Travel Tips

Don’t Be That Guy: How to End #PassengerShaming




Thanks to the viral #PassengerShaming accounts on nearly every social media outlet, passengers performing repulsive and obnoxious behavior—whilst confined to a densely-packed, flying metal tube—are finally receiving a bit of the embarrassing exposure they deserve. Consider this a public service announcement.

#PassengerShaming is starting to develop the necessary attention to incite proportionate amounts of humiliation. If you’re at all familiar with the offenses in question (bare feet, bare chested, drunk, etc.), you’re probably happy that something is being done to target and eliminate these behaviors.

Of course, you may be unaware of your own obtrusive behaviors, or that you have any at all. Here are a few habits to avoid while flying, or in public, or outside of your home, or… just don’t be that guy.

Bare Feet

Really, there’s no reason to traverse public facilities barefoot—ever. If you knew how frequently those airplane bathrooms were clogged and poured over with liquefied human waste (and how minimal the efforts for cleanup really are), you might at least put on some sandals. FYI, when such flooding occurs, HAZMAT must be brought in to clean and sanitize the affected area. Unfortunately, according to an anonymous flight attendant, HAZMAT teams typically “sanitize” the area and deem the plane safe within 10 minutes, leaving considerable room for speculation as to how thorough those cleaning efforts could have been.

Bare Chested

Never mind that your back hair is thicker than my wool socks. Never mind that, since you’re now bare chested, you could be directly wallowing in the filth of the previous passenger. If I have to touch your bare, bulging belly one more time en route to the restroom…I can’t. It’s unpleasant for everyone around you. Put your damn clothes on.

Wandering Limbs

Your arms and legs belong in the allotted space, not intruding upon your forward, rear, or side neighbors. They especially don’t belong on the headrest or armrest of the seat in front of you.

Getting Drunk While Flying

Just don’t. People can be irritated more easily when confined to limited spaces for extended amounts of time. Adding an obnoxious drunk to that equation is probably one of the fastest ways you can become the subject of a mid-flight gang-tackle and criminal charges when landing. Drink responsibly.

Personal Hygiene

At this point in the progression of human society, everyone who can afford a plane ticket should be bathing regularly. Don’t be that guy—the stinky and/or repulsive passenger, the airplane version of Charlie Brown’s buddy Pig-Pen. Take a bath before flying, apply some deodorant, and, if necessary, relieve your flatulence in the lavatory.

Nose Picking

This should be included in hygiene, but enough people are guilty of this that it must be pointed out explicitly. Even if you think you’re cleverly hiding that booger from flight attendants by pulling down the window shade, or you plan to put some distance between yourself and the evidence by carefully flinging the airmail from your fingertip across the aisle, your nasal contents are always disgusting. What you might not realize about this disgusting habit is that it’s a great way to make sure you and everyone around you is a carrier of MRSA (a flesh-eating bacteria) and numerous microscopic nasties. We don’t want your cooties any more than you want ours.

Smelly Food

This one should be obvious because food has an aromatic component that can extend far beyond the perimeters of the dish. Although that crab cake might seem delicious to you, it might be nauseating to others. Be mindful.

Eating Anything Off of a Bare Tray Table

Disgusting things take place on those tables with an alarming rate of frequency. Most disturbing is the amount of dirty diapers that are changed on those tray tables. You might wonder, “How many?” But does it really matter? Just don’t pour your peanuts out or place your bare sandwich on that tray table.

The Golden Rule

If you wouldn’t want someone to do it to you, don’t do it to someone else. Otherwise, you might end up on the airplane-equivalent of PeopleOfWalmart. Believe me, it’s not the sort of recognition you want.

Don’t be that guy. Help end #PassengerShaming.

For more on the worst travelers out there, check out;

By Neil Thigpen for