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Johan Van Aarde
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Ethics of flying

18 December 2013, 14:03

Are there ethics when flying? Do I really have to care about the people around me? I’m never going to see them again, so why do I care? Yes, there are ethics when flying. Just in about everything, you need to take other into consideration.

Since I was a little boy, I wanted to see the world. It was the most amazing thing when my stepfather flew to Cape Town, and we could stand on the viewing deck and you saw those planes taking off and landing. Since then I wanted to see where they all go.

It’s about 35 years later, and I ‘m a world traveler. I have 2 countries that I still want to see (Russia and Antarctica), all the rest I already ticked off. Some of them have got a few ticks next to them, and some I don’t have space for more ticks. I have loyalty cards for Hotels, Airlines, Car rental companies, and food companies. Why, because I WANT the rewards. If I keep on supporting you, what is in it for me? I have my preferred airlines, hotel’s, car rental companies and restaurants that I use whenever travelling.

I also saw and experienced a number of things while traveling. One of the things that always astound me is the people.

You get all sorts of people from different countries, ethnic backgrounds, religions, male, female, young, old, with kids, alone, beautiful, ugly etc etc etc.

I firmly believe that there should be a written (or verbal) exam before you  are allowed to fly, so that people (certain of them) understand how to behave when in a confined space with other people.

Personal Space

Everybody is allocated ONE seat. Unless you paid for 2 and checked yourself in twice. When you do sit on your seat, please keep all your limbs within your own space.

I am a big boy, but, I go out of my way to ensure that I stay within my “allocated space”.  Even if it means that I am uncomfortable, but I keep to my space. It’s uncomfortable when a person enters your private little space with elbows, knees etc. How difficult is it to take other people also into consideration?


I’m a gadget freak and like my toys when travelling. I have an iPod, iPhone, Kindle, MacBook etc etc etc. I also had the original earphones that came with the toys. (Note to Apple, you’re in ear headphones suck.)

When listening to your music, or watching a movie, please turn the sound down. Try to keep it within your personal space. Invest in proper headphones that does give you the best sound quality AND reduce the external noise.

Also, bodily noises are a BIG no no. Maybe it is ok in your ethnic group to make certain noises, or go fetch something far far back in your through. It is not acceptable for all people, rather get up, go to the toilets and do it in the privacy of an enclosed space.

Bodily Odors

Need I say more? If you do have problems with smell, then please ask someone you trust to advise you. Also, listen to them. If they say you stink, go take a shower, use cologne or perfume.

But please keep in mind that you can also use TO MUCH cologne or perfume. Once again, ask your trusted friend.


I seldom take carry on suitcases. I have my Laptop bag with everything I need in it. My suitcase goes into the cargo hold. On a few flights, people had to move and shove and push and pull just to force their luggage into the overhead compartment.

I firmly believe that airlines should be stricter on the allowance of carry on. The ONLY time I use a carry on suit case, is when I am pressed for time. And then I ONLY take one bag. I ensure that my laptop and toys are within the same bag.

I saw people with 2 small suitcases, a handbag and a backpack. That is my big suitcase plus some extra. So is it right if I can split it up in smaller bags?

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