If cattle class is a lesson in patience, first class is a lesson in ego management. From the infamous ‘nutgate’ incident of 2014 to Emirates (ostensibly) being forced to lock up its expensive booze in 2019, history is full of passengers who failed to keep their self importance in check.
Of course, it’s all too easy to paint all first-class passengers as conceited. We all have our hangups. As Sydney University professor of sociology Robert Van Krieken told DMARGE last year, “standards of behaviour in public places… don’t actually vary that much” across cabin dividers.
In other words: there are good people, and there are dickheads, in both economy and first.
He also said that, when he has flown at the pointy end, “I haven’t felt at all that other passengers are particularly stuck up – it’s just a plane trip, and mostly everyone just keeps to themselves.”
This in mind (as a friendly ‘not all first class passengers’ disclaimer), the following video shows there are still some premium flyers who live up to the ‘oblivious elite’ stereotype. Posted to Instagram on Monday by Guinness World Record holder for being the youngest male to visit all 196 countries, James Asquith, the video shows a passenger in the Air France first class lounge snoozing with no socks.
Think we’re hyperventilating at an innocuous act? Consider the warm aroma of ~feet~ in an enclosed space, and think again.
“Umm, socks at least,” Asquith captioned the video. “Public place dude. First class, no class.”
Asquith, who appears to spend more time in the air than most commercial pilots, told DMARGE this was a common occurrence in first-class lounges.
This is not the first time in recent months a pointy end passenger has aired their grievences about other passengers’ behaviour. Business class blogger Zach Griff posted a video in August urging fellow passengers to stop standing up as soon as the seatbelt goes off.
View this post on Instagram
“The pandemic has caused airlines to rethink many elements of the travel journey. But in the video above, you’ll see the one major social distancing challenge I’d like to see airlines fix — deplaning,” Mr. Griff wrote on Instagram.
“On both of my recent flights, passengers popped right up when they heard the ‘chime,’ despite repeated announcements to stay seated… Not sure exactly what airlines can do about it, but it needs to be addressed.”
Australian Wellness Ambassador for Etihad, Kiara Graham told DMARGE this chime crime, “is always such a hot topic” and “I think it’s understandable that a lot of passengers will do things that they’ve always done when travelling – and it does take a bit of time to adapt to a new way of travelling.”
“For me, communication is key here. We have to re-educate passengers on how to travel. It’s my job to make sure passengers have absorbed this new information and feel comfortable with these changes. It takes time to get used to, but we understand that everyone is trying their best.”