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Why do people have to act so bad when flying Delta? Time for some #PassengerShaming pet peeve’s of mine!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

teenagers boarding with pre-board renespoints blog in ATL
Do these folks REALLY need to pre-board?

A few weeks ago, during my Rookie Wednesday series that everyone should read not just rookies, I highlighted the many boarding “groups” or zones etc. Delta has and uses. I also said somewhat tongue and cheek:

“those with a limp (real limp, or not), parents with lots of kids who need time even if half of the kids are teens”

And one of the reasons I included this was the folks you see above boarding with a number of teens that apparently needed more time boarding. Now I am not judging that these teens maybe had an absolute fear of flying and needed the extra time to have the courage to even board, but it sure did not seem this way (think fake emotional support animal here to me). Boarding can be such a mess with Delta.

folks sitting down and taking off shoes in boarding area dfw airport renespoints blog
Sitting down in boarding area? Ugg!

Take another example you see above. These folks have taken shoes off (flip flops) and are even sitting down and blocking the boarding area. Really? Not OK folks.

left over delta pillow and blanket left behind in msp renespoints blog
Please put these away when done people!

But there are nameless passengers that need to be shamed. I get that things can happen where you have to sleep in an airport overnight. Canceled flights or full hotels or whatever but either 1) Delta has provided some blankets and pillows or 2) you have “removed” them from another flight so then be decent enough to take them somewhere to have a Delta person put them back into the system not just leave them where you slept on the floor overnight. FAIL!

man with both feet up on bulkhead wall delta first class renespoints blog
Just NOT OK at all!

This last one is one of my biggest pet peeve’s when flying. I know Delta 1st class bulkhead rows can have limited leg room. The worst has to be the 100 (soon 100) new 737-900er aircraft where 1A has almost ZERO room and is maybe the worst first class seat on any Delta jet they fly. Yeah, it is THAT bad. But in the photo above it is a CRJ700 that has a decent amount of room. Either way, it is no excuse for THAT kind of behavior. Feet do not belong on the bulkhead wall!

What do you think. What other events have you seen that drive you nuts? Maybe a parent changing a baby on the tray table that will have food on it during the next flight? What is the most shameful event you have seen a passenger do flying Delta? – René

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. I’m right there with you about the chaos in the boarding area. It’s not just unique to Delta, of course, but I expect Delta to manage their boarding areas a bit better as the “premier airline.”

  2. Ed Dingman Reply

    I think the Delta gate agents in the US need to control the boarding process better. I like Incheon and Narita where they check and line the groups up. Anyone can board as soon as it starts here.

  3. Ed Dingman Reply

    Passengers who place their overhead bags while walking back to their seat in back before even checking to see if there is room by them. Someone did that to me and took up my overhead space and he was in back of plane and one of first to sit back there. I moved his bag after everyone boarded without him knowing to another section. LOL

  4. I never understood why we Americans have the obsessions to put our feet or shoes on everything.. On tables in the lounge, on seats in front, everywhere. Keep your feet on the floor!

  5. I’ve had to literally shove people out of the way who were blocking the boarding lane before. It’s honestly ridiculous.

  6. I may stir one up here but First Class passengers siting in Row 2-4 (think MD88) who pile all their large bags in the overhead bins above Row 1…..knowing that those who sit there must put all their belongings up there for takeoff and landing….nothing worse than having to swim back stream to Row 4 to retrieve your bags after you land. In addition to that First class passengers putting their tiny items which would easily fit under the seat in front of them and instead putting them in the overhead bins causing the same issue.

  7. I was waiting in one of many lines for individual customs agents. In front of me was a young woman, who kept glancing over at a young man in the next line over. Then after 10 minutes, and our line is moving quicker, he jumps over with her to my line. I call him out on it, and he is incredulous. “this is my wife, man!” Then why did you abandon her and choose another line? I said. “To see which one is moving faster”. And you don’t see a problem with that? How about if a family of 8 did that? Sweeping generalization, but millenials seem to think the rules don’t apply to them, and their time is more important than everyone else’s.

  8. People who take their shoes off or go barefoot. Just because it does not smell to you does not mean your feet don’t stink. And barefoot with vomit, urine etc on the floor?

  9. I have put my feet up on the bulkhead, Rene, because the seat belt sign was on and I have a bad knee that gets stiff if I don’t straighten it out every so often. If I’m not in a bulkhead seat, I’ll stretch my legs into the aisle after checking to make sure no one is coming. Now, granted, it’s for a very short time unlike the person in the picture, but sometimes it is an absolute necessity. My apologies to all offended but I do want to be able to walk off the plane.

  10. If those people sitting on the floor realized what I was just standing in at the sky club bathroom, they would stay on their feet. I get tired of telling the sky club to mop their nasty bathroom floors…..

  11. I’ve always thought it it’s interesting how many people need extra help getting on the plane but they don’t need it getting off the plane.

    My other new irritation “therapy dog.” A way to get away with not putting your larger dog under the plane.

    And I’ve always hated a person who fully reclines at top speed the minute the front gear locks in.

  12. I agree with Todd’s “feet on tables in the SkyClub” comment. I see teens and adults put their shoed or even bare feet on the coffee tables in the Club where I had intended to put my food. No doubt, those shoes have traversed at least one bathroom floor and are carrying germs. Of course, since many of these same folks don’t wash their hands after the toilet and then, forgoing the serving utensils just stick their hands in the food, maybe I should just avoid the SkyClub altogether. It seems people have forgotten that consideration and respect for others is a hallmark of civilization.

  13. Man, I’m with you on everything else in this except the feet on the bulkhead. I routinely will cross my legs and rest the tip of my foot against there, because it is insanely comfortable. And if in coach on a long haul? You bet, though shoes will be off. There is no expectation of cleanliness on an airplane if you’ve ever flown before, and honestly, it’s the perk of the bulkhead row. If airlines didn’t want you doing it, they would post a sign. Since they obviously don’t care, it’s free game. Any FA telling you to remove your feet is power tripping.

  14. Boarding was almost done. Guy came on the plane and sat next to me. When we landed in MSP and went to Immigrations th only thing he had was a neck pillow. No bag at all. That’s scary.

  15. Tyrell track master Reply

    I blame the $25 bag fees that delta now has (and everyone else) that make people fear for their lives that the overhead bin space will be gone.

    If I knew I’d have space then who cares when I get on?

  16. talking on the cell phone in speaker phone mode in public areas. I get that phones are necessary, but I do not need to here both side of the call. Get a hand free or use the phone like it was designed on you ear.

  17. Big pet peeve is the growing trend to have calls, or watch movies on a phone, WITHOUT using earbuds. I see parents letting their kids do this a lot on planes – it’s annoying anywhere, but in a confined space like that, it’s beyond rude.

    A note on early boarding ‘limping’ – I have the misfortune to have 2 torn ACLs (both knees). I walk fine on level surfaces, but I can be pretty slow going down an inclined jetbridge. So I board in the ‘extra time’ group, but only after explaining the situation to the gate agent. I get the occasional stinkeye from other passengers, who see me walking fine around the gate, no cane, etc – and then don’t see me edging slowly along the wall as I go down the jetbridge. (Getting off is no issue; it’s going ‘downhill’ that is a problem for the knees). Point being, there are folks who definitely abuse the system, but not every problem is clear to outside observation.

    • @Todd – Oh I agree. Toss in “face time” in clubs with grand kids on loud speaker. Sorry about knees. Ouch. I can see that being a total pain and how it would only hurt one way. Ouch again. But I think the teens in my photo did not have your issue!

  18. @Rene – oh, absolutely! I see occasional abuse of the ‘need extra time’ boarding process, especially with respect to the age of the kids like your photos shows. Some parents traveling with kids of whatever age can be really oblivious to etiquette – I used to fly a lot to Orlando FL for work, and those flights were the worst, from boarding to landing; stuff like kids running up and down the aisle, regardless of whether the FAs were trying to get carts through and so on.

    There is a flip side to this, I suppose. If you fly some smaller carriers abroad, they don’t do any pre-boarding, at all, and when you couple that with a lack of a queueing culture – it can turn into a free-for-all to board, which is really hard on those that truly have a need for more time to board. I’ll take the pre-boarding abusers any day over that scrum 🙂

  19. dot cahill Reply

    I agree those in wheelchairs or needing early boarding just jump up as we get to the gate and try to get off .1).Some really do need help so they should wait for the chair!!!vs getting off and going nowhere fast ..blocking another 100+ peeps from getting off too!!!!2) Those idiots who put all of their bags in the overhead (unless in row1 or exit) and even move my One bag in overhead to get theirs together…. 3) the overwhelming amount of so called emotional support/service /psych dogs… It even worse on the large dogs especially when traveling it is NUTS too many and i seem to get in the seat next to them–TOOOmany flights!!!

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