Air Travel Etiquette No One Told You About

You’ve heard of the golden rule, right? Treat others the way you want to be treated. So, why are people so rude in airports and on airplanes? Maybe it’s because they don’t know the rules of etiquette; what’s appropriate, and what isn’t.

While on a flight, you’ll be packed with strangers into tight quarters. The comfort and happiness of everyone is largely dependent on the actions of those around them. It is a good idea to be aware of some of the most common air travel etiquette faux pas that, when committed, can quickly sour the experience of other travelers. Read through this article to learn about the etiquette of air travel to make your journey smoother.

1. Hands Off the Armrest

If you are in the window or aisle seat, you already have an armrest to yourself, right? Make things easier for the person in the middle seat, and keep clear of their armrests. They are already squeezed between two strangers. If you occupy their armrest too, they will have next to no space to stretch their limbs.

The armrest conundrum can happen to you too. Make your flight easier by asking for a window or aisle seat when you are booking the tickets.

2. Don’t Recline Too Far

When you step on your flight after a long procedure of security checks, all you want to do is stuff your luggage in the bin, kick off your shoes, recline your seat, and doze off. It’s not as simple as that. Seats in the economy class are often uncomfortably close to one another. If you recline your seat, you will be encroaching on the leg space of the person sitting behind you.

Be polite. Before you recline your seat, ask for permission from the traveler seated behind you. If you are traveling in business class, you may be able to ignore this rule. Business class seating is typically roomier, and constructed in such a way that each person traveling can be comfortable without making things difficult for other travelers.

3. Limit Your Carryon Luggage

Before you step onto your flight, make sure that you bring nothing but a small bag or two. Nothing draws the ire of fellow travelers more than people who occupy all the space in the overhead bins with no consideration for anyone else. Don’t be that person. If you have larger luggage, check it.

4. Sleep Responsibly

Deal with the space you are allotted, no matter how small it is. Make sure that the passenger next to you does not wake up in the middle of the night with your head resting on their shoulder. It’s a smart idea to invest in a travel pillow to keep your head comfortably in place on long flights.

5. Treat the Crew with Respect

The flight attendants and flight crew are not your subordinates or your employees, even if they are serving you. Do not be insolent or rude to them. When asking for something, be sure to phrase it as a request, not a demand. Saying “please” and “thank you” goes a long way. If you treat the crew with respect, the treatment you get in return might amaze you.

6. Don’t Impose Yourself on Fellow Passengers

Long flights can be a drag. However, they can be a delightful experience if you come across a like-minded passenger. Time seems to fly much quicker when you are engaged in a meaningful conversation with the person sitting next to you. It is all right to exchange pleasantries, and if things go well, talk to each other about the journey.

However, not all people are comfortable with, or interested in chatting with a complete stranger about their lives. If you feel like the person is not interested, don’t press the issue. In most cases, people will not tell you outright to leave them alone. Some good hints to heed are short, monosyllabic answers, and evident focus on solitary activities such as reading.

7. Easy With the Alcohol

There’s nothing wrong with having a drink on your flight, but do so responsibly. Few things are more annoying to other travelers than an intoxicated passenger. Stay within your limits, and don’t have more than one or two. If you wish to be treated with respect, your behavior needs to be worthy of it.

8. Do Not Get Up Too Often

Unless you’re in the aisle seat, you’ll quickly become an annoyance to your fellow passengers if you have to get up to use the restroom too often. Ideally, you should visit the restroom once before you take your seat, and maybe a couple more times for the duration of the flight. If you have a health condition that requires frequent trips to the bathroom, try to book an aisle seat, or offer to swap seats with someone else in your row.

9. Stay Out of Arguments

Sometimes, even when you’re on your best behavior, another passenger can be rude or disrespectful. Don’t go beyond politely asking them to cease their rude behavior. If they do not, don’t further engage them. Call the flight attendant and let the professionals handle the situation. You can even ask them to assign you to another seat if possible.

10. Control Your Children

Though it’s not possible to always keep your children quiet and polite, it’s essential for the sanity of your fellow travelers that you do your best. Try to explain how important good behavior is to them before boarding the flight, and bring along quiet activities to keep them occupied.

11. Swap Seats If Required

Often, couples and families are assigned odd seats because of last-minute bookings. In such a case, they might ask you to swap seats with them. If you are traveling solo, be considerate and exchange seats with them. After all, if you were in their shoes, wouldn’t you want the same for yourself?

12. Don’t Hold Up the Line

If you have a lot of luggage and it takes some time for you to board or disembark from the plane, do your best to not hold up others. You don’t have to be in a hurry, and you can let other passengers board or disembark in front of you if you feel rushed. Unless you have a connecting flight that you must go to immediately, there’s no reason to be rude to others and hold up the line. The flight is not going to suddenly take off without you.

Ready for Takeoff

You’re almost ready for you next flight. Before you go, keep these tips in mind, and remember to purchase travel medical insurance or travel insurance. Proper insurance can help cover your expenses if things don’t go as planned on your trip.

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