Top Six Strange Moves in and Around the Aeroplanes

Top Ten Six Strange Moves in and Around the Aeroplanes

I’ve now been down in South Africa a week to install the last of our soil moisture sensors (see more at It was a pleasant experience. We travelled around in the Limpopo province, and the Greater Lethaba municipality as well as the Vhembe region. We got to meet a lot of nice people. Ironically, it rained a lot, and our project is about predicting drought. It also turned out that the main water pipe providing Polokwane with water (from Tzaneen) broke down and the whole city (except those with own bore holes) was out of water.
Long trip implies long flights implies stress.

So, aligning with my cynical side. Here is a top-ten list of strange behaviour at airports.

1. Embark as per rows

When the staff at the gate says (and monitors also say so)

“Now embarking rows 60 to 70”

it probably – quite likely actually – means that you should have a seat in one of those rows in order to embark the aircraft. The idea is to have the people sitting in the aft of the aircraft to embark first, then they will not be standing in the narrow aisles and blocking the way for the 200 hundred other people. A tip is to wait until your number is within the span they indicate. Or, you can also try to go and ask them several times.

2. Take of jacket in the security check

If there is a long queue and the officer tells everyone in front of you to take their jacket off and place it in a tray to put through the scanner, then that is very likely to apply to you too. For some people, the jacket must be a very precious thing, they hate to separate from it – even a few seconds through the security scanner. This also applies to Italians.

3. Tight night-flight light, right?

When the aircraft cabin is dimmed for the overnight flights the personal seat lights are actually quite strong. A tip to be more friendly towards your fellow travelers is to turn those lights off. Especially since you are sleeping yourself. Then it is just annoying. And hey, if your partner is sleeping next to you and the stewardess asks you if you kindly can switch his/her light off. Maybe you should take that as a subtle reminder to turn your light off too.

4. Getting in and out of the seat

Yes, they provide drinks and many water bottles to you during the flight. Especially lang-haul flights (well, Scandinavian Airlines wouldn’t come up with such a bright idea – they have adopted a we-do-it-Ryanair-style policy). Then biology and physiology or whatever kicks in after a while and you have to squeeze yourself into one of those small rooms. When you go up out of your seat: do not use the seat in front of you (where someone is trying to sleep) as some kind of spring to get you out of the seat. And do especially not pull his/her hair. It is considered impolite.

5. When can I turn on or off my mobile phone?

Quick answer: the cabin crew actually informs you about this: do not turn on any electronic equipment until we have come to a complete halt and the captain has turned of the fasten-seatbelt signs. I am not sure if there are any ambiguities there, are there?

6. Where do I stow my hand luggage?

Well, it is a one-to-one mapping of course. It has to be just above you in the overhead locker. If there is already luggage there, you have to immediately start to either A) move away someone else luggage or b) call the steward to sort the things out. When your fellow traveller informs you that his/her luggage in fact is placed equally much above his/her head, you should a) ignore that or b) act stupid.

You see what a 28-hour trip can do with you 🙂 ?

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