Flying sucks sometimes, it really does. Being trapped in a vessel the size of a preschool classroom with strangers, dangling together at 35,000 feet for hours is REALLY not a recipe for happiness or joy or unicorns.
It's no wonder we get so feisty when we travel.
But guess what? Flying doesn't have to be one crazy rant and in-flight fight after the next. There are ways to be a passenger who is courteous and tolerant of others... and heck, there are even ways to be a passenger who makes the flight better for everyone. (What a concept!) Here are a few ways to make your plane a better place.
1. Give a gift -- it doesn't matter how small -- to your fellow passengers.
It could be a smile. It could be piece of your cookie. It could be a spontaneous Christmas present.
2. Try speaking flight attendant.
Did you know that flight attendants have their own language? Learn a few terms, then bust them out mid-flight to give your crew a laugh.
3. Resist the urge to make flight attendants do everything for you.
They are trained in emergency evacuations, not changing diapers.
4. When you hit a delay, get creative.
Tears are NOT necessary. When drama ensues, channel your energy into a chat with your seat mate... or just recruit a barbershop quartet to sing a BIG song that will make everybody smile.
5. And if a spontaneous sing-along happens to occur, just go with it.
The best passengers are the ones who roll with the punches and don't plug their ears -- just ask the cast of The Lion King.
6. If you're bringing a baby onboard, pack goody bags for his or her new "friends."
Parents of noisy newborns have been known to hand out cute little packages with earplugs, candy, drink coupons and the like.
7. Be strategic with your snacking.
Nobody wants to sit next that dude on an airplane -- avoided potent foods like tuna. Healthy snacks like trail mix, however, are relatively odorless and can act as a conversation starter, a bribe to swap for the window seat or just a way to get chatty passengers to be quiet.