Win a Gogo pass: There’s a woman on my flight that won’t stop coughing and she’s not covering her mouth! Should I:

MaskI don’t know about you but the only thing I hate more than a really turbulent flight when I fly is a rude passenger. The other day, there was a woman in my row who wouldn’t stop coughing and she wasn’t covering her mouth! I was in the aisle seat and she was in the window seat, so we had a person in between us, and I didn’t know what to do—so I posted this question on my Facebook page:

There’s a woman on my flight that won’t stop coughing and she’s not covering her mouth! Should I:
A. Give her dirty looks.
B. Ask her politely to cover up.
C. Put a mask on.
D. Hand her a mask.
E. Kick her ass?
F. _____________ (Write your own.)
Let me know what you think in the comments section of this page. I’ll give the funniest answer a free in-flight Gogo session!

Johnny Jet

About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

37 Comments on "Win a Gogo pass: There’s a woman on my flight that won’t stop coughing and she’s not covering her mouth! Should I:"

  1. Michael Diver | July 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Reply

    Why don’t you step out to cough?

    • Offer her a mint (peppermint works really well, sometimes). It may have been one of those tickle in the throat coughs that can be helped. PLUS, she’s on notice it’s annoying and rude.

  2. How horrible ! I had a man behind me in June flying home from FRA to EWR … he kept hacking and didn’t bother to cover his mouth. Everyone around kept looking at him. Finally I stood up and handed him some wipes and a mask ( I carry a few ) and gave it to him. I said “Sir you really need to wear this. You seem to be under the weather and we all really want you to have your mouth covered when you are coughing / hacking ! ” He looked at me and about 4 others said Yes.. please do! I was already wearing my mask and pulled it down to speak to him. He did and tore it off as soon as the plane landed ! And I also gave one to a guy in the airport who was coughing with covering his mouth kinda sorta — after his cough ! I think it should be mandatory to wear covering over your mouth while in airports and on planes ! Some people really just don’t get it !

  3. thepixinator | July 7, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Reply

    I’d give her one A, and then B, and then bury my head in my pillow. E would feel good but only get me arrested.

  4. george Hubka | July 7, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Reply

    Are you sure she “couldn’t stop”? How do you know? My suggestion would be looking at your
    laptop screen, and pretend to read to the person in the middle that, “did you see / hear that the
    TSA has put out a warning (alert) to its agents AND to airline flight crews that they should be alert for and on the look out for any people who appeared to be coughing (all the time) or frequently, as recent studies have shown a high relationship between “continuous coughers” on planes and terrorists.

    The other choice might be to ask the flight attendant for a large glass of water and when you get it, throw it in her face. She’ll stop coughing, I’ll bet.

  5. Anyone that rude has the manners of a jackass. I WOULD DEFINITELY TELL HER TO COVER HER FACE AND LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY.

  6. Say nothing unless she is coughing on you except to offer her a cough drop or tissue. I sympathize. On an international flight the woman across the aisle (I was in the other aisle seat) had several coughing fits. It was easy to see that she was miserable. I said nothing other than to offer her my ink pen when we all had to fill out the customs form (she was filling out the form for her family). After she used it and offered to return it I told her to keep it and wished her well.

    Thankfully I did not get ill on my vacation. But we face the same risks whenever going out in public.

    • Only say something when they are Coughing on you?? .. Well, the Germs fly ! … that it the issue. We can and should assist them with tissues/masks … in my opinion ! No excuse for this by anyone ! I would want someone to tell me or offer me a mask/tissues/candy to soothe my throat to help !

  7. F. Let her know that you sympathize with her condition as you often don’t have the time to cover up either. Going for as much spray as possible sneeze in her direction. If that doesn’t work pretend to bring up as much phlegm loudly as you can.

  8. ask the steward to provide her with hot water and lemon, and a cough drop, and to provide you with headphones and eye mask so you can relax ;-)

  9. I’d slip her a Mickey. I’m sure the sleep will do her good!

    (Please everyone, know that I’m saying this in good fun. Don’t call the cops or respond by telling me how horrible I am!)

  10. F. Sniff some black pepper and sneeze all over the rude gal!!

  11. Easy enough for me = pull the switch for the flight attendant and request a change of seat. It beats a most likely risk catching a cold or whatever the woman has. No seats available – always carry a mask in the future like you see the polite Japanese and Chinese wear when they have a cold. It may help. I learned my lesson on a jamed packed train when a guy was sneezing and coughing directly behind me. I moved to another train car a little too late and caught his cruddy cold 3-days later. In the next car was an Asian woman wearing a face mask. Bingo, the light bulb went off in my head = carry a mask when traveling by train, bus or plane.

  12. Hand her a cough drop…always have cough drops when you travel too!

  13. Travelchat, Chicago | July 9, 2014 at 11:25 am | Reply

    F. All of the above. Not necessarily in that order.

  14. daryledelstein | July 9, 2014 at 11:30 am | Reply

    F. I would cough at her and then say’ oh dear, i wonder if i am still contagious …. ‘

  15. janejanejane | July 9, 2014 at 11:32 am | Reply

    I would cough in her direction every time she coughed and then look at her and shrug. lol. Maybe then she’ll realize!

  16. Twist the overhead air duct to max on, then point them at him/her, and do the same if there is an empty seat between you. It worked for me when folks used to smoke near me. Tough on them, but healthier for me. JohnD, Sausalito.

  17. F. Offer a tissue to cover her mouth when coughing, as a gentle reminder. Next uncovered cough, I’d cough in her direction without covering mine. (Being Canadian, I’d probably break down and then immediately apologize, so it might not be so impactful a statement.)

  18. Only1CasSandra (@Only1CasSandra) | July 9, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Reply

    Ask her politely and quietly to “please cover your mouth when coughing”, she may not realize that she is doing it. Tell her you understand that she may not have a cold and it may be just allergies but we are in a confined space and it’s concerning me (and maybe the middle seat suffer as well). Try to be as nice and non-confronting as possible. She may still get upset at you but at least you tried.

    And if all else fails, offer her a mask and some tissues.

  19. Grandma Carolyn | July 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Reply

    I would tell her even my 4 year grandchild knows enough to cover her mouth when she coughs and offer her a tissue then ask if she would like some water. I would then request a change in seats. Once I was sick my whole vacation from such a person! I too carry a mask now. Better safe than sorry!

  20. Hand her a sputum sample jar (T.B. test) while saying “you may need this”.

  21. Engage and offer the mask politely, but I get coughing fits that sound like I’m hacking up a lung due to a med I take about 45-60 mins after taking it and then I’m fine….

  22. Aircraft Mechanic | July 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Reply

    I’d be more worried about the tray tables, seats, other surfaces, and unsanitary lav water than the air quality. http://io9.com/why-you-really-get-sick-on-planes-and-how-to-prevent-1471880458

  23. Stuff the barf bag in her mouth to prevent the germs from flying!

  24. Victoria Lubawin | July 9, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Reply

    Well, you could do the same as you did with the person you didn’t want to lean his seat back — offer her a Gogo card if she covers her mouth when she coughs. Then hand her a pack of tissues with one of your patented smiles. Chances are, she’s not even aware that she’s doing anything annoying.

  25. Ask her to make out. It will keep her from coughing (hopefully) and still share the same amount of germs with you. Think of it as taking one for the team – you’ll still be loaded up with germs but you’ll save everyone else near you. Although, they’ll have to put up with the PDA ;-)

  26. Jean Kennedy | July 9, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Reply

    Asks her if she is okay, most people would tell you at that point, why they are coughing. Masks are so you can not infected other, when you sick, they do not protect you from germs.

  27. I just cough back at them…they get the idea. I say something like “excuse me but(aaghhhhhcaaccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkspit) are youse doin okay??

  28. Put on a mask before kicking her ass WHILE giving her dirty looks and put a mask on her after you knock her ass out. :-)

  29. F. Don’t you carry several sizes of zip lock bags while traveling. A 1 or 2 gallon bag over the head might work??? :-). Seriously though I would also bring this to the flight attendants attention and maybe it could be reported so that person wouldn’t be allowed on another flight if sick. Maybe the F.A. could move you or her.

  30. Wow, there Are some pretty nasty comments here, but the one thing I do (I am a flight attendant) is to give them a slack of tissues and some cough drops and ask them how they like their tea, which I will promptly serve. I would question their symptoms and if they have a fever or sore throat I would give them a mask.

  31. F. Tell her who you are, and ask her if she’d like you to write an article on your blog asking your readers for advice!

  32. Ingrid Taylor | July 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply

    I would get up as to go to lavatory, stop right at her seat and start violently fake coughing, on her, stop and say ” just sharing back with you” wink, and smile and continue on your way. I’ll be rolling in the aisle laughing!

  33. Christopher Babb | July 29, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply

    I would just stare her straight in the eyes. Until she gets the point

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