Are Passengers Really This Disgusting During a Flight?

B are feet on the tray table; urine in the lavatory sink; trash all over the seats and floor of a row; clipping nails during a flight; tampons and “maxi pads” left for someone else to dispose: are people really this disgusting when they are passengers aboard an airplane?

Apparently so.

There is a Facebook Internet web site called Passenger Shaming, which was created in January of 2013 dedicated to the memorializing the disgusting acts of passengers with photographs and words — some of which are definitely not for the squeamish.

The Hall of Shame: Photographic Evidence of Disgusting Acts by Delta Air Lines Passengers discussion in the Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles forum on FlyerTalk had a head start on Passenger Shaming by greater than a year…

…but I have to wonder: what will “shaming” passengers accomplish? Could public admonishment of acts considered inconsiderate to others lead to improved civil conditions?

Probably not. I believe it is more for entertainment purposes than anything — one major clue is the Just For Fun subtitle — similar to the People of Wal*Mart Internet web site, which could be simultaneously funny and frightening.

After all, if people could actually be “shamed” into cleaning up their acts, people would not be urinating on sleeping children, or “relieving” themselves during flights without the use of a lavatory — such as French actor Gérard Depardieu allegedly did on his way to Dublin back in 2011…

…and disgusting acts by passengers still persist to this day — although I have never witnessed them at the level portrayed by some of the photographs at Passenger Shaming.

I will impart to you something which I witnessed years ago: while waiting in the gate area for a flight, a spokesperson for a major chain of sandwich shops showed up in the gate area in a rather smug manner — toting his briefcase, talking on his cellular telephone, as if he were some big celebrity. It did not seem to me that anyone recognized him or approached him at any time.

We boarded the regional jet aircraft in preparation for our flight. He sat in an aisle seat in the first row. I sat a few rows back in an aisle seat on the other side of the aisle.

While observing him reading, his finger embarked on a journey towards its apparent final destination: his nose. The finger must have had an intense and insatiable curiosity as to what was hidden inside of his nose because he started digging up there as if it were the Big Dig in Boston. All the while he was conspicuous and unashamed during his spontaneous treasure hunt. At least he could have tried to do it either privately or with a tissue or handkerchief!

I do not know if he ever struck gold that day as I could no longer watch, but I can say that every time I see a commercial for that major chain of sandwich shops, I feel queasy because it always reminds me of him picking his nose.

If you ever do meet him, I would advise against shaking his hand for sanitary reasons. This is not the impression to give by someone who is supposed to be a compensated public spokesperson commercially endorsing a company whose primary business is to sell appetizing food.

I have witnessed other people who pick their noses during flights — whether inconspicuously or aggressively — and upon achieving their accomplishment of removing the obstruction from their nasal passages, they will either curiously inspect said object as they roll it around between their fingers; or go right to wiping it somewhere on the seat or tray table where it does not belong.

I suppose they believe that they have the same privacy as when they perform similar acts in their cars. After all, no one can see through the window as they vigorously drill into their noses while waiting at a stop light.

Using a tissue to clear my nose has me self-conscious enough; but I simply cannot understand how anyone can be so gross — especially when in public.

What disgusting acts have you witnessed while you were a passenger on an airplane — and what are your thoughts on how these acts can be minimized or eliminated altogether?

Time for lunch…

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