New rule: hey you in the aisle seat, don’t give me “that look” when I indicate that I need to get up from my window seat to use the lav (yeah, you on the Paris Orly to Heathrow flight last week). I’m not doing this just for the fun of it. I don’t expect you to smile, but please, no big dramatic sigh and eye roll.

New rule: if we’re going to sit next to each other for six hours or longer, it’s not ok to pretend I don’t exist. I’m not even asking for a hello or a nod of the head when I plunk down my magazine or the seat next to you, but pretending that I’m a flying ghost is just silly. Promise, I won’t talk your ear off or even talk at all. Just acknowledge my existence with some eye contact or an insincere smile and an “excuse me” if you need me to get up to let you pee.

New rule: that armrest that’s separating us? It’s not yours, it’s not mine, it’s shared territory. Unless you’re willing to pay me to monopolize it, let’s be civil about it, shall we?

New rule: the back of my seat is not your personal playground. I can feel your knees bumping into it; I can feel it when you fish around in the seatback pocket for your iPad; and it’s annoying.

New rule: flight time is not nail polish time. That stuff stinks and makes me nauseous. If you didn’t have time to do it in your hotel room before heading for the airport, it can certainly wait until you’re home or on the ground. And no nail clipping!

New rule: if you’re sitting way back in economy, and I paid extra for business class, you don’t get to put your carry on in my overhead bin space on your way to the back. If you do, I get to go through it and find your sex toys or whatever else you’ve got stashed in there.

New rule: if there was an emergency landing and evacuation, you wouldn’t have the slightest idea what to do, because the last time you listened to the safety demo or read the safety briefing card you were six years old on your first flight and you had dreams of being a pilot one day. That's why when Capt. Sullenberger landed his US Airways Airbus on the Hudson River most people left the plane without their life vests. So even if you don’t want to listen this time, stop yammering to your pal across the aisle and at least let me pay attention to it. 

New rule: if you bring a small child on board, you don’t get to pop a Xanax, fall asleep, and leave the little tyke to his own devices. And no, the flight attendants are not baby sitters. Next time if you need to konk out, hire a nanny and bring her along.

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