With Grant Hackett recently making headlines for his poor inflight behaviour, it’s given me cause to reflect on how air travel really does bring out the very worst in some people, Grant Hackett being only one of the mile-high offenders out there.

Having worked in travel for many years and travelled extensively, I’m often left perplexed, annoyed and disgusted at the behaviour of others.

While I like to think most people abide by the internationally recognised inflight protocol of being polite and courteous to others, there are always a few that seem to have missed the memo.


One of my first memories of flying was when I was about four years old. I remember jumping around in my seat resulting in the lady sitting behind me spilling her hot coffee all over her lap! So I was one of those annoying children people dread sitting near on a flight.

Of course, karma works in mysterious ways and as an adult I bore the brunt of a noisy child on a recent flight to London. Being one of my first trips away from my husband and kids, I was really looking forward to enjoying some alone time.


Of course, I was seated right near a baby with a middle ear infection who screamed the whole way. Even taking sleeping tablets didn’t touch the sides and I ended up arriving at my destination without having slept at all. I had obviously done something to upset the travel gods.

On other occasions when flying solo, I had to act as babysitter to unaccompanied minors and “enjoy” a long flight after thinking I had 3 seats to myself after they had closed the doors and on the return flight, I sat next to a born again Christian who was keen on converting me before we landed and after almost 24 hours, I felt he nearly done his job in converting me!

I am sure any frequent traveller can identify with these awkward situations and would have had their fair share of being seated next to nightmare passengers. It’s part and parcel of being crammed into a small space with hundreds of tired strangers.


So seat reclining can be annoying (particularly when there is limited leg room, the flight is a short one or when the reclining happens during meal service and you end up wearing your food). However, there are much worse things that can happen up in the air.

From drunken passengers vomiting in their seats to people putting their exposed feet up on the seat, some people have no decency. There’s even a whole Instagram account called @passengershaming dedicated to sharing images of selfish travellers doing all sorts of astounding things while flying.

Despite all this, I still think flying is worthwhile.

It’s just the price we pay for being able to see the world! Having said that, I love hearing stories of what people get up to while flying.

Feel free to share your worst stories below – after all, it helps to vent. Think of it as group therapy.