Traveling can be an exciting experience. However, sometimes, the people at the airport showcase certain behaviors that can be seen as over-the-top and obnoxious. People share their experiences with obnoxious fellow passengers while traveling. Content has been edited for clarity.
The Real Housewives Of O’Hare
“A group of stereotypical rich wives shoved me out of the way at the gate to board.
I was going to Blizzcon, and since the con was West coast. Living on the east coast meant I needed to fly. There were three total layovers, and everything went well until the O’hare to LAX flight.
I was at the gate, and there was a group of very well-dressed women there. They were loud as ever, so I got a front-row seat to their convo. I learned Amie with an I’s husband only made 150k this year, so she couldn’t come on the trip. Also, I heard advice on how best to divorce him. I also got to hear about how Samantha was having two affairs with ‘bums’ she met at the club.
Basically, over the course of a couple of hours of wait, I got to learn all about them. They were sorority sisters, who had married rich, were born into wealth, and once worked as real estate agents. They were all married, rich, and acted like a group of stereotypical, entitled, rich housewives.
So, now that I was all caught up on gossip, they called to board, and we all lined up. I was near the middle of the line, the ladies behind me and a group of men. I was trying to find my boarding pass when I heard the ladies start whining about how long the line was. They were also complaining about why they had to wait on all these scumbags who probably weren’t even frequent flyers. I was trying very hard not to ask why they were flying coach if they had so much cash they feel the need to constantly brag, but I didn’t. Go me.
The next thing I knew, one of the ladies shoved me out of the way, and out of line. She then looked at me and laughed before she told me I would have to wait a bit longer.
I got ready to start giving her a verbal beat down when one of the men in front of me spoke up. He grabbed her by the carry-on and told her she wasn’t going to cut them, and she shouldn’t even try to. She stomped her foot, and her friends started clucking about how they needed to board because they were in a hurry. He told her he didn’t care because the plane wasn’t going to leave any faster just because she boarded first.
At this point, they were both arguing loudly, and I was not trying to get involved with security, so I figured whatever, she was right.
I thought I should just go to the end and wait. I started to walk away when I felt someone grab my shoulder. It was one of the other guys from that group. He asked where I was going, and I said I was getting back in line; not worth fighting over a spot. He pulled me back in line, but with them this time, and told me I needed to find some courage. I couldn’t let those kinds of mean ladies walk all over me.
Now, I’m female. I’m 4′11″, quiet, and obviously of some mountain somewhere. Now picture my very petite, country girl self-standing with a group of hard-looking men. Gauging from the looks I got, it looked strange.
After they pulled me in line with them, they all turned and started ignoring the ladies, who started loudly giving their opinions on what the world should do to criminals and thugs. These guys ignored them, and I ignored them. Eventually, they quit their crowing, and we boarded.
Once we boarded, it turned out my seatmate was one of the guys, who turned out to be very nice. I’m too short to use the overhead, so he offered to put it up for me, so it didn’t have to sit under a dirty seat. I think we spent most of the entire flight chatting about where we lived, my mountain versus his southside, and hobbies. It turned out we both loved to sketch, read, and play video games. If I were the bold type, probably would have asked for a gamer tag or number to keep in touch. Oh well, my loss.
So basically, the most obnoxious thing I’ve ever seen in an airport was a group of housewives who thought they were better than everyone and felt entitled to board before the rest of us, coach plebs.”
Wait For Her
“I was on a flight from Florida. We landed, and I was about three-quarters of the way back, so I knew it would be a little while to get off. A woman two seats in front of me stood up and got her bag out of the overhead. She put it on the floor, opened it, got out a coat, stood back up, and slowly put it on. Granted, it probably only took her about two minutes, but it meant about 50 people had to wait around for her to go through the process.
But, wait. There was more. I was about to walk off the plane when the line suddenly stopped. The same woman had taken a few steps into the jetway, put her suitcase on the floor, opened it, blocking both directions, and then rooted around to get her hat and gloves. So, we all got to wait for her again, as did the people trying to get on the plane to service it between flights.
In retrospect, I had to wonder what kind of life she lead. She was oblivious to the people around her. I’d heard her speaking during the flight and she sounded like she didn’t have any issues. Just a run-of-the-mill narcissist, I suppose.”
“The most obnoxious thing happened about two years ago when my boyfriend and I were traveling to Chicago from LAX. We had ‘splurged’ on a flight that left early in the morning and should have had us in Chicago quickly. Unfortunately, this was at a time when the major carriers were having issues with strikes. We arrived at the airport only to learn that our flight had been canceled.
We got into a long line to speak to a customer service representative. Everyone was pretty angry, so I made up my mind to be as polite to the representative as possible. It wasn’t their fault, after all. However, this guy seriously shook my resolve.
Upon arriving at the front of the line, we were summoned by a representative who looked, I kid you not, like a Gringotts goblin. Fleshy, hooked nose, beady little eyes. Elf-like pointed ears protruding from a potato-y head. He also had an accent I couldn’t place, but he sounded like Gru from Despicable Me. Just less friendly. We began to explain our predicament and asked if there was anything the airline could do to help.
He said, ‘No, get another flight,’
So I said, ‘Okay, but could you please tell us what our options are?’
He asked, ‘You want to complain?’
‘No, sir, we’re just trying to figure out how we can get to Chicago since our flight is canceled.’
He asked again, ‘So you want to complain?’
‘You want to complain, you go complain to a higher power!’ He barked this last part and slammed his fist down on the counter.
Now, we were both very easy-going people. We traveled a ton and understood airline staff aren’t magicians who can conjure solutions for hundreds of angry travelers. But at that point, I wasn’t sure what to do. I’m an immigrant and had to learn English, so I would never mock someone for being foreign. But this guy genuinely didn’t seem like he understood a word we were saying. Moreover, he resolved to be angry at us for no apparent reason.
We finally convinced him that we did not want to complain, especially to a higher power. He rebooked using a connecting flight; from which the flight to Chicago was delayed by five hours. Our trip was certainly dampened by the experience, but now whenever one of us is grumpy at something ridiculous, we always bark: “Go complain to a higher power!” It was funny in hindsight.”
Cart Or Wheelchair?
“This happened one day, while I was awaiting a flight. I cannot recall what airport I was in because it was during a time when I was flying a lot. It probably was either Philadelphia or Tampa.
I was very early, so there weren’t many people at the gate. These two young women came along. As I recall, they had come to the wrong gate, and they were making a bit of a fuss at the airline employee. They were upset too because they had to go to a different part of the airport to catch their plane. They were pretty obnoxious to the employee. But that isn’t what got my attention.
What got my attention was that they, two able-bodied young women, had taken a wheelchair, and were using it as a cart for a few of their possessions. The wheelchair didn’t belong to them, it was marked as an airline wheelchair.
Let me be clear with my problem here. Wheelchairs are not carts. If they needed a cart, they needed to get a cart. They should not take a wheelchair that does not belong to them. The wheelchairs are only to be used by employees of the airports to move people around.
I complimented the employee on her handling of the situation and even posted on Twitter about it at the time. Not the wheelchair, but how she handled the obnoxious women. I’ll never forget the look we exchanged as we watched these women walk off in a huff with the wheelchair. The employee didn’t say anything about the wheelchair. That was probably just as well, as obnoxious as these women were about just being at the wrong gate.
I can tell you, as someone, who in the years since, has needed a wheelchair in an airport, that I have been left waiting many times while staff had to go looking for a wheelchair. This sort of behavior explains why.”
Free Of Charge
“It was obnoxious to watch, but I still chuckle when I think about it.
Cancun airport was packed and the line-up was long at the check-in counter. The lady in front of me was a bit over-dressed, fussy, and very verbal. It didn’t matter to me how long I waited, but as time and the line crept on, she was becoming more and more annoyed and verbal. She was uncomplimentary towards the airport staff, local people, Mexican culture, and Mexico in general.
By the time we got to the counter, I′d heard enough, but she continued until she was called. Up she went, dragging two relatively large items of luggage, and presented her passport to an unusually unsmiling attendant. She lugged the first bag on, and it was overweight. She refused to pay and insisted the bag be loaded. The attendant suggested she try to balance her stuff between the two bags. She stepped to the side and did just that, ripped her bags open, threw stuff between the two bags, and muttered under her breath.
This was when things got interesting. She seemed to expect to return to the counter she’d been at previously and was disgruntled to be refused. The attendant called his supervisor but to no avail. She was loud and adamant. After a few minutes of unsuccessful negotiating, the manager was called.
The manager was about six-foot-two inches, muscular, and a woman.
All she said was, ‘You must go back to the end of the line.’ and pointed.
The woman looked, dropped her head, grabbed her bags, and silently headed to the end of a line of about 150 people, most of them were smirking.
I couldn’t wait to get to the counter. I looked at him, he looked at me, and we both started laughing. He did an amazing job and this was the most entertaining event I’d witnessed in some time. I lugged my much smaller bag onto the scale, and it was also overweight by a few pounds. The attendant handed me my stuff and gave me the usual directions to the security area but not to the cashier. There was no receipt to hand over.
When I asked, he just grinned and said, ‘No charge today. Have a good flight.'”
Bright Blue Suitcase
“I see this every time I fly. Every. Single. Time.
When people are waiting for their luggage, they crowd around the carousel, shoulder to shoulder, right next to the carousel. Even the longest/largest carousels can’t accommodate every passenger getting a front-row position.
Here is the typical scenario. I saw my suitcase coming. It was bright blue. I bought that color on purpose, so I could see it coming. So I excused myself, said pardon, that’s my bag, can I get through, excuse me please, etc.
Then I watched as my suitcase rolled past. Nobody let me in. Everyone was too busy looking for their bags.
These same people complain that the bright blue case has gone past three times now. Why doesn’t the owner pick it up? They are still waiting for their bag, and here was this suitcase not being picked up. Oh, the unfairness of it all.
When the crowd thinned a bit, I managed to squeeze my way in to get my bag on its fourth time around. It was still shoulder to shoulder. My options were to swing the case around and push someone out of the way with the case or to step backward and push someone behind me out of the way. Either way, I got a dirty look. Do these people think I can lift the case above my head and slink out of the crowd?
Twice in my life, some kind gentleman has assisted me in retrieving my bag. God bless those kind people with common sense; help those whose bags are right here right now, and the carousel will clear, and your day becomes easier.
Don’t get me started with airport trolleys. They take up even more room next to the carousel.
I propose a solution. Paint a line around the carousel, two meters away.You can only step over the line to actively pick up your bag. The one staff member who is allocated to that carousel can be inside the line, to remind people to stand back and to assist if needed.
If enough airports do this, people will quickly adapt to the new polite system. There could also be a dedicated pathway out of the inner zone, so you don’t have to battle with the crowd still waiting.
One of the unexpected things about flying business class, and its priority baggage, is that you can’t retrieve your bags anyway.”
“I used to travel quite a bit with my job, so I saw a lot of things that I just ignored.
I started a new job at a startup, and I met my wife while working there. There was not a lot of travel with this job. When we married, (I was almost 60, my first and only marriage) we decided to book our honeymoon for about six months to get the best deals.
On the way out, we had about an hour and a half delay to Los Angeles, but the pilot said he thought he could make up some of that. We landed at the airport to make a connection which left us about five minutes to make it. Fortunately, it was the next gate to the left.
I got my wife’s carry-on down from the overhead and got her in the aisle to get off the plane. The captain had made an announcement that if you did not have a connection please wait in your seat so we could hopefully make our connection.
The man across from us stood up between us and started taking his time getting his three bags down. I told my wife to go out and get in the line for our connection and tell them what was going on. I gave her our tickets.
She went out, and the man from across the aisle took his time leaving. The front of the plane was almost empty when he finally started out. He seemed to have to stop and chat with every attendant on his way out.
When we finally got to the jetway, he stopped right in the middle and spread his bags out to get something, so there was no way around him.
I had not eaten, so I was a bit riled by this time, so I just slammed my bag into the back of his leg while I kicked his bag out of the way and headed out of the jetway.
We got on the flight to Lihue without having time to get lunch, and the flight only had cheese items for sale (I am allergic to most cheese).
I still don’t know why he behaved like that. Maybe because he knew where we were going, and he was just going to work.”
Please Remove All Electronic Devices
“I think this was someone who didn’t travel much and probably wasn’t used to airport security procedures, but that didn’t make it any less perplexing. It might not rise to the level of ‘obnoxious’ as I don’t think it was intentional, but it was still the weirdest thing I had seen whilst going through security.
When you fly out of a U.S. airport, you’re supposed to take your laptop out if you have one. In many other airports (several I’ve been through in Europe and I’m sure in other places), they also want you to remove tablets. Some airports want any small electronic item taken out (e.g. a handheld gaming console). It varies by airport, no big deal.
This individual got up to the security check at Reagan National and proceeded to take out every single vaguely electronic item in her carry-on bag. Laptop and camera, okay sure. Phone? That doesn’t need to come out, but okay. Her laptop’s charging brick and cord? Okay. Headphones? What? Computer mouse? What? Ethernet cable? Really, what?
So this individual had a half-dozen-long parade of security bins, each with a single electronic or vaguely electronics-related item in it. One bin for her laptop, her headphones, her mouse, and one bin for whatever else. You get the idea.
The best part was meeting eyes with someone else across the walkway and sharing the ‘the heck did we just see?’ look.”
A Special Day Ruined
“I was steps away from the ticket counter when a woman dragged her husband past everyone and cut right in front of me.
I said to this couple, ‘Excuse me, there’s a line, and I’m next in line.’
The man looked uncomfortable about it, but the woman said they were on a honeymoon to the flight attendant behind the counter, basically ignoring me.
I picked up on the arrogance/attitude, so I said, ‘Well, I’m on a business trip and it took over an hour to get here. My flight boards in less than 30 minutes.’
I wasn’t worried about getting through security in time, but all it takes is an X-ray machine to malfunction, and everything would get backed up.
I think she said something about wanting special treatment to the flight attendant.
She was ignoring me again, so I responded, ‘The airline can give you special treatment if they want, but I’m not.’
The flight attendant then told the couple to she needed to attend to me first.
The woman said to me, ‘You just ruined our special day.’
I immediately thought, that if I was going on a honeymoon, I would be ecstatic, and it would take a lot more than not being allowed to cut in line to ruin my day. Maybe they’re not very happily married. Yes, in hindsight, she was just angry with me, and it probably wasn’t about the state of their marriage.”
“My husband and I were waiting for our delayed, overbooked flight from Orange County California to Kentucky or Tennessee (I don’t remember which we flew into).
Across the aisle was a family waiting for the same flight; a mom, dad, and three kids. As for ages, I’d guess to be a boy, six or seven years old, a girl about four years old, and the youngest was a boy around a year old. So, certainly, they had their hands full. But these kids were highly active. The infant was screaming. The dad was ignoring the whole scene while the mom was going crazy trying to wrangle them. If I remember correctly, and this might be my memory embroidering the situation, the two older children not only didn’t listen or obey but spoke to the mom rudely.
Then someone kicked over a very large, very full soda cup on the floor at the mom’s feet. She leaned over, about to clean up the mess, then she shrugged, sat up, and ignored it. I was in shock. I understand she was pretty stressed, but I couldn’t believe she would walk away from such a mess and make no effort with it at all. At that point, I could see how the flight could turn out and did not want to be on it with these people.
About that time the airline offered some perks to anyone willing to take a later flight, and I practically begged my husband to take the later flight. He hesitated, and we stayed on our original plane.
Guess who was in the row behind us? Yep, the mom and her three kids. The dad was off somewhere else, reading and enjoying his flight. The four-year-old girl kicked the back of my seat the whole way. I tried asking her to stop, but it had no effect. The baby finally stopped screaming after an hour or so. The seven-year-old started pinching him to get him going again. It was the worst flight ever.
I know parenting is hard. I know traveling with kids is very hard. But this family seemed to have problems beyond that.”