against the seat in front of me. I’m uncomfortable. The person in front of me who can’t lean back is uncomfortable. And forget it if you’re overweight. They’ll make you buy two seats because their single seats are so narrow.

  4. lalaland13 says:

    I don’t think the third thing is really a problem. If someone wants to wear pajama pants and a ratty T-shirt on a plane, be my guest. It’s probably more comfortable, so maybe they’ll be less likely to scream at the flight attendant for having Sierra Mist instead of Sprite.

    I do more or less agree with the other stuff, though. Which makes finding a nice person in the seat next to you all the more pleasantly surprising. On a flight to Dallas this summer I was next to a polite, well-informed teenage girl who I at first thought was in college because she carried herself like an adult. She was heading to Europe as an exchange student, and we had a nice chat.

  5. Blueberry Scone says:

    I can agree with all but the part about dressing like a depressed George Costanza. Some people dress for comfort when they fly, which means they might not look like fashion plates. As long as you’re clean and showered, I don’t care if you’re wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts.

    • Dutchess says:

      You don’t have to be in sweat pants to be comfortable. I have a couple travel outfits I like to wear. A pair of nice jeans and a Cotton Lycra blend shirt. They’re both very fashionable and the lycra in the shirt gives it some stretch and keeps it relatively wrinkle free durring the flight. A pair of nice slip on shoes and you’re ready to go.

      You can still look smart and be comfortable on the plane.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        But what’s comfortable to you might not be comfortable to someone else. I wear jeans on short flights but for longer flights, I’d rather wear sweatpants. Wearing jeans while sitting for nine hours would be uncomfortable.

      • BrianneG says:

        I totally agree. I don’t believe I should be dressed like I just woke up or got back from the gym when I’m out in public. I can be comfortable and still look presentable. Maybe I’ve just watched too much “What Not To Wear.”

        • mythago says:

          Maybe so. There’s certainly a basic standard of public dress, but who cares about ‘looking smart’? It’s a plane, not a singles bar.

          • BrianneG says:

            I care about looking smart because I’ll be treated better. People can’t help but judge a book by its cover. If I make an effort, maybe they’ll make an effort as well.

            • mythago says:

              If you think jeans and a T-shirt are ‘dressing smart’ such that you will get stellar customer service, you definitely have been watching too much TV.

              • syzygy says:

                If you think that a gate agent or flight attendant will treat someone in khakis and a polo exactly the same as someone with a sideways cap, sports jersey, and baggy jeans, you’re just as delusional.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        I need elastic waists and very loose fabric when I travel. All of my travelling is by car and I wear VERY casual and comfy clothes. If I flew I’d wear the same.

      • pinkbunnyslippers says:

        Sorry “dutchess” but that’s your opinion.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        I agree with you. I am dressed nicely right now from work and am very comfy. I refuse to be uncomfortable, but I also refuse to look like a slob. I have found that comfortable and nicely dressed can go hand in hand.

  6. pop top says:

    If I’m on the plane, I’ll dress for comfort, but if I’m out and about, I will dress up. I think the line is talking about how Americans dress very poorly compared to other tourists. For instance, if you go to Vegas, you can always tell the Europeans by how great they are dressed (and the men’s weird square-toed, up-turned shoes).

    • djshinyo says:

      ….and the tightness of their jeans…..although the skinny jeans generation is having its say about that, i guess….

  7. AjariBonten says:

    YES!

    The only one I disagree with from your short list above is the following:
    *They dress like a depressed George Costanza when they travel”

    With the way airplanes have been downsized and crammed; I personally believe that sacrificing some fashion sense for comfort is more than justified.

    However; as to interpersonal relations and self-entitlement; it has gotten totally out of control. What is the deal with people dragging two steamer trunks into the main cabin then spending 20 in trying to shove their 70 pounds of %&$# into the 10 pound overhead? And who is letting them drag it aboard?????

    As to how tourists act when visiting far flung places; aint it always been that way?

    • syzygy says:

      Have you seen 1)the cost these days of checking baggage, and 2)how badly the throwers (still) treat checked baggage? I avoid checking baggage whenever I can.

  8. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    We as customers are being treated more and more poorly, its only natural that we react with stress and anger. I think this trend will continue until it reaches a breaking point.

    Even then, who knows if they’ll do anything about it or just turn flying into literal cattle driving more than the way it only feels like it now.

    • Jevia says:

      Many of these problems are due to airlines cramming more people into the planes, security procedures more strict, invasive and randomly enforced, increased airline fees at every turn, increased hours required to be at the airport, less service provided by the airport.

      Unless one is in first class, I fail to see how anyone can enjoy airline travel anymore.

  9. IThinkThereforeIAm says:

    Why single out travelers?
    I think good manners is a dying breed in general.
    It’s sad, but I see at all over…

    • AjariBonten says:

      Yes, but apart from traveling; we rarely get to spend quite so much “quality time” in such close proximity to so many strangers under such trying conditions.

      • PunditGuy says:

        Trying circumstance? Try a three-year-old seated right in front of you at a 9 p.m. showing of “Team America.”

        I was going to post the same thing as IThinkThereforeIAm — there’s a lack of manners (and common sense) everywhere you turn.

        • Jedana says:

          This this this

          Lack of manners is not just occuring in airports or at Disney…it happens everywhere. Teachers and principals get it from both students and parents; retail/food service workers get it from people who “are better” because they don’t work in that establishment; and Lord help you if you are a police officer or ambulance driver in this town…you will never hear an “excuse me” or “please”.

          Children show an appalling lack of respect, but they have learned that lack from their parents. I have 3, and if they EVER talked to an adult the way some of my daughter’s band members talk to the teacher, they would be picking themselves out of next week. A couple have tried to be rude when speaking to me, and I simply tell them that until they can show me the proper respect, and speak clearly, they won’t be getting or doing anything. They learn fairly quickly, although one girl is horrible, and her mother is just as bad. She is still not fully fitted for her uniform, and until she can talk to me with respect, she won’t be.

          • milk says:

            It’s nice to hear a parent talk like this. Several people I know say they never want children because they’re loud, obnoxious, etc. I always have to point out that OTHER people’s children are that way, not yours if you raise them right. My baby sister’s 11 years younger than me, and growing up she was a doll because I took the time to repeatedly instill manners in her (we were a couple of latchkey kids). Still a doll at 16.

          • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

            + 1 googaplex

    • Scoobatz says:

      I agree with you. Perhaps more people are traveling these days, and this is simply a reflection of how these people behave regardless of what they are doing. For example — now that I have young kids, I’m exposed to playgrounds, playgroups, sports, school activites, etc. where parents seem to let their kids do whatever they want without discipline. And, for the most part, these kids are a reflection of their parents who feel they are entitled to somehow behave this way.

  10. captadam says:

    I say we bring back the good days, when men could smoke on airplanes and pinch the butts of the stewardesses. (None of the PC “flight attendant” crap. Young, single, thin, pretty female stewardesses–those were the days!) I mean, the men then dressed properly, in coats and ties, so of COURSE those days were better.

    • Firethorn says:

      I think that it also has to do with the commodization of airlines – Back in the day you’d be paying over a grand for those tickets, when a grand could buy a decent used car.

      Now you can often get tickets for well UNDER a grand, and a grand has far less value today.

      Thus, you’re not looking at ‘mostly rich; special occasion for the middle class; very rare poor person’, you’re looking at a wider scope.

      Basically, the people who used to take the bus are now flying.

      • LadyTL says:

        That’s because the bus for interstate travel might well never get you to your destination or get you there a week later given how bad Greyhound has gotten.

    • slimeburg says:

      I’ve never seen anyone grope a stewardess but I have been violated on countless occasions by stewardesses who have difficulty getting their 50 inch bums down a 40 inch asile. Frankly, having someone ugly pinch my bum would not be nearly as bad as having someone ugly put their bum on my shoulder just a few inches from my face. This is why I avoid US based carriers whenever possible. On non-union asian carriers they still only hire stewardesses if they are hot, young, and capable of being nice. They actually act like they understand that it is your money that appears on their paychecks. Many foreign carriers don’t have stupid employment laws and unions that prevent them from hiring, retaining, and dismissing individuals based on their fitness for the job.

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      Call for you on line 1, Mr. Draper, it’s Mr. Sterling…

  11. mythago says:

    Complaining about how much nicer people used to be back in the beforetime is one of the top incipient signs of creeping middle age.

    • IThinkThereforeIAm says:

      Agreed.
      And yet, I can’t stop.

      (Although it may just be that we have an earlier time to remember).

    • redskull says:

      Yes, but that doesn’t make it not true.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        “When I was your age…” or “Back in my day…” are all familiar sentiments to anyone who has had to deal with older generations claiming that the current generation represents the downfall of morality and goodness.

        Most people who do this are willing to acknowledge that there were many negative things of “their day” – then there are others who really do wish that things would go back to the way they were (nevermind that certain groups of people weren’t allowed to vote or have rights, were barred from marrying certain individuals based on skin color or ethnicity, and were made to conform to restrictive gender roles). Those people are the ones who aggravate me because they also cling to that way of thinking (like the old ladies in my neighborhood while I was growing up who insisted that girls should never wear pants..this was 1990).

      • mythago says:

        It doesn’t make it false, either. The problem is nostalgia and selective memory, which are not really reliable indicators.

        • syzygy says:

          First, not true = false by definition. I think you meant that although selective memory may not fully explain current behavior (“doesn’t make it not true”, like redskull said), it also doesn’t make it true that people used to behave better.

          Regardless of my pathetically selective and flawed memory, are we wrong to point out how people are currently exhibiting bad manners? Just because it may have always been this bad, does it mean we shouldn’t do anything about it?

    • Julia789 says:

      Guilty as charged.

    • bsh0544 says:

      Get off my lawn!

    • drizzt380 says:

      I thought about this when I saw 12 Angry Men the other day. Came out in 1957, and at one point an older guy says “kids these days.” It made me laugh.

    • Bye says:

      Why I oughta…

  12. aloria says:

    Everyone thinks they are more important than everyone else. Their carry-on luggage should full up the bin in an entirely unrelated row, because they are better than you. Their fat should overflow and crowd up your space, because their right to fly is much more important than your right to full use of the seat you purchased. Their desire to bring stinky takeout aboard the plane, have unwashed pits, or pile on the perfume is much more important than the desire everybody else on the plane to breathe unfouled air. Their child’s free spirit outweighs your need for a nap. Their taste in music is better than yours, so if you don’t like the loud noises coming from their headphones, tough. Their next destination is much more urgent than yours, so you best sit your ass down while they barge down the aisle to be first off the plane.

    To hell with consideration of others, they are the happy little center of the universe and you can suck it.

    • Dutchess says:

      “Their carry-on luggage should full up the bin in an entirely unrelated row, because they are better than you.”

      No I put my luggage above an unrelated row because that’s where the space is, not because we feel we’re better than anyone. Anyone who has ever hard to try and swim upstream against a load of passengers deplaning so you can get your bag will tell you, believe me we aren’t doing it because we want to.

      Geesh….get a clue.

      • apd09 says:

        I believe the person is talking about the person sitting in row 18 who puts the stuff above row 8 in the front of the plane. Since the plane usually board back to front, that person is using an overhead not for their row, so when the people in row 8 get on there is no room for their luggage.

        You have to admit on every flight you have ever been on there are always people who do that and stow their carry on far away from their seats.

        • BrianneG says:

          And all of those people suck. I like to sit near the front of the plane because it tends to be a little quieter in this portion of the plane but I had many troubles getting my luggage in an overhead bin within five rows of my seat this past weekend due to their rudeness.

          Also, your guitar is bigger than the carry-on allowed size. If you have two items and neither fit under your seat, then you should have checked one of them. We need more diligent gate checkers to keep these people from bringing their monstrosities on-board.

          • apd09 says:

            and that goes to my point just below this, there is no reason why we should not be able to say to a Flight Attendant that the item is too big and they should be forced to check it, yet as a society we shy away from confrontation for a number of things.

          • SilentAgenger says:

            “We need more diligent gate checkers to keep these people from bringing their monstrosities on-board.”

            AMEN!!!

            If the bag is so heavy that you can’t lift it over your head, and you need a giant shoehorn to somehow squeeze it into the overhead, why was it allowed to be brought into the cabin in the first place?

      • aloria says:

        Wait, so someone else taking up the space your bag would normally go justifies you stealing some other row’s space? And this makes you NOT self-entitled, how?

        • syzygy says:

          Yes, heaven forbid that he takes a step to streamline boarding instead of making a scene about “his” missing baggage space.

          What would you have him do? Seek out the person who took “his” bin space and make them move their bags? Doesn’t that seem a bit, oh, I don’t know, self-important? You don’t own the bin space over your seat. The bin space is a common resource shared by all passengers. As long as your bag is on the plane, in a location you can easily retrieve it after the flight, what does it matter which bin it goes in? If you have items you need during the flight, you put it in a bag under the seat in front of you. Easy.

  13. Dutchess says:

    Like the woman who decided she needed to POUND on the back of my airplane seat because I had the gaul to recline it even part way (I’m always very cautious and do it slowly).

    After two instances of this I turned around and told her to stop acting like a child and said if she wanted me to move it upright she should ask but after her behavior it’s staying reclined for the rest of the flight.

    All she did was glare….too bad…should have asked nicely.

    • EllenRose says:

      Good Lord, last time I was on a plane you only got about two inches of reclination – and that was the top of the seat. It’s hardly worthwhile for them to even put the ‘function’ on the seats these days!

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      People that recline their seats nowadays are assholes, sorry. There’s barely enough room to sit, and some people like to use their trays to rest their arms on because the asshole next to you is hogging the armrests. If you want to recline, buy a first class ticket. The person probably wasn’t punching your seat repeatedly, merely hitting it on accident every time they tried to turn a page in their book. Your idea of punishing them by continuing to recline is just as childish, and it’s the same self-entitlement behavior described in the article (and so is reclining).

      • Dutchess says:

        Seriously, you should never recline your seat? Perhaps, if you have such a difficult time enduring someone reclining the seat in front of you, YOU should book the First Class ticket. Until then, as long as my chair has the ability to recline, I will do so at my pleasure.

        Let me just reiterate the person behind me POUNDED on my seat three times… very hard….then did it again within 2 minutes. These were intentional movements.

        This passenger’s behavior was childish, all I did was leave my seat back which as you may know is my right. If a passanger behind me asks me politely to elevate it I have and will move my seat. When they’re an asshole I will not budge from my position.

        • Silverhawk says:

          Wow. Watching your string of comments, you are exactly the sort of traveler being referenced in the OP. Seriously, have someone else read what you wrote out loud to you.

          It’s your “right” to recline your seat? What if your reclining seat back was causing not just discomfort, but physical pain to the person behind you? Maybe, if you want the luxury of reclining seats, YOU should get a first class ticket.

          • wetrat says:

            uh, what? I should have to pay for first to get a reclining seat? Sorry, but I think you’ve been flying RyanAir a bit too much.

          • cheezfri says:

            I think I gotta go with Dutchess on this one. I definitely see both sides, but being in coach is extremely uncomfortable, and if my seat comes with the ability to recline, I’m using it. Just about every American is well aware of the seating conditions aboard a plane, and if they have a problem with reclining seats, then THEY are the ones who should make other arrangements.

          • syzygy says:

            See, you think that “get a first class ticket if you want your seat to recline” (your contention) is somehow more justifiable than “get a first class ticket if you want more space” (from Dutchess). It’s not. You bought a coach ticket, so you get the accommodations you paid for. And nothing more.

            Why is it my job to make sure that everyone around me is comfortable? If the person behind me has a problem with me reclining, they should say something. Politeness rolls both ways.

      • Dutchess says:

        Oh and for the guy behind me that tried to BLOCK my seatback from reclining fuck him too.

        He put his knees in the back of the seat and was snickering to his friend when he did it. Sorry, if I hurt you when I slammed it back….I heard him groan and grumble….ask nicely, be human…and you get treated that way. Act like an asshat…get treated like one.

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          Generally, I have found that even when you ask certain people (usually the kind of self-entitled people who recline their seats on the plane) nicely to do things, they get defensive and think you’re and asshole. Sometimes they even yell. Not. Worth. It.

        • Silverhawk says:

          Or he could have been the 6’5″ guy whose knees touch your seat back when it’s fully upright, so *you* might be the asshat here. Just something to think about, because I’ve been that guy, and I’ve asked the person in front to please not recline, and was told to “fuck off”. So yeah, they got their seat rattled.

          • Mike says:

            6’5″ here too. I feel your pain bro, I have been in that situation plenty of times. I NEVER recline my seat. I do what I can to get bulkhead or exit row, I even try to fly first class when I can, but they have gotten stingy with the miles upgrades in recent years. It really makes me mad when people act like they are the only ones in the world and feel they have a right to make other people uncomfortable for their own comfort. If you want to put your seat back, just ask the person behind you, is it that hard?

      • katarzyna says:

        Seriously, I was sitting behind someone who reclined for 99% of the eleven hour flight. She got upset with me when I accidently hit her seat while getting up to go to the bathroom, and another time when I was trying to retrieve something from under the seat. Stupid entitled travellers like that should buy first class tickets.

    • Jevia says:

      It never ceases to amaze me that nine times out of ten when I’m traveling with my daughter (who’s young and likes to sit next to the window), the person in front of her doesn’t recline, although there’s plenty of room, but the person in front of me, sitting next to my daughter already in the wonderful middle seat, reclines his seat, making me even more squished.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      If that were me, I you would have been the one out of luck b/c I would have been kicking your seat the entire flight every time I crossed and uncrossed my legs (which is A LOT.) Restless leg syndrome is a bitch.

    • Jevia says:

      I know airlines don’t serve as food as previously, but of the people that do recline, I’ve never seen a single one decline their seat when food/drink is served. That is rude. The person behind you is already struggling with limited space, made even more limited by the person reclining their seat, then they have to try and eat with a tray table that now doesn’t fit right because the person in front refuses to raise their seat, or doesn’t even think its a problem. Hello, can you eat with the food tray resting on your chest?

      Frankly, if airlines are going to make the seat pitch so limited, they should remove the ability to recline the seats.

      • syzygy says:

        If someone wants me to raise my seat back to allow them some more space to eat, I’ll gladly do it. Otherwise, I’ll do what I want with my seat, especially if I’ve fallen asleep between takeoff and food service. I’m all for accommodating the needs of others, but I can’t live my life asking everyone around me if something I’m doing might be non-obviously causing them difficulty.

        By the way, I’ve never had a problem using my tray table for eating/drinking when the seat in front of me is reclined. Like you point out, they really don’t move far at all.

  14. apd09 says:

    I don’t believe it is that people have gotten more rude, I think that is in fact because no longer speak up for one another or call someone out on bad behavior. Our society has become more and more reclusive due to technological advances and would rather sit in silence listening to their iPod, playing on a portable gaming device, watching a DVD, or be on a laptop while traveling and no longer are willing to publicly call out a person who is being rude. That coupled with how quickly people become unhinged and it could lead to violence is the reason why we no longer police ourselves and instead look to authority figures to do it for us.

    Back in the 50’s, 60’s, and even the 70’s people would have no problem with grabbing a child by the arm and dragging them back to their parents and saying that the child was running around and bumped into them, or a person would tell someone that they were being rude and should mind their manners.

    People are not any more rude than they have been in the past, they are just no longer told they are being rude so they assume it is acceptable behavior.

    Just my opinion though.

    • BrazDane says:

      I agree – people are much more averse to minor confrontations. It couldbe this creeping sense of entitlement: The more people believe the universe revolves around them, the more likely they are to lash out disproportionally hard/violently when they are called on their narcicism. I must admit to being like this. I often would rather suck it up than risk a confrontation. EXCEPT if someone cuts in line in front of me. Then there’s typically enough people behind me who were also affected that I can expect some support if the other person gets loud or unreasonable.

      • wrongfrequently says:

        If someone line cuts on me (without asking, as in “I only have one grocery item”)
        IT’S ON!!! I have yelled at 12 year old kids at Six Flags (to applause from the rest of the 300 ppl in line)

    • pb5000 says:

      I think you are right

    • s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

      I would very happily grab a little kid by the arm and drag them back to their parent if they were misbehaving, were it not for the fact that our paranoid, child-conscious society would have my ass charged with some sort of abuse.

      I’m not really adverse to the confrontations, I’m adverse to the completely ridiculous punishments that will happen if I actually make some sort of stand.

    • syzygy says:

      I think you’re on to something. This thread is full of people who think that we should all just magically intuit how our behavior may be causing difficulties for others, when these others don’t say anything. Speak up; it’s more likely that you will be accommodated than you will meet a self-important asshole who refuses. I really don’t believe the latter type is as widespread as everyone thinks.

      Instead, we get the passive-aggressive nonsense that passes for interaction these days. “Doesn’t that asshole see he just cut into the line? I’ll sigh really hard instead of asking him the step to the back.” “Can’t he tell how his seat back is cutting into my knees? I’ll just pound his seat until he gets the hint.” Ridiculous.

  15. Chaluapman says:

    It doesn’t help that a lot of people thinks the world revolves around them.

    • syzygy says:

      It also doesn’t help that everyone just assumes everyone else is this way. They never consider alternatives, like honest ignorance. There is no universal definition as to what “rude” means. Talking to one another usually helps; too bad this seems to almost never happen anymore.

  16. BStu78 says:

    Wow. 70% of people think things were better back in their day. I’m shocked. Look, maybe its true, but these kinds of perception polls feel awfully meaningless. Its just fake data used to prop up a point someone was going to make anyway. Even worse, its a self-selected online sample. Its about as fake as fake data can get.

    People complain about how people smell in an enclosed area? Really? Why that’s unheard of. Just more, “everyone is wrong but me” observations. And this whole notion that we should return to the days when everyone dressed like Mad Men to go on a flight is just silly. People should dress comfortably to fly. That’s no great travesty except to classist scolds upset that that air travel is more “accessible” now that its more affordable. Your life and happiness aren’t imperiled by someone where shorts and a t-shirt. Just calm the heck down already.

    I’m sure there is rude behavior on planes, but there is rude behavior darn near anywhere. I don’t believe for a second that rule, self-involved people are a contemporary phenomenon, either. People have been making these complaints as long as people have been traveling together. Doesn’t make it right, but it also doesn’t make it new.

    • apd09 says:

      Wow. 70% of people think things were better back in their day. I’m shocked. Look, maybe its true, but these kinds of perception polls feel awfully meaningless. Its just fake data used to prop up a point someone was going to make anyway. Even worse, its a self-selected online sample. Its about as fake as fake data can get.

      one of my favorite things to say was said to me in Statistics my freshman year in college, the professor said “Statistics lie, and liars use statistics”, which was a take on the Mark Twain quote “There are Lies, damned lies, and statistics”. The professor then went on to explain that although some stats can give an accurate representation of modeled behavior or probability, you always need to remember that anyone in any situation can come up with a stat to back up their argument or point of view thereby proving the stat of the other person to be inferior.

    • econobiker says:

      “People complain about how people smell in an enclosed area?”

      1. No cigarette smoking anymore to dull everyone’s sense of smell- even those who don’t smoke.
      2. No cigarette smoke anymore to cover people’s body odor smells.
      3. Airlines exchange the cabin air less times per hour now that it is not laden with cigarette smoke.

      Unintended consequence of above is that people smell other peoples body odor much more than years ago.

  17. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    I’m a solipsist, so I take full responsibility. On that note, I don’t care what any of you think either, since you’re all figments of my imagination. ;p

  18. dwtomek says:

    Classic case of the mind’s tendency to filter out negative past memories in favor of the positive ones over time. It’s why things were always better in the good ol’ days. True story. That being said, yeah people are assholes, but they always were.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Classic case of the mind’s tendency to filter out negative past memories in favor of the positive ones over time.

      Does it? I don’t remember my pre-college school years any more positively now than I did 5 years ago.

  19. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    They dress like a depressed George Costanza when they travel

    What does this even have to do with politeness? Are air travelers supposed to dress like the pat-down they get from security is a date or something?

  20. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Have you watched Airline? What kind of people, back in the day, would yell out to all the other people in line when they had a problem?

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Reminds me of the nut who went off because he couldn’t get in the mall in Canada during the G20 riots and was surprised no one else cared: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QNEMiX_zKc#t=1m35s

      You have to wonder if these people still think acting like an ass was worth it after they end up on YouTube or in your example on TV (and YouTube).

  21. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    The veneer of civil society is thin indeed. Being civil and polite is enabled only by being fat, comfortable, and happy. Traveling, especially in this post-TSA post-no-fees post-classy-flying world, is neither comfortable nor happy. As for fat… well… hope you got a credit card for your in-flight bag of pretzels.

    Frankly, I’m surprised traveler haven’t formed roaming motorcycle gangs on the concourse.

  22. pantheonoutcast says:

    Just traveling? I’d say that 75% of the population are self-entitled dipshits talking loudly on their cell phones to other self-entitled dipshits while their over-indulged dipshit spawn run unchecked and screeching through the area.

    It’s the fault of the other 25% – rarely do we directly say anything for fear of being labeled “confrontational.” Instead we go home and write whiny, passive-aggressive blogs about how much people suck.

    Or, in this case, post a rant on Consumerist :)

  23. Angus99 says:

    I have flown a lot over the years, and I think the issue is that the airlines have so reduced the personal space alloted for each traveller that it’s no longer possible to ignore obnoxious behavior. It’s the combination of rudeness and the fact that it is very much in your face or in your lap that has made things worse. I see way more people blowing lids than in the past, and most of it is because you can’t turn around in the space they’ve allocated for you. What I’d really like is a bill of rights that sets realistic limits on leg room and seat spacing. I know, I’m dreaming. I’ve reached a point now career wise where I’m going to fly a lot less, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

    Oh, and you kids get off my damn lawn!

  24. Harry_Greek says:

    Yes.

    Some, not all, customers of the travel and hospitality industry are total mannerless pigs. The international community feel Americas are loud and mannerless, but I have come across many Europeans, South Americas and Middle Easterners who are total asses.

  25. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “Have Travelers Lost Their Manners?”

    Have airlines lost theirs?

  26. Wrathernaut says:

    How about airlines/TSA/FAA treat us like wild animals getting caged, so we act appropriately?

  27. Urgleglurk says:

    I was in the front line trenches of the airlines from 1979 to 2000. In a word, yes. They are less polite. I’m much less concerned about them dressing down than I am about their behavior.

    I watched it happen over the years. It’s not just the airlines. People are becoming more and more harsh with customer service people in general.

    • Hoot says:

      You know, I have to say that I am guilty of this and perhaps it is due to reading Consumerist articles for a few years now. With so many people getting this fee waved, that item replaced when it breaks, etc., there oftentimes is some kind of deal that a customer service agent is allowed to give that they put up a fight for. I call customer service ONLY when something negatively out of the ordinary happens that I didn’t cause with a product or service. Customer service should want to remedy this and retain my business and usually has a way to do so if I can drag it out of them. Or, if they can’t, they should transfer me to a manager who they know can.

      This post got out of hand and long but seriously, customer service generally sucks hard.

  28. Julia789 says:

    I flew on a nice new Virgin America plane last week, and by the end of the flight it was TRASHED. Cheese puffs and chips all over the floor, napkins, garbage, a dirty diaper in the back of a seat. I cannot believe people behave this way. I remember flying as a kid and getting dressed up to go on the flight. Everyone was dressed nicely, polite, and as if they were in a nice restaurant. I dress my own kid up for flying and tell him it’s a special treat to fly, and he needs to behave nicely. What the hell has happened to our population.

  29. CaptCynic says:

    I think this guy comes across poorly. His comment about people not dressing up to fly makes him sound like an ass.

    The whole article comes across as a big “get off my lawn”!

    That said, I think the problem isn’t travel, per se, but manners in general have been in decline. Travel has become more stressful overall, causing more people to lash out. But I still think he is over generalizing from a limited number of cases. We tend to remember the one or two rude people rather than the dozens who weren’t.

  30. Superdemon says:

    When you treat people like animals they will start acting like animals.

  31. Jimmy37 says:

    I agree with the reasons, except I don’t care how anybody looks. Also, these people that insist on putting all their luggage in the rack so they have leg room, leaving no place for me to put my stuff in. And, of course, the stewards are forced to watch them do it and not say anything.

  32. El Matarife says:

    Excuse me? Behavior is now judged based on the outfit worn?

  33. CharlesFarley says:

    Commodity accomodiations = commodity behavior

  34. Snakeophelia says:

    Gotta agree with “They either smell bad or like a walking perfume/cologne sample”. I have dealt with crying babies (who had parents who were trying frantically to quiet them) and overly-large travelers (who were very careful not to invade my personal space). No real problems there. But people under 30 who are clearly backpackers/college students who are traveling on a dime and not spending any pennies on soap? Oh dear Lord. One of these days I’m just going to pull down the oxygen mask and rely on that.

  35. axiomatic says:

    Dear Travel journalist Chris Elliott,

    Do you feel like you are critical of others? Jan here has help: http://www.examiner.com/relationship-psychology-in-national/relationship-advice-am-i-too-judgemental-tips-from-a-therapist-by-ask-jan

    (chuckle / sarcasm)

  36. teke367 says:

    Of course things were better back in the day, especially the mid to late-80s. Granted, I was 9, had no expenses, school was still simple, and my big responsibility in life was finding world 8 in Legend of Zelda.

    I’m surry people were just as rude, I just didn’t care, because, well, I was playing Zelda.

  37. junip says:

    Having grown up in a tourist-destination-area, I can attest to the “I’m on vacation so I can do what I want” mentality being nothing new. Some people are just like that. Usually, they also act like the natives are subhuman, only there to serve them and should worship the ground they walk on for spending their money there.

    I can’t say whether their numbers have increased in recent years though, because thankfully, I don’t live anywhere near there anymore.

  38. econobiker says:

    Why dress up when you’re going to have to remove items in security anyhow?

    An unintended consequence of security screenings:”They dress like a depressed George Costanza when they travel.”

  39. wicked.nightingale says:

    *Travelers treat their destinations with a sense of “I’m on vacation so I can do what I want” entitlement: –> Root Cause: Vacation and/or time off is such a precious commodity for so many that you just shut down. OR you’re so well off that this is your “annual” Weekend-Off in August to celebrate Pie and this is what you’ve done your whole life..
    *They either smell bad or like a walking perfume/cologne sample –> That’s just compounded because you’re in the airport for 8 hours before your flight to get through security, etc… So you smell bad because you left you’re house 18 hours ago and haven’t had a chance to shower, or you bought a magazine (or several) and dosed yourself with the perfume samples to help with the problem because dude next to you,uhh reeeeekkss!
    *They dress like a depressed George Costanza when they travel –> My father complains about this one a lot… he says that “back in my day” people wore suits on planes and dressed “properly”… I guess he’s right!
    *They’re ill-prepared and ill-informed and “act as if they’re still at home” –> That’s just people being people…. I see it happen at the mall, at work, in my neighborhood ALL THE TIME. It’s, again, just compounded with all the changing rules and regulations that 50% of people are lost and the rest walk around with their heads shoved up their asses on a daily basis. :)
    *They let their offspring run wild like the world is their playground –> Hmmm…. wanting to avoid controversy, but don’t they generally do that everywhere? Kid’s been in the airport for 18 hours with you… There’s only so much you can do to entertain them… My solution is implement those sleeping chambers they had in the 5th element… solves the problem for EVERYONE!

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      That’s just compounded because you’re in the airport for 8 hours before your flight to get through security, etc… So you smell bad because you left you’re house 18 hours ago and haven’t had a chance to shower, or you bought a magazine (or several) and dosed yourself with the perfume samples to help with the problem because dude next to you,uhh reeeeekkss!

      I’m sure banning deodorant from being carried on doesn’t help either.

  40. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I’m sorry but why is “Dressing like a depressed George Costanza” anyone’s business but that person’s? I for one like be comfortable when I’m being held against my will on the tarmac for 6+ hours, and that ‘comfort’ comes in the form of yoga pants and a t-shirt. I wouldn’t say this is a reflection on anyone’s “manners” at all.

  41. mizgruntled says:

    Frankly, EVERYONE seems to have lost their manners in the public sphere, from the parents who let their children screech and yell constantly, climb over restaurant booths and use the grocery store as a playground to the drivers whose time is so g-d important that they cut you off if you aren’t going at least 15 miles over the speed limit.

    Manners? What a quaint concept.

  42. golddog says:

    If I want to wear my Morning Mist outfit to fly, I’ll wear it Mr. Elliott. Excuse me if I don’t want to wear a three piece suit and a freakin’ Fedora for the enhanced pat down. Pan Am called from 1955 and they’re looking for someone to write for their in-flight magazine.

    Having said that, you might have a point about the offspring, perfume/BO, and entitlement.

  43. hoi-polloi says:

    At least for me, traveling is a sweaty affair. There’s considerable walking at speed with luggage, the partial striptease for the TSA, and frequently a long trek through parking lots. I don’t generally smell, but it’s not out of the question after a day of travel. We won’t discuss the time I washed up in a bathroom in Fresno since I spent the past week living in a tent. I realize I was scruffy and rough around the edges, but I tried, people.

    In consideration of all of the above, there’s no way I’m going to dress up. A pair of comfortable pants and a t-shirt seem perfectly fine. If I’m going on vacation, should I wear a jacket and tie just on the flight? By the way, I’ve watched a fair share of Seinfeld, and think George would look just fine for air travel.

    Regarding kids, I have a son who just turned 4. He’s flown on a couple of occasions. You don’t want to let your kid run totally nuts in the airport, but you want to get some energy out before getting into an airline seat for a few hours. Trust me on that. For new parents, I suggest bringing ample snacks, food, toys, and activities. It really helps.

    If these things really bother you, I’d suggest traveling first-class. You can get away from the hoi polloi such as myself.

    • syzygy says:

      I have some difficulty with the philosophy that says I should spend extra money to avoid being inconvenienced by the selfishness of others. That said, however, I do appreciate those who, like you, put in an effort to be considerate.

  44. Amy Alkon says:

    “Some people dress for comfort when they fly”

    With five seconds of thought and a little effort, it’s possible to be comfortable without wearing sweat pants and shower shoes. When I fly, I have a pair of black funnel-leg slacks I got at The Limited in the late 80s that wouldn’t wrinkle if you smashed them between two giant steel plates, and I wear a black cashmere turtleneck that I got at vintage clothing store for $10. How hard is that?

  45. balthisar says:

    Yes, travelers have become more rude, because more people travel. Under regulation and for years afterwards, “competition” wasn’t about picky shoppers who abondon airlines on one route for another over a $5 fare difference. Because the airlines weren’t forced to compete themselves out of existence via a death spiral of constantly reducing fares, the percentage of uncouth people (less educated, therefore less income, in general) was less than today. People who would have been forced to take a Greyhound 15 years ago can now fly because of the reduced prices. Of course the reduced prices now cause airlines to stop with the basic services that they always included, such as meals/snacks, checked luggage, and so on.

  46. Mangy66 says:

    Agree with them for the most part, but the “*They dress like a depressed George Costanza when they travel; ” could be re-written. I am a tall athletic male, and suits and dress shirts stifle my shoulders, and are uncomfortable for long periods of sitting. I usually wear a T-Shirt and Jeans and find a place to change after I land if I have something scheduled shortly after I land. However, I do have issue with people showing up in torn and tattered clothing, or what they would normally sleep in. You’re still in public. Would you go out with your friends/family wearing tattered clothes (grunge-aholics aside) or your nighties? And the people who bring their own pillows?!?!? We have a bed-bug epidemic going on right now…I don’t know how clean/dirty you are. Keep those things at home.

    The one that is SPOT-ON is “*Travelers treat their destinations with a sense of “I’m on vacation so I can do what I want” entitlement.” As a property owner in a vacationy area, I like to visit the area several times a year. The biggest problem is these travelers who come to your area with the above mentioned attitude. They dis-respect people and in a lot of cases commit vandalism and/or other crimes without thinking twice. And they think it’s funny or cool, not realizing how ignorant they are/look.

    Maybe I’m not intelligent, but I need a better explanation of “*They’re ill-prepared and ill-informed and “act as if they’re still at home”; “

    The one about smelling bad…this should just be a general rule. And using cologne or perfume to cover, just combines the two and makes it smell worse. And people please use deoderant. I nearly passed out from that nasty armpit smell the guy next to me had from DC to Vegas.

  47. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    I think the rudeness quotient has increased in everyone. The difference? The airline check-in agent isn’t paying me to fly; I’m paying the airline to fly. So when a snotty 20-something check-in agent is rude to me for no good reason, I stop flying with them (Northwest at the time, now Delta).

    Customer service has gone right down the crapper in this country. I think more and more customers (many, but not all) are simply responding to how they’re being treated. In the case of the sliding Jet Blue dude, I heard he’d been pissy with customers all during that flight. Can anyone confirm that?

  48. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    People–not just travelers–have lost their manners in general.

  49. kethryvis says:

    i’ve been flying since i was a babe in arms, and i remember dressing up to fly. Nicer clothing, but still comfortable, good manners, all that.

    Nowadays… i’ll admit to wearing yoga pants on long trips, but we’re talking solid black/navy blue so they still look like actual pants and not the pajama bottoms i see on so many other people (including a traveling companion of mine once). The thing is, i saw this trend starting as the airlines got less and less frilly, and we started being treated like dollar signs instead of people. Back when we all got actual food on planes and the flight attendants were nice and polite, we all dressed well. Now that getting food on a plane is basically impossible and the attendants (at least on a majority of the big carriers i’ve flown over the last 10 years or so) are pretty snooty, we all dress down.

    i wonder which came first.

  50. Wireless Joe says:

    Pop quiz: Who’s more likely to be a rude or curteous passenger?

    Option 1

    Option 2

    Now, how do the majority of people fly, in cabin 1 or cabin 2?

  51. Duckula22 says:

    That’s the population in general.

  52. SlappyFrog says:

    Yes, I agree.

    The airlines have fostered this by turning themselves in to the Wal-Mart of the skies….cater to the lowest price marketplace and you get this kind of behavior.

  53. Mr.Grieves says:

    Hey there is nothing wrong with looking like George Costanza. If I saw a look a-like it would definitely brighten up my day.

  54. dosdelon says:

    I was on a flight a while back and I requested exit row seating so I would have more leg room. When I got to my seat the girl next to me made a disappointed comment, something like “Oh, I was going to lay down and sleep during the flight.” I told her that I had purchased the ticket and that exit row seating was meant for people who would remain awake and alert during the flight, and that if she wanted to sleep she should have paid for 3 seats instead of one (the other one was empty). She didn’t say anything more and I thought that that was it. I had to use the lavatory during the flight and when I returned (probably less than 5 minutes later) everything I had left on my seat was on the floor and the girl was sprawled out on all 3 seats with her eyes shut. I knew she wasn’t sleeping and a part of me wanted to wake her up but the better part of me decided to call a flight attendant instead. I was just about to do so too when a couple offered to have me sit next to them in another unused seat. I decided not to make a scene, gathered my belongings, and took the seat, even though it had less leg room. I am thankful for their kindness but I still sometimes regret not calling the flight attendant over instead.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      There’s part of the problem: no one wants to make a scene so people with an overblown sense of entitlement always get their way. And you were right not to make a scene — you probably would’ve been thrown off the plane and arrested.

      How old was this ‘girl’? If anyone moved my stuff so she could sleep in my seat there’d be a problem.

    • Not Given says:

      I would have yanked her up by her hair or sat on her feet, whichever end presented.

    • syzygy says:

      First, she probably felt resentment for the speech you gave her about personal responsibility. Simply taking your seat might have avoided that. However, she was way more out of line taking your seat when your left. That said, you should have said something to her, or at least notified a flight attendant, who would have just been doing her job to move the girl. Now this girl thinks she can continue to get her way just by taking first action and being an inconsiderate dumbass.

      I would definitely not have done what Not Given says he would have done, which is juvenile at best and criminal at worst. Not that internet tough-guy would have done either of those (except in his head), but rudeness and stupidity does not condone assault.

  55. sopmodm14 says:

    there should be a standard flier code of conduct for behavior to ensure the flight goes as smoothly as they can

    flying is a privilge, not a right, and customers/staff should treat each other with respect due for a human being.

  56. FrugalFreak says:

    Business customer service has lost all politeness and reasonable accomadation for customers and we KNOW THIS! Only way to get what we deserve and be treated fairly nowadays is to push. Business coldness has changed America for the worse.

  57. irishpilot84 says:

    Airlines treat passengers like garbage and keep adding fees and people keep flying. Money talks and until people are willing to take their business elsewhere nothing will change. People pay a cattle fare, get treated like cattle, act like cattle, and then are surprised when the airline loses their luggage.

  58. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I dread getting on an airplane anymore in the fear that it will be a DC 10 and people’s kids will run amok in my lap. I also dread that someone will put their seat back in my lap. I have RLS and usually end up pissing them off by moving my legs around a lot. And, I am highly allergic to perfume and need to carry an allergy mask on the plain. It’s awful.

    People in general don’t have manners anywhere any more.

  59. JayBents says:

    Yes. Just yes.

    /Hotel Front Desk Manager.

  60. D in Buffalo says:

    I write this comment sitting in a hotel in San Diego after having spent the day flying.

    I’ve never flown Southwest before, and I was worried about the experience. For the most part, it wasn’t too bad. Heck, on one leg of our flight, the flight attendant stayed in the empty aisle seat next to us and kept people from sitting in it..she even told another passenger that the seat was taken! Honestly, we did nothing to deserve that, except that… we were nice to the lady,

    I don’t get why people bitch about flying. You know it sucks. You know the airlines treat you like garbage. Learn to work around it. No point in getting upset; you can’t change anything. (Not defeatist – realist.)

    Case in point, today, we were waiting for our connection when one of the employees announced a gate change. Okay, no biggie. Get to the new gate, mill around for 10 minutes…and another gate change announcement. Back to the original gate! So we trudge back..and still no jet in sight. Finally, we’re told the plane will be about 30 minutes late. Fortunately, it was to our final destination so no worries about missed connections.

    Or airport security. You KNOW security is tight. Take off your metal belt buckle. Put your change in your purse. Take out your laptop. Take off your shoes. 3-1-1! I mean, really. It’s not that hard.

    Yes it sucks, but taking Amtrak cross country would suck even more.

  61. wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

    I wrote a Letter to the Editor in college about rude people in computer labs. I was flamed for being uptight and a prude who couldn’t get a date. Of course, none of those things were true; I was just a polite person it a very rude world.

  62. parabola101 says:

    Reading the comments to this post, I’d say that YES, there is little tolerance for strangers, or sometimes even our own families and friends. What I have witnessed in my travels and day-to-day living in how people behave towards each other has been truly heartbreaking. While being mistreated/attacked at airports, security checks, retails stores, driving by some surely/snarky people etc could account for some of the retaliating-type-behavior it doesn’t really begin to explain the constant “venting” and/or rudeness we all have experienced or indulged in. Have we lost our ability to cope? Is this aberration only occurring North America? What is happening to our culture? =:-0

  63. cheezfri says:

    @Chris Morran: Bless you for saying “So it brings up the question…” as opposed to the (very incorrect) “begs the question.” You are the only person I’ve seen get it right in the last few years.

    Thank you
    Grammar Nazi ;)

  64. maruawe says:

    For the entitled few this is normal, But as the depression grows the level of intensity grows to abnormal levels more people are believing that if they have to pay the prices that are offered they too should be entitled to more than a ticket on an airplane. Also the airlines are partly to blame for this attitude due to their lack of interest in passengers and of their wellbeing. So the blame is on both sides of the mirror.

  65. slimeburg says:

    I sigh every time a woman holds up the line at TSA to remove multiple bracelets, rings, earrings, metal studded belts, shoes or boots with metal etc etc etc. Seriously – if you want to look like queen of the trailer park and wear a cheap ring ordered off TV on every finger as well as every other bit of jewelery you own fine – but are you really so stupid that you need to wear it on a plane trip? If you can’t leave it at home can’t it go in the carry on?

  66. legolex says:

    I’ve worked for several hotels and I have stories of my own and stories I’ve heard of people. Travelers really do lose their MINDS and their manners when not at home. It’s disgusting.

  67. thiazzi says:

    Had to deal with an entitled older couple from Dallas that were seated behind me and were in the final boarding group. They decided that since they boarded last, it would be OK to move my girlfriend’s reasonably-sized carryon four or five rows away to a different overhead storage bin so that their enormously oversized carryon could be closer to their seats. Being polite didn’t help me, the flight attendant didn’t care, and I had to deal with the old bitch making snide little comments about luggage behind me for the entire flight. I’ve never been more angry at a senior citizen.

    I felt better about the whole thing later when we were approaching DC and she said “OH WOW, LOOK IT’S THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL” at the Jefferson Monument. I guess she never looked at the back of a penny.