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‘Tasteless and Disrectpecful’: Is it Ever Acceptable to Play Music Out Loud On a Commercial Plane?

‘Tasteless and Disrectpecful’: Is it Ever Acceptable to Play Music Out Loud On a Commercial Plane?

a person touching the ceiling of an airplane

A new video is going viral of two women blasting music out loud on a packed passenger flight which appears to be operated by the popular European holiday airline TUI Airways.

The women are clearly in high spirits and could well be trying to get their holiday off to an early start while enjoying a beverage and a singalong during the flight to their destination.

Most of the other passengers sitting around the pair pay them little attention, but on the opposite side of the aisle, a woman is seen covering her ears and leaning on the seat tray table.

The women appear to notice that their seatmate isn’t enjoying the music being blasted out but make no effort to turn down or switch it off.

After the video was shared on Twitter, it quickly went viral, and users have been keen to share their opinion on the women’s behaviour: disrespectful, tasteless, tacky, and arrogant are just some of the terms used to describe them.

Unfortunately, others have shared hurtful and, quite frankly, disgusting racist comments that are awful to read.

Of course, this has nothing to do with race. Is it any different, for example, than the white Christian music group that started doing a mid-air singsong during an easyJet flight in Europe last year?

In both cases, individuals have effectively hijacked a shared public space for their own means. Flying in a packed metal tube has always relied on people adhering to certain etiquette rules, and for the most part, people don’t need much guidance.

It seems, however, that in a post-pandemic world, people have forgotten the unwritten rules of air travel that make it as pleasant an experience as possible for everyone onboard.

Unruly passenger incidents are on the rise around the world – selfish behaviour is more common, tolerance levels are lower than ever, and passengers will speak out or lash out with little warning.

Does it need to be said that blasting out music on a packed plane isn’t acceptable? Well, apparently so. Guess what? It’s not acceptable because as unpleasant as flying can be at the best of times, it’s even worse when passengers go rogue and turn the plane into their own private club.

Add to that musical instruments, especially guitars, which should remain in their case for the duration of the flight – for everyone’s sanity!

And although, selfish behaviour is on the rise, it’s nothing new. Many commentators assumed the latest video was from a Spirit Airlines plane. Their suspicion isn’t without merit.

In 2016, a brawl broke out between five women on a Spirit flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles after two of the women played out music during the flight. Other customers asked them to turn off the music, but they refused and then taunted others around them by holding up the portable speaker in the air.

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