I have an abnormally strong aversion to passing people in the aisle. I DESTEST it. I don’t care who it is; passengers, other flight attendants, pilots or assist horses. It doesn’t matter how big or even how little you are. I hate it! I will go to great lengths to not pass anyone. When I say “great lengths”, we both know I have very few options. However, If I see you coming down the aisle, I will “about-face” and just go right back to the galley (my safe zone). If there is an empty aisle seat or a spacious over-wing exit row, it’s mine! I’m ducking in. You also have to know how to time service or clean up with the other crew members. There is nothing like someone passing you in the aisle during trash pick up and holding a bag of trash precariously over another person’s head. Even though I consider myself a bit of an aisle ninja…. sometimes in life you must do the inevitable.
So in this case, here are five very simple rules to follow:
First off, let me just start by quoting the immortal words of Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club,
“Now a question of etiquette; as I pass, do I give you the ass or the crotch…?”
Rule #1. Definitely the ass. Never the crotch. Two asses passing. Otherwise it is just dirty and may lead to rule #2.
Rule #2. Never ever ever never ever never touch me as you pass. Not with one hand, definitely NOT with two hands. Do not grasp my shoulders nor my waist. (There is a Dr. Seuss rhyme here, I can taste it.)
Rule #3. Do not lean over and say anything into my ear. Like my sister would say to her husband “Just do it quickly and get it over with!” Don’t tell me why you feel compelled to pass, don’t ask me for a drink and definitely do not whisper any compliments into my ear. ICK.
Rule #4. Turn your damn body. Chances are, you are thinner when turned sideways. If you’re not, no worries, I have already left the aisle because I could see you coming a mile away!
Rule #5. Turn into the void, not the seat back. You are going to lean into the area between the seat backs. Yes, this is someone’s personal space but that is the price they pay for sitting on the aisle.
That’s it, just five easy rules to remember. Your guide to correct airplane aisle passage.