Whine Wednesdays: Passengers Who Ignore Fasten Seat Belt Signs & Announcements


This weeks Whine Wednesday is about something you will see during every other flight: Passengers who blatantly ignore the fasten seat belt signs and announcements!

Be it that passengers stand around the aisle, visit the washroom and get up to grab something from the overhead bin it appears like the ignorance of people has no boundaries.

Sometimes you really got to wonder if a flight that lasts several hours isn’t long enough to get done what needs to be done on time. Such as going to the toilet or stowing your belongings in the overhead bin.

After all, we all know that the plane is eventually going to land right? And just for convenience the airline even tells us when.

A good example was just on display again last week when I booked a last minute flight from Abu Dhabi to Bangkok on Etihad Airways Economy Class.

The flight was an absolute gong show as far as my fellow passengers were concerned. You really got the impression that more than half of them never set foot on an airplane before. I had an Exit Row seat and could nicely follow how every second passenger who visited the lavatory tried to open the door with the ashtray installed in the door instead of just pushing it to fold to the side.

Much worse however was the behavior of people who constantly got up and either visited the washroom or dealt with the overhead bin during both take off and landing as well in between. It was a somewhat bumpy flight and the ‘Fasten Seal Belt’ sign was on many times. In addition to that the crew also made very frequent and clear announcements.


People should really pay proper attention to safety announcements and follow them. The guy in the picture above thought it was a good idea to do some stretching exercise during final approach. After he got sent back to his seats by the cabin crew destiny struck before he sat down and a hefty bump caused him to hit his head on the bin. Often life isn’t fair but sometimes it is!

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  • Joseph Merrick

    What makes you superior to people who are taking their first flight and therefore might not know how some of the things (like toilet doors) work?

    Besides, from my experience, the people who are more likely to ignore safety announcements are those who think they can judge the situation better than the flight captain, ergo frequent flyers who are full of themselves.

    • dave the knave

      Agree, the know-it-alls can be more annoying than the inexperienced travelers. Then again, I love plowing through people blocking the exit from the MTR in Hong Kong or loitering in the middle of airport walkways and send them flying like bowling pins. Not understanding proper procedures in an airplane is one thing, but no mercy for these idiots that insist on trying to crowd into the subway.

      • as

        Haha, you do no such thing tough guy!

    • cscasi

      But, how many are there that do not fir the “first flight” category? Probably 99%!

  • Jill Gillham

    There are also the times for some when digestive upset or feminine hygiene concerns cannot wait until after the seatbelt light goes off, and many in that position are careful not to show their problem in their facial expression.

    • cscasi

      True. But for every one of those, there are numerous ones that do not fall into that category; just like those who have ot go to the bathroom just as soon as they board the plane and tend to block boarding passengers while they are going to or coming from the restroom.

  • John

    Reminds me on a flight with Turkish once, where we at some point stopped on the way taxiing to the gate after landing. Basically everyone got out of their seat, but didn’t sit down again as plane continued to move. Suddenly captain hit the brakes and people fell like dominos in the aisle…

  • Paul

    Why does Ethiad have ashtrays in their bathroom doors? Most if not all their planes are new unlike Delta that flys vintage aircraft.

    • Nenad Pasic

      It is a legal requirement, under air navigation orders, to have ashtrays because while smoking is not permitted on flights, if someone were to light a cigarette on board there must be somewhere to safely extinguish it. It makes sense when you know why 🙂

  • Nenad Pasic

    I am all for following the safety rules, signs, direction, etc.
    To me, this guy is waiting for someone to exit the toilet, which means there is more then one person violating seat belt sign in this picture.
    He might have also arrived there before the sign went on.
    But how does one cope with the urge to use the restroom?
    Because that urge does not necessarily come during the most convenient time.
    I remember once during the landing approach I had to hold myself so hard that my bladder almost bursted (or at least it felt that way)…
    What would you do? Do it in a zip bag and risk inappropriate exposure charges? Do it in your pants? Wear diapers?
    I am anxious to hear your thoughts.

    • cscasi

      Go before you get on the airplane. Wait until the plane gets to cruising altitude and the Captain turns off the seat belt light. Go to the restroom before the plane begins the descent for landing (Captain always announces when that is getting ready to happen) and finally, wait until you deplane and use the restoom around the gate area.

      • Nenad Pasic

        sounds great, but what if there is a turbulent take off, which I experienced before and the seatbelt sign was on for well over 2 hours into the flight? I am not trying to play the devils advocate, but there must be some kind of guideline on this somewhere 🙂
        you described ideal conditions…

        • Harry Webb

          In other words, plan ahead and do the right thing.

          • Nenad Pasic

            yeahI get that, but sometimes that simply does not work, no matter how much ahead you plan and try to predict… for example: short connection from one flight to another, then connecting flight having several hours of seat belt sign on – now what? what would you do?

          • as

            You’re not going to please this guy!

  • Citizen of the Universe

    Those who are now trying to find a good reason for anybody to be standing while the engines are still not off, obviously have never taken a local flight in the Middle East. Statistically, it looks like the whole nation suffers from sudden digestion issues, unexpected feminine hygiene concerns and other urges that are happening right during the landing approach.

    • TangaTalalag

      Agree, when I worked in Saudi I travelled on more Saudia flights than I care to remember and there were always violations of seat belts, opening lockers, getting up ready to get off when the plane had just touched down, going to the toilet etc.

      They just don’t get the idea that there is a reason for not getting up when the seat belt sign is on. A mixture of stupidity, ignorance and just plane dumb

  • Der Fliegende Amerikaner
    • BenniHK

      That’s exactly how I thought!

  • Joe

    Every other flight? More like multiple times on every flight.

    But when you have to go, you have to go.

  • rxgeek

    I was on an Egyptair flight where children were standing in row-1 during the final right in front of the seated FA who said nothing.

  • BenniHK

    I just thinking whether it’s legal to shoot someone in the public purposely for blogs, without asking for permission.
    It is not the first time, I really last time he posted a pic of a Chinese lady wearing hotel robe to have breakfast and whined a thousand words!

    • We tend to use photos where the face is so blur that the person is not recognisable or blur it. Privacy laws are country specific. I would assume that hotel public space such as restaurant or airline cabin has no reasonable expectations for privacy.

  • Human after all

    I’m so sorry that his royal higness was forced to share any space with those oh so ignorant people.
    The galaxy apologizes.

    Seriously, so much bigotry and looking down on other people in this blog, it’s disgusting. And he calls is a “conclusion”!

    Next time take a private plane. I pity the FA though.