Flying coach isn’t the most comfortable experience that you can have, but being a good passenger helps to make it as tolerable as possible for those around you. There are several plane etiquette rules that all good passengers follow, and that will make the flight more enjoyable. Most of them come down to common sense and will stop you from unnecessarily annoying your fellow passengers and the crew.
In general, if we all think about other passengers instead of ourselves only, we’ll end up making the flight a happier place. Keep reading to find out what 10 things you should do on airplanes to be a good passenger.
10 Carry Your Own Bags
As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to carry all of your bags when you travel. It’s not up to those around you or the crew to lift your bags for you if they’re too heavy. It can be tempting to overpack or shop too much, but you won’t be well received as a passenger if you expect others to lift your bags for you.
This usually happens with wheeled suitcases when passengers expect the flight attendants to lift them up into the overhead compartments. If you can’t lift it up, don’t bring it on with you.
9 Leave The Plane In An Orderly Fashion
The moment when it’s finally time to leave the aircraft can be a little hectic, especially if you’ve been flying for hours. Everyone is equally excited about finally stretching their legs and getting off the plane but that’s not a reason to push and shove.
The general etiquette is that you always leave the plane in an orderly fashion, joining the queue from your seat and letting people in the line where it’s appropriate. The only time it’s acceptable to rush is when you’ve got to catch a connecting flight, and even then, you should still politely ask if you can cut ahead.
8 Obey All The Rules
The rules on a plane were created to be followed. You can’t be a good passenger and then break the rules. Depending on what you do, this could put everybody else’s safety at risk. At best, you’re just making the crew’s jobs harder for them because they have to take the time out to correct you.
Even if you don’t understand why a certain rule is in place, the best thing to do is to follow the guidelines set out by the crew. Obeying all the rules makes flying easier for everyone involved.
7 Give The Armrest To The Middle Seat
Nobody likes the middle seat. The one saving grace for the poor soul stuck in the middle is that they are allowed to have both armrests. The person in the aisle seat has one guaranteed armrest plus extra legroom and easy access to the bathrooms.
The person in the window seat also gets one guaranteed armrest, in addition to getting to lean against the window and an extra layer of privacy. At the very least, the middle seat should have two armrests.
6 Refrain From Putting Your Feet Near Other People
A lot of people have strong feelings about feet. Even if you’re used to walking around barefoot, keep in mind that other passengers probably don’t want to have to look at or come too close with your feet. This means that sliding your foot into someone else’s space is a big no-no.
You might want to take your shoes off for a long flight, but consider putting on compression socks or slippers. You’ll especially want to remember this if you plan on visiting the bathroom during the flight.
5 Try To Place Your Bag In The Overhead Compartment Nearest To You
You might not have much control over this if you’re one of the last passengers to board the plane. But if you do have a say, then it’s good form to place your bag in the overhead compartment nearest to you, which will ideally be the one above your head.
As Trip Savvy explains, when people begin using other compartments, they ignite a chain of events that sends the aircraft into chaos. If your bags are in someone else’s compartment, then they have to put their bags in someone else’s compartment, and so on.
4 Only Recline When You Have To
The issue of reclining has sparked a lot of debate among travelers. There are those who believe that reclining should be prohibited, period. Others believe it should be prohibited on short flights. We say that you should only recline when you have to.
In other words, if the person in front of you has reclined, then you can’t be expected to sit in such a confined space without reclining too. When you do recline, be sure to alert the person behind you so they can prepare accordingly.
3 Respond To Signals From Those Next To You
Some travelers swear that the best friends they’ve ever met started as strangers sitting next to them on planes. As far as making conversation with the person next to you goes, it’s best to follow their signals. While chatting to a friendly person can make a flight pass more quickly, it’s impolite to hold someone in conversation if they clearly want to be left alone.
Most people will hint that they want to be left alone by wearing headphones or getting into a sleeping position. Follow other people’s queues before you keep up the conversation.
2 Stay On Top Of Personal Hygiene
If you’re a germaphobe, then a packed fight is probably one of your nightmares. While you can improve the situation by bringing wet wipes with you and remaining on top of your own personal hygiene, it’s very hard to deal with fellow passengers who aren’t displaying the same courtesy.
To be a good passenger, always make sure you’re on top of your personal hygiene. This means showering before you get to the airport and topping up with deodorant. Also, keep in mind that neutral scents may be preferable to those around you than strongly scented perfumes.
1 Avoid Drinking Too Much
For some people, drinking is the top way to make a long flight pass quickly and painlessly. If you’re a nervous flyer, alcohol might be a secret tool that helps you fly. But if you drink too much, the likelihood of you being a good passenger is zero.
Those who drink too much on flights disrupt those around them. You might be a nuisance to those around you with drunken ramblings, or you might pass out on the shoulder of an annoyed fellow passenger. To play it safe, limit how much you drink while on the flight.