Murphy’s 13 Immutable Laws of Air Travel

Murphy’s First Law of Travel: No matter how many rooms there are in the motel, the fellow who starts up his car at five o’clock in the morning is always parked under your window.

Vagabondish is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read our disclosure.

Can I just say for the record that Mr. Murphy must have not traveled extensively if this is all he could come up with? As anyone who has ever traveled long (or short) haul knows, that does not even begin to describe it.

Funny capture of flight attendant making zombie-like face
Zombie Flight Attendant © huong-lan

Here, the extended version of Mr. Murphy’s law(s) of air travel:

  1. The loudest, most obnoxious (and often smelliest) person will be seated next to you on the plane.
  2. If there are children on the flight, the one that is crying constantly will be seated in your proximity.
  3. Consequently if there is one drunk person seated on the plane, he or she will be seated next to you.
  4. The person with the biggest and heaviest hand-luggage will decide to put it in your overhead compartment with the result a) that you will not be able to get to your stuff and b) in all probability you will be hit on the head when he or she decides to retrieve it.
  5. Just when you thought you would have some room as the seat next to you was empty someone will come in at the last minute and proceed to vomit during take-off, landing, and several points between.
  6. The minute you go to the toilet, the plane will hit turbulence and while you are mid-pee, the “Fasten your seat belts” sign will go off.
  7. You will be the last one to be served lunch and even though you can choose between vegetarian option, chicken or lamb, the only one remaining will be your least favorite.
  8. If you do fall asleep during your flight in all probability you will wake up and realize you have not only snuggled up to your fellow passenger, but also dribbled all over his shoulder.
  9. The minute you hit the duty free thinking you have plenty of time to douse yourself with perfume and stock up on Toblerone, last call for your flight will be announced.
  10. When you proceed though the security checkpoint, of course the alarm bell will go off forcing you to remove some and/or all of your accessories.
  11. Your luggage will be the last one on the carousel … if it shows up at all.
  12. If you do have a short lay-over the distance between where you are and your boarding gate will be on exact opposite sides of the airport.
  13. If you are in a hurry to get to your destination the plane is guaranteed to be either delayed or cancelled.

  1. OMG. this picture is hilarious. reminds me of “Shaun of the Dead” haha. whoever the photographer is, good job on catching that shot!

  2. Brian, that one irks me to no end :)

    Almost slapped an older gentleman silly on a flight from Amsterdam when he told me to mind his duty free alcohol bottles. He was sitting 10 rows in front of me. Tsss

    Serene, agreed about the picture, I love Shaun of the Dead. And Hot Fuzz :)

  3. I always nod off to sleep during the movie and find myself wide awake when they turn out the lights and everyone else dozes off.

  4. Long distance flying in cattle class – no problem. I never take sleeping tablets, except when flying long distance. Just after the meal I pop the pill and I’m gone. Only to wake up refreshed the next morning.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's Make Sure You're Human ... * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Subscribe to Our 'Under the Radar' Newsletter
If you love travel, you're gonna love this!