Let’s face it, everyone who travels a lot has their own personal pet peeves that drive them nuts, whether it’s caterwauling babies on planes, overzealous Ryanair gate agents who get out mass spectrometers to analyze any bags that might be .025 millimeters too large, or any other number of travel irritants.
Instead of trying to deny our own tendencies to rant and rave — a pretty impossible task — we’ve tried our best to contain and corral them, with this page serving as a living, ongoing document of our own ranty ragings on various common travel subjects.
- Pre-print your boarding pass or pay us 1 billion euros: I like you, Ryanair. You’ve been good to us. I can forgive you a lot of things as I understand they result in low fares but charging ungodly sums of money to print a frigging boarding pass at your service counter drives me absolutely mad. I’ve only been forced to do it once so you’ve extracted a relatively small pound of flesh from me but it’s one of your more blatant excuses for ripping people off that’s just too far over the line of I’ll-accept-this-and-keep-my-mouth-shut-because-your-fares-are-so-damn-low.
- Seat grabbers: That thing you’re grabbing when you heave yourself up out of your seat? That’s the back of MY seat. Where my head is. I know it’s convenient to grab when levering yourself out of your seat but it’s not much fun for me when you yank it back and let it go, snapping me forward. This is one of those mutual-respect things, as I’ll bet a lot of money that you turn and glare at the person behind you who does the exact same thing to you, don’t you? Yet it’s somehow okay to do the very same thing for me in the interest of getting out of your seat as easily and quickly as possible, instead of taking a little care when extricating yourself.
- People who act disappointed when the beef dinners are gone and they have to settle for chicken/fish/pasta: All of them suck anyway. You know it, I know it; just take one and eat it. Doing the whole “I’ll have the beef. What do you mean, you’re out? Are you sure? There’s really no more beef?” routine isn’t going to magically produce a beef dinner out of fresh air. Plus you’re not missing out on a kobe steak, believe me.
- Bare feet: Taking off your shoes on long flights is absolutely fine; I do it sometimes. I also wear socks and I don’t prop my feet up on the armrest or cross my legs or otherwise wave my monkey feet around for the world to see. I don’t want to see your bare feet. I’m also really, really far from a germophobe but people walking into the lavatory with bare feet creeps even me out.
- Any airport in a city that starts with “New”: Maybe I’m unfairly lumping in an innocent airport at Newcastle or some other “New” city but JFK, Laguardia, and Newark — screw you all, you suck. I hate you.
- “Please remove your belt sir”: I’m not a big guy. I only wear a belt with a few pair of jeans that make it necessary. When I fly, I don’t wear those jeans, as I don’t want to deal with the extra hassle of taking my belt off going through security. When you stop me from walking through the metal detector and insist “Sir, remove your belt” you’re defeating the entire purpose of not wearing a belt to make this go quicker.
- “You don’t have to take off your shoes, sir”: This goes hand-in-hand with the one above, but I have a few pairs of shoes that ALWAYS set off the metal detector, leading to the pat-down that can approach uncomfortable levels of intimacy. Saving time plus not having randoms touch me makes it a no-brainer to take off shoes that I know will set off the metal detector. I know not all airports require shoes to go through the x-ray scanner but trust me, it’s a win-win.