Rich Eisen’s Horrible Take On Airplane Etiquette

Rich Eisen’s Horrible Take On Airplane Etiquette

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Rich Eisen from the NFL Network spent some time on his show this week talking about airplane etiquette, and he’s very wrong and selfish, and kind of a jerk.

He claims that when he talks about airplane travel it “trends worldwide,” and I can see why, because he’s that far off base. His previously claim was that the person in the middle seat doesn’t get both armrests, but rather that the person who gets there first gets both armrests.

Rich Eisen thinks you should put as much as you want in the overhead bin

The topic started when George Kittle, the tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, Tweeted a question about airplane etiquette. He stated that the person next to him in the exit row put two bags in the overhead bin, and asked for Twitter’s thoughts on this.

Eisen has very strong feelings about this, which is that you should put as much as you want in the overhead bin:

“Answer? Absolutely. Free for all. I got on the plane first exactly for that reason. Exactly for that reason.”

There’s a lot of discussion that revolves around how you can’t put anything under the seat in front of you in the exit row. In the United States this is generally not true, as most exit row seats do allow you to place things underneath the seat in front.

Eisen continues:

“You snooze, you lose. Get on the plane first. Period. End of story. The minute you can get on the plane, get on the plane.”

“We had a whole bunch of stuff, flights canceled, a couple of weeks ago. I flew in coach, which happens a lot, on my birthday. On my actual freaking birthday, all the way to the east coast. And guess what we did? We got on the first second we could, and we used every space we possibly could, because we could.”

In the next hour of the show after some people responded, Eisen says:

“I guess you’re supposed to only put one up there because I need to leave space for someone else, as if that person is really going to have your best interest in mind. Never.”

“Treat others how you want to be treated. I agree. I am fine with that if everyone signs a document going on the plane saying they are going to treat me the same way.”

You can watch the clip for yourself below.

What an awful approach to take in life

First of all, Eisen’s approach directly contradicts the policies of most airlines. You’re generally allowed one carry-on (which goes in the overhead bin) and one personal item (which goes underneath the seat in front of you). That’s the policy of virtually any airline that allows you to take two items onboard, and Eisen doesn’t seem to care that this is the rule.

More than that, though, I just can’t help but shake my head at his general approach toward things. Eisen doesn’t believe in doing the right things or following the rules, because he doesn’t think others care about him. But he would do the right thing if “everyone signs a document” saying they’re going to do the right thing.

Does this apply to other aspects of his life? Does he not pick up after his dog, because some other people don’t, so why should he? Does he not tip servers, because some people might not, so why should he? If he sees someone drop something, does he just keep it rather than returning it, because that’s what some people would do?

Also, this general attitude of “first on gets the overhead space” creates this ridiculous “gate lice” culture we have in the United States, where everyone crowds around the gate before boarding even starts, further complicating the process.

Bottom line

Rich Eisen claims that it’s okay to put as much as you want in airplane overhead bins because those who board first deserve it, and other people don’t care about you and would do the same thing. He’s completely wrong, but then again, this is also the guy who thinks that the person in the aisle gets both armrests if they get there before the person in the middle seat.

Where do you stand on Eisen’s overhead bin take?

(Tip of the hat to @EdwardDL702)

Conversations (52)
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  1. Goose Guest

    All depends on volume of flight. If full flight, theyll make clear: only rollers big bags in oh, free gate/ bag check, and then ive seen many attendants go around and get peoples smaller items to their seat to make room for a roller.

    if empty flight or middle or you dont know, welcome to try but if u see someone looking or attendant throws it back at ya, thats cool and of course...

    All depends on volume of flight. If full flight, theyll make clear: only rollers big bags in oh, free gate/ bag check, and then ive seen many attendants go around and get peoples smaller items to their seat to make room for a roller.

    if empty flight or middle or you dont know, welcome to try but if u see someone looking or attendant throws it back at ya, thats cool and of course fine.

    everything is situational in life. if i had a roller and saw a small bag, ive also had attendants remove them to owners to make room for mine. but dicks like the football player i take glee in throwing it back in their face.

  2. red_robbo Guest

    Never heard of the guy. What an obnoxious self-centred twat.

  3. Mendolorian Guest

    As someone who watches his show daily, this is not the first time airline travel etiquette has been brought up on the show and this piece is just a classic example of only watching a 10 min segment and forming an opinion instead of getting all of the information. Firstly, you are incorrect on his stance of the middle seat. He has always stated the middle seat gets BOTH armrests. Secondly, if you had watched...

    As someone who watches his show daily, this is not the first time airline travel etiquette has been brought up on the show and this piece is just a classic example of only watching a 10 min segment and forming an opinion instead of getting all of the information. Firstly, you are incorrect on his stance of the middle seat. He has always stated the middle seat gets BOTH armrests. Secondly, if you had watched the entire episode (and not just a clip), he clarifies his statement about putting multiple items in the overhead. Part of it has to do with getting on first (or early) to avoid having your carry-on checked at the gate because there is no longer any overhead space, but the 2nd item is only placed in the overhead once everyone has boarded and there is still room available, otherwise it goes under the seat...not the "I was here first, therefore I get it all" attitude you are painting (though admittedly this clip does rightfully give that illusion).

  4. Ron Guest

    Same kind of jerk that crowds into lines and rushes to the front of the merge lane to cut everyone off.

  5. Anthony Joseph Guest

    What I hate most of all with other passengers is that overhead bin is shared space. Sometimes I try to move/re-arrange stuff that is put in the overhead bin and the owner says "Don't touch my stuff".

    I can't tell you how many times, rotating a bag 90 degrees frees up space (with objections from owner even though the bin lid will close) or someone puts their jacket and don't want it moved (i.e....

    What I hate most of all with other passengers is that overhead bin is shared space. Sometimes I try to move/re-arrange stuff that is put in the overhead bin and the owner says "Don't touch my stuff".

    I can't tell you how many times, rotating a bag 90 degrees frees up space (with objections from owner even though the bin lid will close) or someone puts their jacket and don't want it moved (i.e. put in a bag and then neatly put that jacket on top of the luggage).

    This is the worst etiquette. Overhead bin space is shared space and people should be conscientious about how much stuff they put overhead (at least, pull one of their bags like a small backpack from the overhead bin and store it under the seat when others are looking to stow their bags)

  6. Zach B Guest

    I have put more than one bag up in the overhead bin, but I also carry a medical bag with me when travelling which adds a wrinkle to what i bring with me. Depending on the situation I will try to put my smaller bag on top of the carry on if there's space in the overhead bin or ask if it's okay to shuffle things around in the bin (within reason) to make space while making sure there is space for other people to use in the bin.

  7. hartd8 Member

    You do not need to put your 3 bags,coat,hat,lunch etc up there...but it happens all of the time.. People are entitled I guess.. Esp your tiny little purse..keep it by your feet.

  8. Warren Trout Guest

    Who?

    Rich people should buy first class.

  9. guisun Gold

    His general attitude is take as fast as you can, as much as you can, before others can. I don't know, but that kind of like is too stressful, always on the edge, must always be paranoid on who is going to try to screw him next, always trying to out compete. I simply go with the other guy. Treat others how you want to be treated.

  10. Eskimo Guest

    The entitlement flows strong in America.

    The real question is why George Kittle is sitting in an exit row. As an athlete, my body is my primary asset, and I wouldn't let seat pitch and width to compromise that especially on NFL salary. So I guess airlines are really screwing everyone and George Kittle can't be late for training?

    Reminds me of Cam Newtow debacle few years ago.

  11. TravelinWilly Diamond

    He sounds like a lost child of the dotard, but one who might actually have money. The selfishness is grotesque.

  12. Lune Member

    Umm, actually everyone does agree in writing... When you buy your economy ticket, you're allowed 1 carryon in the overhead and 1 small bag under the seat. It's right there in the terms and conditions of your ticket. The only exceptions are bulkhead seats that don't have a seat in front to slide a bag under.

    I'm sure Eisen knows this, but he ignores it. Which means he's a jackass who tries to justify his...

    Umm, actually everyone does agree in writing... When you buy your economy ticket, you're allowed 1 carryon in the overhead and 1 small bag under the seat. It's right there in the terms and conditions of your ticket. The only exceptions are bulkhead seats that don't have a seat in front to slide a bag under.

    I'm sure Eisen knows this, but he ignores it. Which means he's a jackass who tries to justify his selfishness by claiming everyone else is as selfish as he is.

    But this is easily resolved. If a passenger tries to board with more than what they contractually agreed to, they should be stopped at the gate and forced to check their bags. And afterwards, if you see a small bag in the overhead bin, you can call over a flight attendant, ask them about it, and they can check and see whose back it is and whether it's their second bag that should go under their seat. Usually someone will meekly raise their hand and take it and put it under their seat. I've seen it happen, and if it's enforced more regularly, even a blockhead like Eisen will stop embarrassing himself.

    1. Ron Guest

      When I used to travel for work I would generally check my bag (I know, I know) and take a backpack on board. The backpack went in overhead. Yes, it was a smaller item but I value the leg (or I guess foot room) of the seat in front of me being open. I was never asked to move it but if I had been I would have refused. Figure I'm entitled to one item up there even if it's a small one.

  13. AwesomeAl New Member

    Rich Eisen sounds like a jerk.

    I think you are feeding the fire by writing this article giving him the attention he is obviously angling for….

  14. eric Guest

    Always hate this flying domestic US.. I travel light (only small back pack) and agreed since people need to pay for checking luggage some people tarvel with 2 suitcase and 2 bags. And I'm a bad guy if I don't want to put my bag in front of me? I'm tall so were do I put my legs?

    1. chasgoose Guest

      I think that’s fine. If I checked luggage and am only traveling with my laptop bag, then I will often take out what I need and put the bag in the overhead. If someone ends up needing the space for something that won’t go under the seat and there would be room if I removed my bag I typically will do that. Most of the time, however, taking my bag out of the overhead isn’t going to clear up enough space for a carry-on bag anyways.

  15. Jawn Guest

    Hey Lucky, your pop-ups are awful and the sound takes over from Spotify when on mobile. I spend 90% less time on your blog as you continue to use a format much worse than before. Must be worth it $$$ to deliver a poor experience to your readers.

    1. Kevin Guest

      Try installing and using an ad-blocking browser like Brave or Firefox, or add a ad-blocking extension like uBlock Origin to your existing browser. Problem is usually 97% resolved.

  16. Donna Diamond

    While I have tried during my many years of flying to make the experience less miserable by employing various strategies, still the overwhelming worst part of air travel today is running into jerks like Eisen.

  17. Al Guest

    Ben, just curious do you follow sports at all?

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Al

      Some football game going on during the super bowl halftime show.

  18. Coli Guest

    Sounds like pretty much every I-got-mine boomer today.

    1. Chris Guest

      Really? That is the best you can do is blame those over 65? I travel with an 18 inch carryon and a small purse and have done so for 20 years. I cannot count time times 20 something’s dressed in dirty pj pants shoved duffels large enough to hold a body in the overhead then jammed an equally large backpack under their seat.

    2. CoLi Guest

      Then I guess you're not an "I-got-mine" brand of boomer that I'm talking about.

    3. Webby Guest

      Really? In my experience Boomers tend to check bags because they are used it and frankly aren't bothered by cost. It's the vagabonds in their 20s who abuse the carry on rule with massive back packs and bags. Well them and couples with kids who have more carry-on bags that people in their families.

    4. Coli Guest

      Nah it's usually rollaboards by grey-goateed POSes like the guy in the video.

  19. Peter Guest

    Welcome to sports "journalism", where 99% of it is controversial hot takes meant to elicit engagement.

  20. Alonzo Diamond

    Covid brainwashed people into thinking that others care about you. They don't and they never have. Eisen may be wrong morally, but what he's saying isn't untrue.

    1. Ralph4878 Guest

      I would argue the exact opposite: COVID showed us exactly who many of our neighbors and, in my case, fellow Americans are - folks like Eisen.

    2. JWags Guest

      That may be true, but it just showed a ton of moral grandstanding about "protecting your neighbors and others" when in reality that didn't hold true in 95% of their lives.

  21. Lukas Guest

    I’ve been fortunate enough not to fly coach sen 2015, but I routinely travel with two full sized carry-ons and a personal item and always board early to put all bags overhead. Never been an issue.

    1. JWags Guest

      What airline is letting you bring 2 full sized carryons every flight? I'd be annoyed if I was sitting in first/business in your row and couldn't put my bag above me cause you brought 2 big ass bags on and put them both above us

  22. Wes Guest

    I’m a 6’7’’ coach flyer. I absolutely need the full amount of under seat room for my feet, or I can’t fit. So I routinely place two bags up top/ take the Eisen approach.

    Wouldn’t have to do this back in the “more room throughout coach” days. And yes, I am too cheap to pay up for MCE.

    I do tend to agree that this shouldn’t be necessary in a non-bulkhead exit row.

  23. SwimBikeFly Guest

    Space in the overhead bin was never an issue until the airlines started charging for checked luggage. Maybe Eisen is being a bit of a jerk, but this me-first mentality onboard and lack of overhead space issue is directly caused by the airlines.

    1. Ralph4878 Guest

      Americans were selfish and self-centered far before airlines started charging for checked bags...

    2. JWags Guest

      Charging for bags has nothing to do with the jackwagons who board a plane and immediately throw their things into a forward overheard bin before walking back to their seat in the 20s

  24. Pub lunch Guest

    Not true that the US is the only culture with gate ice - Europe is just as bad and there gate agents do little about it, except LH e gates bounce people who try to board early.

    1. JWags Guest

      1000% Ive seen people in Asia queuing up before the previous flight has even finished boarding. I remember boarding a flight in Group 1 and needing to ask for assistance cause I was physically unable to get through the group of people hovering around the boarding lane, many trying to sneak past attendants.

  25. Dj Guest

    Best thing about forward cabin is not sitting next to a-holes with Eisen's mentality.

    1. Bob Guest

      The forward cabin at least in the US is full of a-holes with self-inflated egos.

      Corporate drones who make <50k that fly around the country and feel important because their boss pays for their flights and they get a shiny elite card.

    2. SwimBikeFly Guest

      Sounds awfully similar to the people who sit up front because they got a shiny credit card that gave them enough points to sit up front and has fueled a self-inflated ego.

      You’re part of the problem.

    3. reddargon Diamond

      Lol, love needlessly inflammatory comments like this. Thanks for the laugh SwimBikeFly.

  26. Brandon Biden Guest

    Eisen has been, always will be, a jack wad.
    Is why no one likes him.

    1. JetAway Guest

      If no one likes him why does have a show? Money talks, as he does for his employer.

    2. Reno Joe Guest

      For the same reason Howard Stern does. They appeal to a base me-me-me culture. Any other person with a screw-the-other-guy outlook only has friends to the extent he has money -- once the money is gone, the "friends" are.

    3. your daddy Guest

      Omg what a stupid story, who cares how much stuff someone puts in the overhead bid. Sorry this triggers the snowflakes...

    4. Ralph4878 Guest

      Yes, @your daddy, show us you're a big boy by using right-wing buzz words like "triggers" and "snowflakes" - impressive!

    5. Bob Guest

      You read an article you dont think matters, then read the comments just to then comment how everything is stupid. And we're the ones wasting our time? Lol

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Donna Diamond

While I have tried during my many years of flying to make the experience less miserable by employing various strategies, still the overwhelming worst part of air travel today is running into jerks like Eisen.

4
SwimBikeFly Guest

Space in the overhead bin was never an issue until the airlines started charging for checked luggage. Maybe Eisen is being a bit of a jerk, but this me-first mentality onboard and lack of overhead space issue is directly caused by the airlines.

4
Lune Member

Umm, actually everyone does agree in writing... When you buy your economy ticket, you're allowed 1 carryon in the overhead and 1 small bag under the seat. It's right there in the terms and conditions of your ticket. The only exceptions are bulkhead seats that don't have a seat in front to slide a bag under. I'm sure Eisen knows this, but he ignores it. Which means he's a jackass who tries to justify his selfishness by claiming everyone else is as selfish as he is. But this is easily resolved. If a passenger tries to board with more than what they contractually agreed to, they should be stopped at the gate and forced to check their bags. And afterwards, if you see a small bag in the overhead bin, you can call over a flight attendant, ask them about it, and they can check and see whose back it is and whether it's their second bag that should go under their seat. Usually someone will meekly raise their hand and take it and put it under their seat. I've seen it happen, and if it's enforced more regularly, even a blockhead like Eisen will stop embarrassing himself.

3
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