With a load of travel under her belt, Lorna Subritzky is someone who's seen her share of deviant behaviour from fellow airline passengers, writes Tim Roxborogh

She wasn't much of a traveller until celebrating her 50th birthday, but Coast radio host Lorna Subritzky has more than made up for lost time since that milestone.

As she explains to me and co-host Stephanie Holmes in the latest Trip Notes podcast, in a little more than a year since that major birthday, she's reinvented herself as Lorna The Explorer and is keen to see as much of the world as she possibly can.

"I'm a really late bloomer. I emigrated to NZ [from the UK] when I was 6 and I was 19 before I took my first overseas journey to Perth," she says.


"It really wasn't — dare I say it — until I turned 50 that I suddenly thought, 'Right! Life is passing me by, I've got to start seeing more of the world!'"

Lorna has now dodged crocodiles in North Queensland, sailed a luxury river cruise in France, had tropical island adventures in Fiji and, most profoundly, done charity work with leprosy sufferers in Nepal.

But as much as Lorna has loved all those experiences, there's still no place anywhere in the world that can topple her absolute favourite and the subject of our Trip Notes' Destination Of The Week, Rarotonga.

"It literally is like going to the family bach. They know you there. You step off the plane and you're on the beach within half an hour."

With all that travel now under her belt, it's not surprising Lorna has seen a few, shall we say, curious things from fellow aeroplane passengers.

"I have seen somebody cutting their toenails on an aeroplane," she tells us, with a shudder. "It was a regional airline flying into Nepal."

Lorna also has strong views about who gets the armrests if you're unlucky enough to be in the middle seat on a plane. "I think it's etiquette. If you are in the middle seat, you get the armrest."

You can hear more from Lorna in the new episode of Trip Notes, available to download now at iHeart Radio, Apple, Spotify, Stitcher ... wherever you usually get your podcasts.


In the meantime, here are five more unofficial — too-frequently broken — rules for passenger behaviour on planes:

1. No sneaky feet

Sure, we all have them, but the fact some passengers think it's socially acceptable to sneak a de-socked foot through the gap in the seats in front of them towards the unsuspecting passengers in the next row is one of life's great mysteries.

2. Don't unclick your seat belt before the plane stops
There's no prize for being the first to unclick, so wait like the rest of us.

3. Be considerate with your seatback behaviour

Fine, a small gradient is okay, but only the most selfish of flyers goes the whole hog. And what's wrong with politely checking with the person behind you before you recline?

4. Be mindful of man-spreading

Ah yes, the man-spread. The male of our species tends to favour a wider-legged sitting position than the female, oftentimes oblivious to the extra room they're taking up. Stay in your lane.

5. Brush your teeth

An otherwise enjoyable flight can be ruined if the person next to you happens to be chatty as well as in the grips of an enthusiastic bout of halitosis. Don't be that person.

To hear more about Lorna Subritzky's favourite travel memories, listen to Trip Notes.

Subscribe, and each new episode will automatically download every fortnight — ready for you to listen to on your way to work, while you dream about your next holiday. You can also go to nzherald.co.nz/tripnotes to watch video from the podcast, and catch up on any episodes you might have missed.