I’ve been both lucky and unlucky when getting on a plane, I’ll either be seated next to a sick child on a 16 hour flight, or I’ll be gifted with a whole row to myself – I’ve had both ends of the spectrum. But there are still things that people don’t seem to get. Plane Etiquette DOES exist, and here are 20 of the unsaid rules:
1. Remember how security works
This comes before the actual boarding of the plane, but this one always gets me. Laptops, coins, all those knick-knacks, get them out BEFORE you reach the conveyor belt. I find that every time I’m going through security there’s someone who suddenly forgets what they are doing, and we all love traffic don’t we?
2. Don’t rush your way through people to get off the plane
Be polite and patient. Same goes for getting ON the plane, what’s your hurry? The plane isn’t going to leave without you.
3. Don’t hog the baggage space
4. Don’t argue with flight attendant about electronics
Unless they specifically say you can use your phones ON FLIGHT MODE don’t be one of those people. Even if the flight attendant has not said anything, using electronics when you haven’t been told that you are allowed to can make other passengers uneasy.
5. Don’t take both armrests
But also remember – if you’re in a window or isle seat, the armrests are generally for the middle passenger. That’s all the space they have really…
6. Don’t put your bare feet on the seat in front of you
In fact, don’t be bare foot for any part of the trip.
7. Don’t leave your limbs hanging over the aisle
On more than one occasion I have seen those people hang their arms and legs over the aisle. Sooner than later they get an inevitable painful bump from the food cart and it’s now all the flight attendants fault. Doing this is not only annoying to the flight attendants, but for everyone else walking down the aisle.
8. Don’t recline your seat at meal times
Now DON’T get me started. Reclining your seat in general should have some level of courtesy, we’re all stuck in these tiny little seats. More than once I have seen the domino line of people reclining because some selfish person at the front is taking advantage of the opportunity. Have you ever tried folding out your table and eating your food when the seat in front of you is an inch from your face?
9. Do not EVER watch plane disaster movies – enough said.
10. Think about how you sleep.
When I say this I’m sort of focussing on the people on the middle seat and aisle, if you fall asleep leaning forward, bathroom goers may be forced to wake you up so that they can get past. Also, if you know that you snore, perhaps research preventative methods?
11. Don’t leave your lights on for the entirety of the “sleeping time”
I get that you might be having trouble sleeping, but not sleeping in the allowed times are a mistake in itself – if not now, you’ll only be able to when the lights are on.
12. Don’t miss a shower before a flight. Please.
Think about your body odour, bring deodorant.
13. Take your farts elsewhere
14. Respect the lavatory.
It is said that “the normally accepted minimum ratio of lavatories to passengers is 1:50”. This said, most of the time someone is waiting for the lavatory as soon as you step in it, even if there is no line, many people sit and wait to see it become available. So just be respectful with your time – no full body sponge-baths haha!
15. Keep the kids in check.
Honestly pointing at the woman who let her child kick and flail at my seat for an entire journey for Europe. Despite my entire row turning around mentioning it to her on several occasions, she acted oblivious – and yet still made no comments to her kids.
16. Think of a plane like a quiet carriage.
Don’t have loud and obnoxious conversations and don’t force conversations with your neighbours.
18. Don’t get drunk.
19. Don’t wake up people unnecessarily.
Sleep is hard enough to get already. HEY wake up here’s a packet of nuts. No. Just leave me my nuts and I’ll have them when I wake up.
20. Don’t be that guy who has to get up every 5 minutes to go to the bathroom when he’s picked a window seat.
Try and get up only when it’s convenient. When I’m at the window seat I go to the bathroom whenever my neighbours do. Even if I don’t really need to at the time it’s more efficient then continuing to wake everyone up.
Over to you, what really grinds your gears when you’re aboard a plane?