Airplane etiquette?

Craig left the following question on the “Ask Lucky” page of the blog:

An etiquette question for a incident I experienced and wanted to see if there were any others you or your readers experienced.

I was on a overnight CX flight SYD-HKG in business and as we were taxiing to take off, the bloke in the seat next to me proceeded to take his shirt off and put another one on but then preceded to take his pants off and, sat in his seat in his stripy boxers. He did not change into anything else the whole flight and ate, read and slept this way, not using a blanket to cover up his legs or boxers.

It was rather a unusual situation and I could tell the flight attendants were embarrassed. On landing he again changed shirts and put his pants on in his seat.

Am I the only one that finds that unacceptable? Have you seen a thing like this?

What do you guys think? 😀

In terms of “have I seen anything like this?” well…

I’ve only seen the opposite. Here’s what I experienced on a Japan Airlines flight from Tokyo to New York last year:

The older Japanese gentleman seated across from me (who I’m 99% sure is a Japanese TV personality) decided not to wear underwear with his pajamas. I know this because when he changed into his pajamas he prominently placed his underwear on the tray table. He then proceeded to fart most of the way to New York. I’m pretty sure we only needed half a tank of gas to get to New York, cause he provided the other half…

Anyone else? 😉

Filed Under: Travel
  1. I would have told him to put his pants back on the rest of the fellow passengers do not want to see his underwear……totally unacceptable behavior.

  2. I think Craig is being a little bit too precious – If you don’t like it, then just ignore the person.

    Might as well make yourself as comfortable when flying an overnighter. I probably would’ve changed into shorts over boxers; but whatever floats your boat!

  3. Ok, Lucky, you have just gotten me to laugh heartily over a travel blog….Was the half-naked guy hot? or not? Supposedly the flyers in BA First, routinely don’t wear underwear…I guess you have to be there! Old Japanese guy…..farting in Japan isn’t an issue like it is here in America! Burping and blowing your nose…you will be stared out of a restaurant! But slurping your noodles and farting afterwards…that’s ok!

  4. That’s crazy. Not only is it super inappropriate, but those flights get so cold! Gross. I’m surprised the FAs couldn’t/didn’t do anything.

  5. Even on Lufthansa, I’d think boxers only with no blanket would be pretty cold. I sleep in a t-shirt on most airlines and bring my own battery powered fan so I can use the blanket.

  6. A girl sat next to me on BA LHR-YVR in the paired club seats started brushing her teeth as we came in to land!

  7. A coworker of mine just showed me a pic the other day that her sister took of some guy across the aisle in coach with no shirt on.

  8. Lucky,

    What’s the deal with Japan Airlines?

    It seems like anyone who flies them has at least one disgusting story to tell. Here’s mine…

    I once saw a Japanese salaryman quite obviously wanking off under a blanket while staring at a flight attendant sitting on a jumpseat right in front of him.

    I expected the attendant to flip out and say something but she just pretended everything was normal or that she couldn’t see what was going on.

    How bizarre.


    Anyway, here’s another airplane etiquette question for you.

    If a guy offers another guy access to a lounge out of the blue, is that considered a (rather clumsy) indication of sexual interest?

    If I offered guest access to a woman she’d probably assume I was at least a little interested, and she’d probably be right.

    I’m not gay myself and I don’t make a habit of accepting favors from strangers, but I figured you’d probably know the score on something like that.

  9. >If I offered guest access to a woman she’d probably assume I was at least a little interested, and she’d probably be right.

    I was at the SFO Admirals Club counter getting help and an lady next to me was asking about lounge access and didn’t qualify. While she was debating if she should pay for a day pass I almost offered to guest her in. Good thing I didn’t because she might think I was hitting on her heh. She was not my type and had at least 20 years on me.

  10. Wow, she sounds like a predatory cougar who trolls in front of loungers hoping guys 20 years her junior will fall under her spell and invite her into the lounge and then hope for more later. But you were able to resist that older hag’s seductions, good for you. You certainly dodged a bullet there!

  11. Beside farting,..
    Adding something to the list that may not be as bad in Asia but very bad in the US is: picking your nose. It seems more acceptable (not good but acceptable).
    In Japan, you can eat ramen very loudly and considered a good thing; it is the way to show to the chef that the food is good.
    The list goes on…

  12. I think the larger issue is that people are often gross in public. I see someone clipping their fingernails on the subway here in NY at least once a week.

    Planes only seem private upfront. All of this grosses me out, but none of it surprises me.

  13. I’m always commando when in airline pajamas, and I fart like a bad ‘un on the best of days, but even I draw the line short of undercrackers on the table.

  14. ChasingThePoints: I was looking for that pic! When I saw it the first time, I sent it to every member of my family and we got a big LOL out it.

  15. Theoretically, those could’ve been just regular shorts. Some of them don’t look much different than boxers.

    I don’t know that taking clothes off would be a huge deal for me as long as people maintain basic sanitary standards. On an IAH-DME(-SIN) flight in SQ F, a gentleman across from me enjoyed going sockless too much (and put dirty socks in clean places). Just put SQ socks on and keep the seats clean! But I guess the norms could be different in Asian countries.

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