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I dropped my husband off at the airport tonight so he could catch a flight to JFK. He flies a lot on business. Every time I pick him up at the airport, he’s got an amusing antecdote about his flight. 

Whenver I get on a plane, I think about my first flight. I was in sixth grade. Back then, public schools had money. Our entire class took a bus to the airport and boarded a PSA flight to San Francisco. Upon landing, we were given a tour of the airport’s international currency operation.

On the flight back, several boys in the class discovered their own in-flight entertainment, the sanitary napkins in the plane’s bathroom. I remember the flight attendants giggling while our horrified teacher lectured them in front of an entire planeload of passengers.

I love to travel. I don’t mind the multiple security checks. Yes, it’s a hassle but if you want to get on the plane, you must comply. I expect delays due to mechanical problems or weather, and I feel bad for the ticketing agents who are subject to all kinds of abuse by angry passengers. It’s not their fault there’s a blizzard outside.

I don’t care if my seat mate(s) ignore me or hog the armrest. I don’t care if the airlines don’t hand out free food in steerage.

But I do have my peeves.

1. Rude people, especially those who are rude to the flight attendants. 

2. People who won’t turn off their cell phones (and electronic devices) before takeoff. On one flight, the flight attendant asked a man several times to stop talking and turn off his phone. He refused. Finally, she asked him to step off the plane and onto the jetway to finish his call. He complied. She closed the door. The plane pulled away from the gate without him. The passengers cheered.

3. People who complain about babies or small children on the plane. Gee, we were all that age once. Do you actually think the mother wants her baby to cry? But I do agree that nappies should be changed in the bathroom.

4. People who leap from their seats, grab their stuff from the overhead bins and pretend not to notice that they’ve whacked me on the head with their case.

5. People who walk around on the plane in their bare feet. Major yuck factor!

6. People who think an airplane is a good place for personal grooming. This includes clipping and polishing one’s fingernails and yes, flossing.

7. People who tell me I can’t put my stuff in the overhead bin above their seat. (Excuse me, but if you want your very own overhead bin, buy yourself a plane.)

Scariest moment on a plane…very bad turbulence during a tropical storm. It wasn’t so much the bouncing around, but the woman screaming in the row ahead of me. I figured if we went down, I wouldn’t feel a thing, and I was buoyed by the thought that I only had to die once.

Best airline? Virgin Atlantic.

Best airport? Schipol-Amsterdam. Worst…Hartsfield-Atlanta.

Cutest male flight attendants? KLM and Qantas.

Where did you fly on your first airplane trip? What are your pet peeves when traveling?

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