Let’s face it, bad etiquette on an airplane can go viral these days. Good airplane manners make the journey more pleasant for everyone. Here are 17 ways to make sure you are not a well-deserved victim of social shaming.
You know it’s coming, be prepared. After all, you are already standing in line for TSA. Before you get to them, empty your pockets. Slip it all into your bag, or the pocket of a jacket. When your stuff comes out of the other side, grab it and step to the side, so you don’t block anyone else.
Don’t Be a Bin Hog
In a time when nearly every carrier requires you to pay for checked luggage, carry-on space is at a premium. If you are lugging two carry-on bags, keep the smaller of the two at your feet. And, don’t be rude by taking up someone else’s space. Putting your bag horizontally in the space under the seat in front of you or in the bin is not acceptable.
The Rules DO Apply To You
Banning the use of electronic devices during takeoff and landing may seem ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a rule. The flight attendant didn’t make up the rule, but it is their job to enforce it. Don’t be that person who thinks they are more important than everyone else and has to be reminded multiple times to put your phone away. It’ll only be a few minutes before you can get back to Candy Crush.
The Middle Seat Gets The Armrests
It’s an unwritten rule. Everyone knows the consolation prize for taking the middle seat is the armrests. The poor sod in the middle doesn’t have room to overhang in the aisles or prop up against the window. Don’t make it even worse for the middle person, give them the armrests.
Stay In Your Lane
Don’t spread out. Airplane seats are cramped enough as it is without someone encroaching on your space. Don’t spread out into someone else’s seat, arm or leg space. Stay in your lane. Do not put your feet up on the armrests ahead of you. Don’t flip your hair over the back of the seat. No one wants to compete with your hair to see their video screen.
Recline Slowly And Carefully
Personally, I am not a fan of recliners; it encroaches on my space. However, if you must recline don’t jerk it back. I might have a drink on my table behind you. And for the love of Pete, don’t recline during mealtime. The person behind you would like the opportunity to eat their meal without it pushed into their lap.
Put Your Headphones On
No one wants to listen to your movie, game or music. It’s just rude to make everyone else listen to whatever you are playing. If you forgot your headphones, then ante up and ask the flight attendant for a pair.
Watch Your Kids
I get it; sometimes you have to take your kids on the plane. Teach your kids how to behave. Don’t let them stand on the seat and bother the people behind them. Don’t let them kick the seat ahead of them. Don’t let them get up and down every five minutes or make a mess. BE PREPARED. Pack an activity kit and non-sticky snacks with you. If you are bringing some electronic entertainment, bring headphones for them. Bring a sucker or gum for taking off and landing. Don’t put a passenger or flight attendant in the uncomfortable position of “parenting” your kid because you won’t. If you do your part, the people are more likely to be patient if your kid does have a meltdown.
Cover Your Face
A flight is a perfect time to practice coughing or sneezing into the inside of your elbow. Everyone knows that airplanes are like a school bus petri dish. Keep your cooties to yourself.
Don’t Get Hammered
Don’t be the jackwagon that gets drunk. Inevitably the drunk becomes either loud, belligerent, and obnoxious or a little too friendly, touchy, and emotional. Either scenario makes the other passengers uncomfortable. Not to mention the inconvenience of you having to take a dozen trips to the bathroom. Be all means have a glass of wine or beer, just stop before you get stupid.
Take a Shower
Bad body odor is a horrible thing to subject your fellow passengers to. Take a shower before flying out if possible, and use deodorant. However, don’t overdo it with strong cologne or perfume either. I have sat next to passengers I could taste. Loosen your laces but keep your shoes on unless it is a long flight. Stinky shoes can be just as unpleasant.
Observe The Obvious.
If you’re the type that likes to chat, go ahead. There are all sorts of new and interesting people on flights. Some can even make your experience more enjoyable. But if the other person is giving off closed signals, stop trying to engage. Many people just want to disengage but are too polite to cut you off. If they crack open a book, close their eyes, put on a mask, or headphones, leave them alone.
Use Your Inside Voice
There is one on every flight. That person you can hear three aisles away. Bring it down a notch. Use your inside voice. The person you are likely talking to is already up in your personal space so there is no need to carry on so the people across the aisle can hear you.
Get Up at Convenient Times
Plan your bathroom breaks. When there is a flight attendant with a cart in the aisle, stay seated. Otherwise, the cart might end up between you and your seat. You may have to wait until service is finished or you could end up disrupting service. And don’t get up during meal service, wait until all of the trays have been collected.
Prepare To Nod Off
Some people fall asleep before the plane even takes off. Lots of people take advantage of the time to get few winks in. If you are one of them, prepare for your head nod properly. Don’t encroach on someone else’s space. Get a neck pillow if you are the type to slip on to someone else’s shoulder. Nothing makes a passenger more uncomfortable than having to endure a stranger sleeping on them through a flight because they are too polite to wake you.
Treat the Bathroom Like You Are a Guest
Clean up after yourself. You might be messy at home but treat this bathroom as if you were a guest in someone else’s home. Everyone deserves to have a clean seat and a dry counter. Don’t be so lazy you can’t be bothered to throw away your paper towel. Try to be quick. Chances are someone else is waiting to use the lavatory too. If you aspire to join the Mile High Club, just imagine how many cooties you are exposing yourself to. On the whole, airplane loos are filthy.
Don’t Jump the Gun
If you are going to miss a connection, tell your flight attendant. They will often announce it so people will let you jump to the head of the line. Otherwise, deplane politely and efficiently. Everyone is as ready to get off the plane as you are. Let the people ahead of you deplane before you do. There is an organized natural flow to deplaning. Collect your items as quickly as possible, so you are not holding up the line. I have seen aisle jumpers tripped or blocked because their rudeness annoyed someone.
Have you been the victim of someone else’s lousy flight manners? Tell me about your experiences in the comments below. If you don’t have any bad experiences of your own, check out @passengershaming on Instagram. You’ll be gobsmacked at some of passengers there.