Airplane etiquette is a simple list of things you can do and shouldn’t do to make flying better. A little bit of manners will go a long way when you are on a long flight.
The Do’s of Airplane Etiquette
- Always have your boarding pass ready. This allows for the line getting on the plane to run smoothly.
- Be patient with everyone who is boarding the plane. You will run into mothers with small children, elderly people and so many others that could use your help and patience. It is always nice to offer a hand to help them.
- When stowing your carry on, put it in the bins that are located near your seat. Placing them in a bin near the front of the plane when you are seated at the back makes it difficult for those who have seats in the front.
- If you are already in your seat and the passenger who will be sitting next to you arrives, stand up to let them pass.
- Be sure to dress comfortably and warm for the flight. Wear clothes that are tasteful. Flights are generally chilly. Showering and using deodorant are fantastic ways to keep you and everyone around happy.
- If you are traveling with your children they are your number one priority. As much as you want to relax, keep them entertained. Bring books, games, coloring…anything that will help to keep them occupied for a long period of time in a tight place. Help them to understand that they shouldn’t kick the seat of the person in front of them, run up and down the aisles or yell and scream. Making it a fun adventure for them will help them.
- If you should decided you would like to recline your seat, show your good airplane manners by looking behind you before you recline. Doing so will help you avoid bumping knees, spilling drinks or knocking over anything that is on their tray. It is also a fabulous idea to ask the person if they would be okay with your seat reclined.
- Armrests are always in high demand and short supply. A good rule to follow is this: if you have the aisle seat or the window seat you should take the armrest on the outside. Leave the middle armrests for the ‘lucky’ person who ‘won’ the middle seat.
- Follow the pilots and flight attendants’ instructions. Turn off your cell phone and all other electronics when asked to do so.
- If you are listening to music, watching a movie or working, keep the volume down and headphones in.
- Be courteous to your neighbor. You will know within 2 questions if they would like to have a transcontinental conversation with you. Respect their wishes to chat or not.
- If and when you need to use the restroom, wait until all beverage and meal services are completed (unless it is a dire emergency). Leave the restroom clean when you are finished with your business.
- When disembarking the plane, be patient. Everyone will get off the plane, however it takes time. Offer to lend a hand to those who have a lot to carry (children, bags…).
- Most importantly, use your pleases and thank yous with the flight attendants and those around you. It is simply good travel etiquette to thank those who are providing you with a service.
The Don’ts of Airplane Etiquette
- If you have a window seat, choose whether you would like the shade up or down. Changing your mind every 5 minutes is impolite.
- When a person has decided to use your seat as a punching and kicking bag, don’t yell at them. Ask them politely (if it is a child enlist their parent for help) to stop. If it continues to be a problem talk to a flight attendant.
- Don’t assume everyone wants to hear your conversation or music. Keep your volume low and muted.
- Airplanes are not a place for huge public displays of affection. Hand holding, quick little smooches and head cuddles are perfect. Slobbering all over each other, making out and groping each other are not. There is a time and place for everything, the airplane is not one of them.
- If you need to get up, don’t shove past the person you are sitting next to. Politely ask them if you can get out and then wait for them to stand up.
- At the end of the flight, don’t throw open the overhead bins. Carefully open them. This will help you avoid any stray pieces of luggage from falling on your head or those around you.
Flying is a great way to travel long distances. Airplane etiquette is simply common courtesy. Using it will go a long way when you are in the air.