10 signs you’re NOT a frequent flyer

1. You try to take yogurt through the TSA checkpoint, and when they try to confiscate it, you argue it’s not a liquid and that the last time you flew you could take it through
2. You use the term stewardess or air hostess
3. When you see a deadheading or commuting pilot, you make a comment somewhere along the lines of “Ain’t you supposed to be flying the plane, captain,” thinking it’s funny
4. You look at the row number for each row as you make your way to seat 57G, as if there’s no logic to the seat numbering
5. As you enter through door 1L, you ask whether your seat is left or right
6. You complain about jetlag when flying to a destination one time zone away
7. You police the electronic devices of passengers around you, because you think disaster will strike if an iPod is on under 18,000 feet
8. You respect the TSA and refer to them as “officers”
9. You make constant references and note the subtle differences between your flight in 2000 to Kansas City and today’s flight, typically sharing your experiences in a “The last time I flew….” format
10. “Well, I guess we’re seatmates, we might as well get to know each other”

Feel free to add your own. The sad thing is that I’ve witnessed all of these at one point or another, most on several occasions. Please keep in mind that this is meant in good fun. I’ve written in the past about signs you fly too much and signs you’re in for a long flight, so I’m not picking on any group here.


  1. UA specific:
    11. “so did your company pay for the upgrade to E+” And the other guy answered yes, to which the guy who asked said “yea me too”.
    Being that this was on SYD-SFO I was just tempted to tell them that if they registered for DEQM they could have free E+ for free but I didnt want to be nosy 🙂

  2. 13. You tell the GA that a bigger plane should be used because small planes are unsafe and then refuse to board. (Saw this on SNA-LAX older lady wanted atleast a 737 instead of embraer)

  3. #7 reminds me of one of my favorite West Wing lines (from the pilot):
    Flight Attendant: “You can’t use your phone until we land sir”.
    Toby Ziegler: “We’re flying in a Lockheed Eagle series L-1011. It came off the line 20 months ago. It carries a Sim-5 transponder tracking system. And you’re telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?” 😀

  4. 14. You’re sitting in the last row of coach because you didn’t or couldn’t pre-select a seat.

  5. >3. When you see a deadheading or commuting pilot, you make a comment >somewhere along the lines of “Ain’t you supposed to be flying the plane, >captain,” thinking it’s funny

    Funny, I usually look at them and think “Hey chum, what’s with the four carry-ons?”

    >14. You’re sitting in the last row of coach because you didn’t or couldn’t >pre-select a seat.


  6. – People who explode the packet of peanuts over 5 rows

    – People who express surprise when I refuse the drink and snack. It’s a 1.25 hour flight … I can survive.

    – People who think I am “lucky” for sitting in the exit row (in fact, most of my exit row mates are NOT frequent flyers, and Delta designates these as premium seats for those with any status that simply take the time to choose them at booking)

    – you think there is some dark conspiracy or magic determining who gets upgraded (corollary: you don’t believe there is such a thing as a “fare class”)

    – 4 attempts to pass through the metal detector. Don’t you know the rules, and what you are wearing that’s metal? Don’t you know the laptop needs to come out? Don’t you know your shoes need to come off? The gold chain? The honking belt buckle?

    In ATL, the “Black Diamond/Elite Flyer” security lane is commingled with the First Class lane. Some of the biggest bozo passengers I’ve seen at security have been the first-class non-frequent flyers.

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