Long gone are the days when flying was reserved for the top elite and their kinsmen, and members of this small circles knew what was expected of them in terms of decorum, discipline, and direction.

Not anymore, as the world grew more liberal, and the global economy favored massive growth in air travel, with short haul tickets connecting every destination to the next, the rule book faded into oblivion and chaos replaced the otherwise “noble” way of travel. You can reclaim sanity on board by avoiding these six annoying habits when flying.

#1 Just let the tots be

I have read about mothers who feel they owe the world an explanation to why their little babe won’t feed, or their newborn keeps screaming instead of sleeping peacefully as intoned in self-help guides. The sad thing is that the dear mums are made to feel so guilty they even make it a duty to hand gift packs to their passenger neighbours as a show of appreciation for putting up with their “messy” babies. If you happen to sit next to a mum, unless we are talking of the extraordinary ones who find no big deal in stacking the potty on the aisle, then try to be nice and supportive. If not, then please just shut up, turn on your iPod and close your eyes till touchdown.


#2 Dreaming off? Pack your pillow

Ladies and gentlemen alike, nothing is more annoying than when you have to keep reminding your seat mate to enjoy their snooze within their space! Please pack your pillows, just to ensure your dreams are confined to their territory when sleep knocks in. Nothing wrong with a good mid-air snooze, but drooling on your new mate’s armrest is a no-no.

#3 Cut the religious talk

Cyrus Onyiego, from Jumia Travel – an online flight and hotel booking company notes that, “being a religious holiday, one may innocently try to break ice by going the ‘current news route’ only to find yourself facing resentment” According to him, unless you are certain of your target audiences’ interest in your ideals, avoid the urge to intrude into their privacy. It’s nothing anti-religion, but rather the need to respect each other’s beliefs or lack of it.

#4 Your in-flight staff certainly do know better

I know just how boring the automated public address can be, and especially for the frequent flyer. That said, look at it as the company objective and mission; to get you there safe and sound. While you do not have to listen seventy-seven times over to know that smoking is prohibited, and though you still wonder why a machine worth millions of dollars and a complex web of engineers cannot handle an easy-pissy gadget such as your iPhone, it’s still important and respectful for you to pay attention when the in-flight attendants and crew turn on the mic. This could turn out to be a life saver.

#5 One too many for the flight

Well, flying is not cheap, and so it’s understandable for you to make a claim on your dollar by hogging up the drink tray or bar in that matter. However, the virtue of temperance demands that we observe self-restraint, and especially where our not so sober persona may affect other people’s comfort.

#6 Your hygiene; your nails, shoes and socks

Sitting for eight hours, or running up and down airport alleys is no fun, and the need to loosen up once you buckle down into your seat is almost human and acceptable. For this small favor, make it your duty to the humankind to stay clean and fresh through your flight. If you must remove shoes, push them away from other people’s path, if you know this is likely to happen – ensure that your feet are free of any odors. On the same note, keep a simple pocket-size deo stick close, just in case it gets too heated up there. Still on the hygiene issue (it’s quoted as next to godliness) prevail over the temptation to overcome boredom by clipping your nails.

Simply stated, these seven annoying habits may seem to the offender as nothing worth a fuss. The fact is, they are quite resentful no matter which destination you are heading to. Avoid them at all cost.