A general view of the arrival hall at Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi. (Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)
It is established that a lot of us Indians have behavioral issues; what maybe considered as normal in many parts of the world does not happen naturally, unless strictly enforced. Instances include spitting, littering, jumping the red light, not caring to wear seat belt or helmet. Airlines in India have to deal with Annoying passengers on a regular basis. They are deliberately irksome, but alert and careful not to break the law, writes Siddharth Srivastava. – @Siliconeer #Siliconeer #Observation #Commentary #India
I have been witness to perfectly educated families traveling in nice cars unload their junk in the form of chips packets or banana peels, straight out of the window right in the middle of the road. Lately, I have been noticing aberrants inside aircrafts that is a common mode of transport for many.
Airlines in India have to deal with annoying passengers on a regular basis. They are deliberately irksome, but alert and careful not to break the law.
It does not take too much time to identify them at the start of a journey. They ring the bell even as their bums descend on their seat before take off.
They reflexively reach out for the overhead call button to test if it is working. They need to be sure that the service of an airhostess is available, as it is included in the money they have spent to buy the cramped economy seating.
Even as others are still embarking, the visibly irritated hostess is forced to weave her way with some difficulty among suitcases, laptop bags and travelers trying to settle down. If the flight happens to be heading to Goa which along with Thailand is the preferred winter destination of large troupes of boisterous North Indians, the chaos is much more as there are several who are at their seats but make life difficult for everybody else.
For them the Goa jamboree has already begun, which needs to be captured as selfies and videos of dancing, laughing, making faces and cracking jokes.
“Can I have a glass of water,” a typical Mr. Annoyer will sheepishly ask the stewardess when she finally makes it to his seat. His or Her awkwardness is no reflection of the steely resolve to press the bell whether needed or not through the duration of the flight. Another Lady Annoyer could well ring few times to inquire when the food trolley is expected to arrive as she is starving.
One more may seek directions to the toilet, when there is no visible detour inside a plane. A list of Annoyer FAQ’s could be as follows: repeated requests for water as if they are stuck in the middle of a desert or stocking up for an imminent drought; ask for newspaper or coffee when the seat belt sign is switched on due to severe turbulence; they keep beeping until the poor air hostess again arrives struggling to avoid falling on other passengers;
Mr. Annoyer will rush to the toilet after the pilot has announced the commencement of landing due to which fretful crew members knock on the door requesting him hurry up as it is against the rule to pee now; worse, sometimes the annoyers attempt to desperately move towards the urinal after the pilot has asked the cabin crew to take their seat for landing in a few minutes; Mr., Miss or Mrs. Annoyer make it a point to ring the bell after landing to utilize the one last opportunity to maximize value for money spent on the ticket; they politely request for a pen, pencil, newspaper, water, or inquire whether it is okay to use the loo after the plane has landed, to which there is a standard air hostess reply: Disembark, get into the waiting bus, upon arrival at the airport building there will be toilets on the left and right of the entrance, demarcated separately Ladies and Gentlemen or He or She, for convenience of transiting passengers whose bladders are bursting.
And, if the concerned person is unable to find the loos they can contact ground staff who will help them locate the same using GPS, hopefully with the urine still inside their bladder and their under garments still dry.
During a recent flight I took, a particularly large lady was accused of pushing her seat back to an unacceptable extent. I identified the complainant, a Mr. Annoyer who had asked for water four times already. The big lady, however, turned out to be more than a handful and gave it back in equal measure.
“Just because I am big does not mean I do not have human rights. I will report you for misbehavior and molestation,” she screamed.
Mr. Annoyer retreated, visibly scared. “It is okay, I will manage,” he said.
He did not ask for water again for the rest of the flight. Taking on a bully head on is the best way to deal with him or her. Mr. Annoyer carping about the fat lady did have a case in this instance. Less than minimum leg room that airlines offer the cattle class has become a norm across the world.
It is inappropriate, degrading, mercenary and inhuman. Even shared autorickshaws in Gurgaon that charge a flat Rs. 10 for any distance traveled, respect that commuters need to fit in normally like human beings, and not be seated in an embryonic or impossible yogic posture for the duration of the journey.