Welcome to a weekly feature on the Eye of the Flyer blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
Recently I was forced to wait for an upgrade (LGA – ATL) until I arrived at the gate which is a change from the old days of 6/5 days out as a Diamond Medallion (DM). Since I was #2 of 10 as a DM (and a Million Miler, not that it matters) I assumed I would have a good chance of clearing the upgrade. BUT, there was only 1 aisle seat remaining. I made sure to get to the gate early to request the aisle on the odd chance I was still in the running for the upgrade.
For many years my main concern for choosing a seat has been aisle seats because I intake considerable amounts of fluids daily and therefore need to release said fluids quite frequently (or maybe BOB is just getting old?). Anyway, there is also the fact I always seem to need to get something from my bag in the overhead bin at least a couple times each and every flight. Maybe I just cannot sit still (do you have these kinds of issues too, or is it just me).
When I am in the aisle seat I always make it a point to tell the person(s) beside me to not hesitate to let me know if they want to get out. I am happy to jump up any time it is needed!
Which brings me to the point of this guest post on Renés blog which is “should there be an official appropriate aisle seat etiquette?” Or, is this just common sense and being polite? Tell me what you think about this experience.
I was flying the redeye from LAX to either DTW or ATL (can’t remember) at the end of a 40 hr marathon mileage run working on future Diamond status extension. I had also achieved DM status and had passed the Million Miler mark 2 weeks previously. Yes, for those 2 weeks I would mention the status to each gate agent along with my reaching MM and would sadly say where is the marching band I was promised (I kid, a little)? For this redeye flight the Redcoat that was working the gate and confirmed my place was now way down on the upgrade list and etc. I then went to wait for boarding as usual.
In a few minutes the redcoat comes walking toward me calling my name and naturally I think I am in trouble! She then hands me a boarding pass for the window seat in FC while saying that she really takes care of “her” Diamonds and Million Milers. In appreciation of my loyalty I think I was given priority over some on the upgrade list (don’t hate or judge me Shena, I went with it)!
As I boarded and took my seat I had to ask the guy in the aisle seat to let me in. So here I am. Feeling good about the upgrade and the effects of the beverages from the Sky Club when suddenly the LA Station Manager comes on board and hands me a small gift bag with a card and ribbons and thanks me for being a loyal MM. After he leaves the plane the pilot comes back to thank me and shake hands. Unfortunately I am trapped in the window seat and due to all of the power cords and devices that the aisle seat ingrate has piled up I was unable to stand and shake the pilot’s hand out of respect. After a few minutes of discussing how long it took for me to attain MM status the pilot went back to his job. Naturally I was feeling just GREAT due to all the attention until after about an hour when the effects of the celebratory beverages hit me again. Uh-oh.
Upon asking aisle seat ingrate dude to get out so I can use the lavatory it was obvious I was a HUGE inconvenience to his day. Next the aisle seat ingrate gets up and leaves ipod, ipad, cell phone, and even his computer sitting out in the seat and arm rest with power cords attached every where!
I am thinking this is just SWELL! I get to climb out without tripping and falling due to being tangled up in all of these cords. (Oh how I wanted to intentionally step on them and rip them out of the connection, but I didn’t) You can imagine this happened all in reverse as I returned to my seat in a bit.
Unfortunately my DM and MM celebration flight lost all excitement as I had to use the lav 2 more times. (Again, don’t judge, it was the redeye!) Oh, but wait there is more.
When I did get the chance to get my PC out and attempt to use it EVERY power outlet and USB port was being used by this aisle seat etiquette depraved ingrate dude. This was one time I wish I had over eaten the 3 bean soup in the Sky Club just before my flight (oh, please, don’t even pretend you have never done that one before)! 😉
Now to make this scenario seem even more surreal the aisle seat etiquette depraved ingrate woman in front of my aisle seat etiquette depraved ingrate dude was incredibly high maintenance and full of complaints for the FAs. She immediately crammed her seat all the way back even before take off (hello MJ on Travel). This action just added to the joy of exiting my seat as described above. I was able to enjoy a few “looks of love” when I had to grab her seat to help me exit the “electronics warehouse showcase” around aisle seat etiquette depraved ingrate’s seat.
Was it just that the aisle etiquette depraved travelers were from California? No, I have noticed the same inconsiderate action from select far east coast travelers as well. Maybe it is a coastal thing?
Oh but let us not stop here (even if you wish BOB would a this point)! There are the aisle seat ingrate types that will not get out of his bulkhead aisle seat and expects you to vault around and out to get out of your window seat. Gosh I hate those types too! All the while looking at me with disdain for the massive inconvenience!
Perhaps these extreme aisle seat etiquette violators were in First Class and this does not happen “behind the curtain”? I have noticed that all travelers behind the curtain these days are in agony and do not seem to mind letting center or window seat occupants exit for the lavatory or overhead bin access. (As a DM and MM with Delta I am “enjoying” riding behind the curtain now more than ever so I know what I am talking about here too)!
Speaking of redeyes what about the aisle seat ingrate who goes to sleep and will not easily wake up to let you out. Or, let us not forget those aisle seat etiquette depraved ingrates who insist on taking up more than their share of the center arm rest as if it is free space. Pity the middle seat flyer when this happens behind the curtain!
Unfortunately these “aisle seat offending” ingrates will not be reading this post but at least there are many considerate travelers who do read this! Perhaps we should start shaming these offenders with appropriate pictures?
For my next guest post tirade I am thinking about: “Bulkhead Etiquette Depraved Ingrates who Cram the seat all the way back in your face” I mean how much stinking room do you really need? – BOB!
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