Opinion: How much is too much? Public displays of affection on an airplane

Get a room, and I don't mean the bathroom, writes Dan Lake .
Get a room, and I don't mean the bathroom, writes Dan Lake . Photo credit: Getty Images

OPINION: Holiday's can be a romantic time. Couples could be going on their honeymoon, or their first trip overseas together, so, it's understandable that there'll be a few public displays of affection from time to time.

But how much is too much?

On a recent flight back to Auckland from Australia, I was sitting behind a young couple - early twenties perhaps - and I could have been mistaken for thinking I was in their hotel room.

There was that much mouth-to-mouth I thought they'd be calling for a doctor.

It was a small plane, so with their seats reclined, they were right in my face. If you're reading this on a PC, they were closer than your screen. If you're on your phone on the bus, they were closer than the passenger in the row in front of you.

Too close.

POLL: What is an acceptable level of displays of affection onboard a flight?


Before I sound like a grumpy old man, let me say romance is great - love it, but there's a time and a place right? And, is being inside a cramped airplane with strangers in front, behind and next to you really the right place?

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In 2018, an anonymous flight attendant we've named Heath Rowe told Newshub the one thing cabin crew members get asked about most by travellers and members of the public is the mile high club and whether it exists.

"No, I haven't joined the mile-high club - and you probably shouldn't either, in the name of hygiene alone," Rowe said.

"We witness first-hand just how quickly those bathrooms get "cleaned" and I simply couldn't think of anywhere more insalubrious to get it on." 

Despite the germs and tight spaces, there doesn't appear to be any official rules preventing this sort of activity taking place mid-flight.

But, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. 

So next time you feel like getting a bit frisky in the air, please think of the children, and of the person next to you, behind you and in front of you, and wait until you get off.  

The plane that is.

Dan Lake is Newshub's travel editor