Airplane Etiquette 101

Whether you travel a ton, or just a smidge, it’s important to know how to behave yourself on a plane. Sure, some things just seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how people act while traveling. Need a reminder? Here are a handful of rules and suggestions. 

Get your shit together. Have your carry-on luggage ready to stow, your boarding pass and I.D. ready to present. 

Be on time. When you purchase an airline ticket, it’s made very clear when you have to be at the airport, check in, and check your bags. You don’t have to be extremely early, but you do need to be on time. For your own sake.

Be ready to go through security, and move it along. No, you can’t bring that bottle of water. Yes, you have to take your shoes off. Oh, you have a bunch of change and other shit in your pocket? Take it out! Take off your jacket! When in doubt put it in the bucket. The security folks are not going to be mad at you for being overly cautious, but they’re going to be pissed if they need to repeatedly tell you the basics. 

Don’t be gross.
If you need to perform some sort of bodily function, go to the restroom to do it. 

Please do not pick your nose. 

If you choose to pick your nose, despite the above warning, do not, under any circumstances, roll it between your fingers. In no way, at no time, is this okay. 

Respect personal space. Do you really need to recline your chair? Think about how it feels when the person in front of you does it. Unless it’s going to change your life, don’t do it. 

The person in the middle seat gets the armrests. No exceptions.  

Read the room {or… cabin}. Don’t chat too much. Do introduce yourself, give a little bit of small talk, and see how your seat-mate reacts. It’s nice to be friendly, but no one needs a narrative during a flight. 

Hey, Mister Peebody! Get an aisle seat! It’s great to stay hydrated during a flight, but if you know you’re going to drink a lot, and therefore pee a lot, get an aisle seat so you can use the restroom as often as you need to without waking up or disturbing your seat-mates. 

Don’t sit in a seat that isn’t yours. If you need to change seats, first ask the flight attendants if it’s okay, and if it is, ask the person who would be sitting next to you. Everyone on your flight paid for a seat. Respect that. 

Be polite. Treat your neighbours and the flight attendants with respect. Again, all passengers paid for seats, so you’re all in the same boat {er… plane}. Flight attendants are just doing their jobs, and it’s not an easy one. Be patient, be kind, and be courteous. 

No smelly food, please. Okay, it might not be smelly to you, but give it a think. Onions? Garlic? Meat? Spices? Maybe skip it. Flying makes many people nauseous, so adding an assortment of scents doesn’t help the situation. Same goes for perfume and cologne. 

Don’t get wasted. Having a couple of drinks on {or before} a flight makes sense; especially for those of us who don’t love flying. Do consider, however, that alcohol affects you differently up in the air, and a little bit goes a long way. 

Sure, you might want to get up and stretch your legs while you’re in the air. Don’t loiter around someone’s seat, and sure as hell don’t do weird toe-touches. No one needs your ass in their face. 

Stick to your own seat, pocket, and tray. Even if there’s a free seat between you and your seat mate. Absolutely need to use some of that space? Ask first. It’s just polite. 

Hey, you, wearing no shoes. That wet stuff on the floor in the restroom isn’t water. 

Don’t start getting up before the seat belt sign is off. It’s just annoying and rude, and people are secretly hoping that the plane comes to a sudden stop while you’re standing up so you fall on your face and learn a lesson. 

If you have a shit ton of stuff up in the overhead bins, let people pass before you start trying to take it out. 

On that note, if someone near you has a heavy piece of luggage in the overhead bin and appears to be struggling with it, lend a hand. 

When you’re getting in the aisle, let others in front of you. This actually speeds things up, and encourages others to do the same. 

Have any tips of your own? Share them, below! The more, the merrier, friends.