Ten giveaway signs that you're an annoying air passenger

Tatty Good

Air travel's irritating enough these days, right? So adding to the hassle by being one of those passengers both cabin crew and fellow passengers love to hate is just plain irritating. Here are just some of the things it's better not to do... How many are you guilty of?

1. You know how it is: you've got to the airport, queued to check in, run the gauntlet of security, bought that essential weekly gossip mag.... Now's the time to relax, take a load off, maybe have one for the sky at the bar, no? NO. Hear that name they keep repeating over the loudspeaker? That's you! You have to actually GET ON THE PLANE. On time. Before it can leave to go to that place you really needed to go to.

2. Moving walkways are a wonderful invention for cutting down on the vast distances between gates at some of the larger airports. But just because the walkway's moving, doesn't mean you should just stop dead the moment you hop on and strew your bags and entourage across the width of it. This is not part of the holiday. Keep walking.

3. Sure, it's strange and unnatural to sit and eat your dinner in total silence while maintaining close bodily contact with a total stranger, but it doesn't mean you have to make dinner party chat or regale them with your sob stories the entire way from Heathrow to Singapore. This is air travel, not a free 10hr therapy session. When the book goes in front of the face or the headphones are firmly stuffed into ears, take a hint and pipe down.

4. See those arm rests on either side of you? You get ONE, not both of them. Otherwise your charming co-passenger doesn't get one at all. Simple, really. You don't have to be huge to be a space hog, just totally lacking in consideration and appreciation of the concept of personal space.

5. When the cabin crew perform their manual safety demonstration, they don't find it all that hilarious when you mimic them displaying the location of the emergency exits. They've seen it before, and they didn't laugh the first time. You're in Seat 6b, not Primary 6.

6. Please don't kill time in duty free spritzing yourself with every free perfume sample from Anais Anais to Zen for Men. The aircraft is already filled with the questionable odours of dogmeat dhansak and eau de toilet – we don't need to add Britney Spears' latest fragrance to the mix.

7. Yes, seat backs do recline. Yes, it's fun to push the button, lean back and relax to the gentle sounds of the in-flight easy listening channel. But spare a thought for the big man behind you who's trying to eat his meal hunched up like Houdini with a view of your flaky scalp. Keep your seat upright, at least during the meal service.

8. Children. Bit of a tricky one, this. If you're travelling with your own precious SLC (self-loading cargo), you'll find the disapproving looks of other passengers most unkind. If you're rolling child-free, the sound of the squalling baby in 12C will make your heart sink. The key, for both camps, is preparation. Breeders: please don't forget essentials like nappies, snacks, toys and milk. Non-breeders, bring ear plugs and as much patience as you can muster. One day it could be you.

9. Jumping up the second the plane's touched tarmac, pulling your 20 kilo bag out of the overhead locker onto a fellow passenger's head and turning on your mobile to announce loudly that you've arrived is annoying and unnecessary. You're very busy and important - we get it, ok? Now sit down, relax and recognise the fact that you're not going to be moving through a locked door with 100 people in front of you any time soon.

10. 'Spot the suitcases' at the baggage reclaim may be a fun family activity but others may not agree. Deposit your trolley a decent distance from the belt - don't get your entire family to form a human barrier between everyone else and their bags.

Have you had to put up with annoying air passenger? Thought so! We want your stories!

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