Airplane travel is never comfortable, and there are very few people who actually enjoy flights of any length. No matter the country, no matter the airline, no matter the flight length, there will always be certain aspects of flying that you hate. So what is Airplane Etiquette? What do you do, and what do you avoid in a plane?
Think a few steps ahead
There’s nothing worse than the line at security. Waiting for twenty minutes in line in a hot and claustrophobic room, worried you’re going to set the buzzer off (even though you know you won’t) is made even worse when the people in front of you are up next and are all of a tizz, and completely unprepared for the screening process. Making yourself more prepared while you’re in line can cut your waiting time down drastically. So take off your shoes, take off any coats, take everything out of your pockets and put your bags in one of the trays… and voila, you’re on the other side.
If you need to recline your chair, be polite
So you’re sitting comfortably in your assigned seat when *BASH* – the person in front of you has reclined their seat right into your knees. Taking advantage of reclining seats is a must, especially for long-haul flights, but be courteous about it. If you can, let the person behind you know that you are about to recline your seat. Or even better, ask them! This way they can be prepared, and you can get full use out of your recliner chair without having to deal with the ‘accidental’ kicks in the chair you receive during your flight.
Be aware of your children
Children aren’t easily controlled, and we all sympathize with this. However, letting your child run up and down the aisle, scream, or jump over the occupied seats is not going to make your other passengers very happy. Children are the parent’s responsibility, and it is important to keep them in check. We appreciate this isn’t always feasible, but we also appreciate the effort.
Plan your convenience breaks at a convenient time
Going to the toilet is not something you can plan very well. And needing a wee is an inevitable eventuality. But knowing when to and when not to go up to the bathroom is what makes a good passenger a great passenger. If you see the cabin crews walking down the aisle with their food cart, then it is not a good time to get up and try and wiggle your way through to the other end of the airplane. Always try to get up when the aisles are clear.
Get off the plane calmly and efficiently
Everyone is eager to get off the airplane as quickly as possible when you land – it’s not just you. If the doors have yet to open, don’t all crowd down to them, as this will hinder the process. Instead, get off in a calm, orderly fashion. This will even make the whole process go quicker, and you’ll be out of the glorified tin can in no time.
Don’t force conversations
A lot of people use airplane journeys as a chance to relax, listen to some music, watch some good movies or read a good book. The last thing anyone wants is a seat neighbor trying to force a conversation or friendship out of them if they don’t want it. Exchange niceties, a few hello’s and greetings, but gage their reaction. If they don’t want to talk to you and are not engaging, it’s pretty obvious they don’t want to talk. If they do carry on the conversation then great, you’ve made a new friend!
Don’t use up all of the space in the overhead cabins
Keeping your personal belongings safe on a flight is incredibly important to airline passengers, and they do not like having to keep their bags under their feet for a nine-hour flight – and you will have one grumpy and uncomfortable neighbor. Always keep your carry-on bags small so that everyone can use the space provided. And remember to never stow your bags horizontally… because the flight attendants will tell you off.