Posted by / Category Stereotypes, Travel /

Recently, during my travels, I have had far too many comments regarding my nationality. I keep saying that, yes, I am French-born, but I now have a British passport, to no avail. Once again, whatever I do, I am ‘the French one’. That said, we French are the envy of the world, right? We also have the reputation to be rude and arrogant. I have therefore decided to make the most of it. Here is how…

Let’s start with the obvious. In order to be true to your reputation, don’t check in online, turn up as late as possible and change the seat a few times. That will teach them, right? Stay hydrated: this means that it’s OK to arrive at the airport already drunk, and continue the party onboard. Make a huge fuss to be upgraded -we French moan all the time, so just go for it… Jump the queue, and argue that it can’t be possible that all these people are travelling business class anyway. Just do it. There is always someone who does it. Why not you this time?

Let’s face it: there’s nothing glamorous or exciting about commercial air travel, especially if you have to go to Stansted airport at the crack of dawn. That said, that’s not an excuse to dress down. High heels are a must, and will amaze your fellow passengers. And don’t forget your sunglasses at all times to complete the look.

As I am in a good mood today, and as I have had enough of the doom and gloom, I thought I’d share with you the accumulated wisdom of my many years spent travelling the world – a definitive guide to make air travel palatable for you, but not necessarily for those around you. After all, if I am the French one, warts and all, I need to act like one…Every cloud has its silver lining, right?


  • If you have checked baggage (seriously, does anyone still do this? What a waste of time!), when you land, stop at a bar and have a couple of drinks on your way to baggage claim. As your luggage will be late anyway, just go back and indulge in a bit of shopping. It’s completely fine to come last or even the following day, at least you won’t have to think of who the suitcase belongs to, you’ll know it’s yours;
  • Take advantage of THE rule of air travel: no matter what time it is, it’s always acceptable to drink. I recommend starting with champagne and sticking to it. You’ll feel all the better the day after. Take my word for it. Whatever you do, don’t change the type of booze you are drinking -that’s for newbies;
  • Why don’t you have the stewardess fill up the water glass with wine too, or even just ask her for two glasses? You’ll be doing her a favour;
  • Take first class selfies (Of course that’s what first class is for. Didn’t you know?);
  • Whatever happens and even if you are flying first class international, complain profusely about plane food. That’s what we French do. It’s OK to eat the cheese you’ve brought with you onboard. It will also have the added benefit to clear all seats around you, and make everybody believe that you are suffering from death by fart syndrome. This trick is especially useful if you get stuck with the middle seat;
  • If someone starts talking to you, act crazy, shout and laugh nervously. And make it clear that you don’t want their business card either;
  • No, you don’t want to switch places. Unless it’s for a first class seat of course. End of;
  • Now is a good time to have an argument with your partner, it will make the flight pass much faster;
  • When you have to squeeze by someone, don’t allow them time to move into the aisle to make way. Don’t be shy, give them ‘the a***se’ or ‘the front’. Because conviviality is what air travel is about, right?
  • Never forget your medication, especially your Prozac (popular French antidepressant). It’s also very trendy to show off your suppositories, and explaining out loud how you managed to insert them in the plane loo. Washing your hands is of course optional;
  • Ask the lady behind you why she carries a Hermes bag in Economy class. Because either she doesn’t have her priorities right, or it’s a fake. No matter how you look at it, there is a problem, and she needs to be made aware of it. That will teach her;
  • Finally, snoring is completely acceptable, because you can always claim that the aircraft noise is deafening anyway.

So what about you, have you experienced such behaviours onboard? Tell me how NOT to travel in style…