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Walkabout: Are We There Yet?
My mom's list of flying do's and don'ts

December 1, 2000
Web posted at 10:40 a.m. Hong Kong time, 9:40 p.m. EDT

The next time I fly long haul, I'm bringing my mother with me. I've had it with rude people, and I'm fairly sure my mom is the only person capable of sorting them out.

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My mother believes that being rude, even to someone you loathe, is a sign of a flawed character. If she was going to stab someone, for example, she'd use her right hand, the only acceptable hand to hold a knife in. So, next time I fly, I'm going to bring along my mom. In case you're not on the flight with me, here's "Mom's list of Flying Do's and Flying Don'ts."

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The Carry-On rule. My mom isn't so fussy about how much carry-on luggage people drag onto the aircraft. She's more concerned about how they stow it. "You only need a few items during a flight, which you get out after take off, and leave everything else alone," mom says. Nothing irks her more than passengers with a mountain of bags piled up at their feet (and hers).

Sit the hell down. "Why do people have to stand in the aisle like idiots while everyone else is trying to get on?" Mom's solution: "Take your coat off while you're waiting in the lounge to take-off and get your book out."

Don't be Uncle Bob. "Drunk people are irritating. People get offered free alcohol and all of a sudden it's like your Uncle Bob at a family wedding." Enough said.

Don't be Aunt Mildred. "Why do trolley dollies keep offering people so much booze? It's like that sister of your father's...always pushing the whisky." Drinkers will always "hab-a-nudder" just quit asking, for Pete's sake.

Shut up already. "There's nothing worse than someone trying to talk to you when you're trying to read. Take a hint," mom says. If the passenger beside you simply nods and looks back to her book, she's not feeling chatty and neither should you.

Mother says share. "There's nothing worse than an armrest hog."

Quiet please, mom's sleeping. "They won't like me very much if they wake me up."

Chew with your mouth closed. "There's nothing more grotesque than poor table manners, even if it is only airplane food."

Be nice to mothers. "Flying with children is horrible, especially your own." Ouch! But mom has a point. If you think it sucks to have that baby on board, think about how the parents feel about it.

Ladies first, please. "If the men would just stay seated, I could get off the plane a lot quicker."

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