Air travel isn’t exactly the most comfortable thing, especially if you’re flying economy. And while it’s understandable that you’d take measures to make your flight as pleasant as possible, you shouldn’t do it at the expense of other passengers. Here are some basic etiquette rules that should make your flight more comfortable (provided that other passengers follow them as well).
1. Avoid reclining your seat
Yes, we know that airplane seats aren’t the comfiest. Now that airplanes are packing planes with more seats to increase profit, we now have to make do with claustrophobic seats. While you technically can recline your seat, if you recline your seat, this means the person behind you will either be very uncomfortable or forced to recline their own seats.
Reclining your seat suddenly can also cause the person behind you to spill or even break something. If you really must recline, the polite thing to do would be to tell the person behind you that you’re going to do it, then do so slowly and carefully so that they can move any breakables out of the way.
2. Don’t hog the overhead storage
If you have two carry-on bags, don’t store both of them in the carry-on compartment. Store the smaller one under the seat in front of you. And of course, be considerate of other people and encroach on their storage space. Do the right thing and store your carry-on luggage in the space directly above your seat.
3. Don’t bring strong-smelling food on board
We’re not just talking about durian. Even a McDonald’s burger has a strong smell that not everyone will appreciate. If you’re feeling peckish, bring a snack that doesn’t have much of a smell–or just stick to eating at the terminal.
4. Keep your phone on silent
You might have the most impeccable music taste, but trust us, nobody wants to hear you blasting music in the cabin. That’s what earphones are for. Use them.
5. Be nice to the flight attendants
When flight attendants ask you to turn off your devices, don’t be a jerk and raise a fuss over nothing. They’re just doing their jobs. And even though you’ve seen the safety demonstration 1000 times, pay attention, if only to show respect to the flight attendant. And of course, if you need anything from them, ask politely. Their priority is your safety, not catering to your every whim.
6. If you’re traveling with kids, keep them in check.
Kids will be kids. But if you’re responsible for a little one, do what you can to make sure that they’re behaving properly.
And if you’re on a flight with misbehaving kids, have some patience. If you have to, talk to the parents instead of scolding the kid, because confronting a stranger’s kid is never a good look.
7. Don’t get drunk
Having access to free alcoholic drinks is amazing, but don’t go overboard. It’s never a good idea to get inebriated on a flight, especially if you can’t hold your drink. Not only will you have to get up and use the lavatory every 15 minutes, your drunken behavior could also lead to you getting restrained by the flight crew.
8. Give the armrests to the middle seat
This should be simple. The aisle seat gets the outer armrest and the easy access to the toilet, the window seat gets a surface to lean on and a great view, while the middle seat gets the armrests. Fair’s fair.
9. Wear deodorant
We really shouldn’t have to say this, but please be considerate of your fellow passengers and take care of your hygiene.
10. Don’t assume your seatmate wants to talk to you
Lots of travelers enjoy striking up conversations with strangers, but not everyone does. If your seatmate seems disinterested in the conversation, take a hint.
11. Keep your voice down
Traveling with friends? Keep the volume of your chatter to a minimum, especially on red-eye flights where people are trying to get some sleep.
12. After landing, wait until the seatbelt sign is turned off before you stand up
You’re all going to get off the plane eventually. Chill out.
13. At the airport, don’t crowd the luggage carousel.
Crowding the carousel makes it harder for other people to see what’s going on, which results in more crowding, which results in more people not being able to see. You know what works better? Staying behind the yellow line and waiting for your luggage to appear before moving forward. Simple, eh?
Which of these airplane habits annoy you the most?