How NOT to behave on public transport (how many are you guilty of?)

How NOT to behave on public transport (how many are you guilty of?)

Darren Crocker resides in Edinburgh, Scotland and has worked and travelled abroad for two and half years. He maintains From First to Last to muse over past adventures and future dilemmas.

Let’s face it. We all think we’re superior to one another when it comes to travelling on public transport.

In reality you are as likely – at times – to be just as infuriatingly annoying as the random stranger coughing up a lung behind you. We naturally love a bitch and moan and there is usually plenty of fuel to the fire, whether it’s during your morning commute to work, or your flight home from an epic trip away.

No one will ever get bored of hearing stories starting with“Some woman/guy on the train…”, and I would wager in myself being that guy on occasion.

In fact, I know I’ve irked my fair share of people. But hey, this isn’t about me; this is about you. Yes, you…

…When you talk loudly on the phone


Don’t get me wrong. I am incredibly interested in your conversation and may even turn off my music to listen in.

But if you must talk loudly on your phone in a carriage full of people, could you please at least fill us all in on what happened to Lesley after she got thrown out of the club last night? You’ve hijacked my attention, so you could at least have the manners to spill the beans. “I’ll tell you later,” isn’t going to appease everyone who was unwittingly involved in your conversation.

That said, if your chat turns to Breaking Bad, please hang up immediately. Some of us are only on the second season.

…When you engage in drunk banter with those who are really not up for it.

Noisy people

I always feel sorry for the person sitting alone, saddled with a horde of drunken reprobates who have lost all concept of personal boundaries; this is a common occurrence on late night trains and buses.

Although usually harmless when handled correctly, it can still be an intimidating and stressful time for someone. And, if you’ve just finished work and trying to get home? There is nothing more annoying. Read the room folks. Not everyone is up for it.

…When you have no patience

No patience

I’m still astonished by the general lack of patience some people have. Okay, I get it if you’re feeling a little ratty due to a long day of travel, but there are times when it is completely unnecessary.

For example, when you’re at the airport and your flight is called at the gate, there is absolutely no need to jump up, crowd around the boarding desk and jostle for position. Sit back, relax and read a book for half an hour. There will be a seat waiting for you and the plane isn’t going anywhere in a hurry, so why should you be?

…When you won’t get a room

Make it stop

We get it couples. You’re hopelessly in love and you don’t care who knows it. You also seem to not care who sees it, which is unfortunate for the person sitting behind you.

Is it not enough that we have to put on headphones to block out that horrible smooching sound, but we also have to divert our eyes to stop us from being sick in our own mouths? Save it for the bedroom guys. You make people want to pull their own arm off and beat you with it.

…When you don’t clean up after yourself

The majority of us eat and drink on public transport – it is a necessity after all. That said, the majority of us also clean up after ourselves; others make as much mess as humanly possible.

Why sprawl half a bag of chips and a tub of curry sauce across the floor like some drunken abstract painting when you can smear it over the chairs too? Better still, why not just smash the driver in the face with a donor kebab on the way out. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind cleaning that up either.

Your food looks rank, smells rank and leaving it behind is the height of bad manners. Shameless.

…When you play music too loudly

Too loud

I’ve actually had a driver stop the bus, get out from his seat and tell me to turn my music down. Good on him. I had no idea my headphones were that loud since it was my first time using them.

Folks, white iPod headphones are ridiculously loud as are most of the large ear muffs. Everyone can hear your music and you’re the only one that enjoys Raggaeton. Do your fellow passengers a favour and either play something semi-decent or turn it down. You’re making everyone’s hangover worse.

…When you’re a menace to be around on a flight


This is when you stand up during take-off; take off your socks; use my table tray; steal a handful of Kit-Kats from the cabin Ccew station; ask for your hot meal before everyone else; verbally abuse your wife; make a phone call; take full advantage of the complimentary drink service and proceed to get absolutely hammered; wake me up to complain about the flight; put your feet up on my side, using my legs as a rest.

Yes, this all actually happened during an incredibly long-haul flight to New York, emanating from an incredibly absurd man.

…When you bug someone in countless tiny ways…

  • Sorting out your hair/putting on make-up: Can you not get up ten minutes earlier or is it a part of your morning routine to bash someone in the face while putting up your pony tail?
  • Knowingly practising bad personal hygiene: Sneezing on the back of someone; coughing; picking your nose; constantly snorting; bad breath. Not pleasant.
  • Sitting on the aisle seat on a packed train/bus …And then look bemused when asked to move to let someone in. Are you for real? You should be walking to work if you are that anti-social. Oh, and you might want to move your bag too.
  • Asking the driver for detailed directions: You’ve just spent five minutes looking through your wallet for the correct change and now you want to hold the bus up even longer?

And finally…

  • Not allowing people the right of way: Let people off the train/bus before you get on folks. It will make everyone’s lives a lot easier.


That’s all my public transport gripes. What’s yours?

I’m guilty of putting my feet on chairs. Just saying…

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