Passenger party makes flight dismal
BY Ask Amy
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
4/04/12 at 2:38 AM
Dear Amy: While on a transatlantic flight to the states from Europe recently, passengers across the aisle from us talked loudly and laughed for five of the seven hours of the flight.
Other friends of theirs stood in the aisle and contributed to the "fun," blocking my view of the overhead video.
The raucous laughter and chatter could not be drowned out by my earphones. Reading was impossible.
We will be taking a 15-hour flight soon, and I am already anxious about again being subjected to this thoughtless behavior.
Other than spending $400 for noise abatement earphones, is there a polite way one could approach loud talkers to explain that their voices are driving me to distraction? - Nervous Flier
Dear Nervous: Tolerating something you find intolerable for five hours without even attempting to do something about it doesn't make you a tolerant person - it makes you seem like a doormat.
The way to politely approach people who are bothering you is to imagine how you would like to be approached if the situation were reversed.
You should assume that people are not aware of the imposition they are foisting upon you. This assumption might be incorrect, but it is kind and will help your polite appeal.
You can say, "Excuse me but could you please lower your voices - and do you think you could find a seat so I can see the monitor?"
The background noise on airplanes sometimes tempts people to speak loudly because they can't actually hear themselves. At least that was my excuse on a recent flight when a fellow passenger asked me and my seatmate to please talk more quietly. We complied and apologized.
Dear Amy: "Stressed Out Bride" worried about inviting a co-worker who is a problem drinker to her wedding.
I faced this, too - only the "problems" were my parents! I solved this by not serving alcohol at my wedding. We all had a great time, and nobody missed the booze in the slightest.
This bride needs to decide what is more important, serving alcohol or inviting her co-worker. Excluding this co-worker could cause her problems well into the future. - Smart Bride
Dear Smart: I understand your choice but don't think that one troublesome co-worker should dictate this couple's plans.
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