For most people, flying is necessary if you want to tick off all the destinations on your travel bucket list. This can be hard to swallow when flights are often uncomfortable and even stressful, especially if they’re longer than a couple of hours. Plane etiquette makes the experience of flying a little more bearable.
It’s pretty easy to practice proper plane etiquette. It really comes down to being self-aware and thinking of other people’s comfort in addition to your own. If we can all follow these polite plane rules, flying will be much more comfortable for everyone.
10 Be On Time For Your Flight
Plane etiquette begins before you even get on the plane. Always, always make it your priority to arrive for your flight on time. Although the plane will eventually take off without you (which is a huge inconvenience to you), many planes usually delay departure for a while as they wait for late passengers. Don’t be that person that everyone claps for when you finally walk down the aisle to your seat.
At some airports, you’ll have to allow three or more hours to get through security and arrive at your boarding gate.
9 Stick To The Baggage Requirements
Every airline has baggage limitations in place. These are here for a reason, so it’s always a good idea to follow them. Many people try to smuggle on extra baggage but this normally causes inconvenience for everyone else. Not to mention the fines you could be facing if you get caught.
Even if you get away with bringing more onboard than you’re allowed, you still have to store all that extra luggage somewhere. If you keep it with you around your seat, that’s less room for the person beside you. If you put it in the overhead compartment, that’s less room for others to store their belongings.
8 Give The Arm Rest To The Middle Seat
Nobody likes being stuck in the middle seat. You don’t get the luxury of looking out and leaning out of the window. You also don’t get easy access to the aisle and the bathroom, as well as more legroom that comes with the aisle seat. It’s the worst of both worlds.
The least you can do for the poor passenger who finds themselves in the middle seat is allowing them to have both armrests. Both the window and the aisle seat have their own personal armrests on either side, so it’s only fair the middle gets two.
7 Listen To The Crew
The crew members are there to make your flight more comfortable and to help keep you safe in the event of an emergency. In most cases, there’s a good reason behind every rule they ask you to follow, so it’s never a good idea to disobey them.
Some airline passengers believe it’s okay to be rude toward flight attendants or disrespect them. Just remember that these are the people who have the power to make your flight less miserable. There are certain free perks you can get on flights, but they definitely don’t go to people who treat the crew with disrespect.
6 Think Carefully About Reclining
Reclining is one of the most debated subjects when it comes to air travel. Many people are of the opinion that it’s just plain rude to recline at any time. The chances are if you do choose to recline, the person behind you is going to hate you.
If the person in front of you has reclined and you feel like you have to in order to get some reprieve, the proper etiquette is to turn and tell the person behind you that you’re about to do the same. That way, if they have anything on the food tray, they can take it off before it comes crashing into them.
5 Try To Stay Relatively Sober
Staying sober is always a better alternative to being drunk on a plane. A lot of people choose to drink so that they can fall asleep more easily, or so they can calm their nerves. That’s okay as long as you don’t get absolutely smashed.
Not only will you annoy everyone around you with your drunken antics (and lack of awareness about personal space), but you’ll feel much worse after the flight. Alcohol is dehydrating, and a hungover combined with jet-lag is no one’s idea of a good time.
4 Don’t Rush As Soon As The Plane Lands
It’s understandable that passengers are eager to get off a flight once it lands. Especially if you’ve been sitting there for hours, or you have kids with you and they’re getting restless, you probably want to stand and stretch your legs. But trying to rush for the door just causes chaos.
There’s no quick way to get out of an airplane unless you’re evacuating. People move slowly as they gather their belongings and shuffle down the aisle. Accept that you’ll have to wait, and stay seated until it’s your turn to move.
3 Stand Up To Let People Out Of Their Seats
Coach is always going to be tight and squishy. But you can make things a little less uncomfortable for people trying to leave their seats if you get up to let them through. Of course, this only applies when you’re in the aisle seat (or the middle seat if the window seat passenger wants to leave).
Yes, it’s incredibly annoying to have to get up, especially if you’re getting ready to fall asleep. But having a stranger straddle you just so they can get out into the aisle makes things more awkward than they need to be.
2 Don’t Crowd The Aisles
It’s a good idea to get up and stretch your legs during your flight, especially if you’re not landing for hours. But this doesn’t mean it’s okay to crowd the aisles for no reason. Nobody will blame you for walking up and down the aisles or hovering for a little while just to have a break from sitting. Just make sure you don’t spend all your time crowding the aisle so nobody can get through.
If you feel like you want to stand for a long time, the best thing to do is to is going to the back of the aircraft where you won’t be in most people’s way.
1 Respect People’s Personal Space
The most important thing to remember on any flight is to respect people’s personal space. Sometimes you can’t help brushing people or coming into contact when you’re sitting next to them in coach. But make sure you avoid touching other people when you can.
It’s not okay to lean on the person next to you if they’re a total stranger. It’s also important to not take other people’s legroom by stretching your legs into their space. Flying coach is not the most comfortable thing in the world, but we can all make it better by following these simple etiquette tips.