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Airplane Etiquette

Updated on March 26, 2012

Travel can be a lot of fun, but there can also be a lot of annoyances. As a person who travels a lot I often wish other travelers were a little more considerate. When you stop and think about it several hundred lives immediately become intertwined once we step onto that metal tube called an airplane.

Over the past three years I have averaged about 30,000 to 40,000 miles per year by airplane. Needless to say I've sat on a few planes. Because I travel frequently I typically get priority seating and will sit in the "front" of the plane, which makes all the difference in the world when traveling. However, this past week my ticket was purchased by someone other than myself on a different carrier then I normally fly. This caused me to have to sit in coach where the realities of flight came to life again.

In this HUB I would like to talk about some flight etiquette. Remember, there are more people on the plane than yourself and you affect the comfort of their flight as much as their behavior affects yours.

Making the Connection

When you are in an airport there are basically two types of people that you will encounter. Those who need to run to catch their next flight and those who have all the time in the world. In my last trip I had the unfortunate pleasure of having a short layover, a late plane, and a connecting flight in another terminal. Needless to say I had to hustle in order to make the connection.

In this particular airport they had the escalator walkways. These are designed to either allow a person to be scooted along without walking or to allow a person to walk a lot faster than normal. You will see on these walkways a line down the middle of the escalator that states that the left side is for walking and the right side is for standing.

A mindful person will not stand on the left side when people who are obviously in a hurry are trying to get by. Just because you are not pressed for time doesn't mean that others aren't. Get out of the way. If you are walking pay attention to others who are walking. In my current experience a lady was walking on the left side, but had about 8 people behind her trying to get by because she was walking extremely slow. It amazes me how some are so clueless to what is going on around them.

Too Tight

I remember when my daughter was young, one of her favorite things to say was, "too tight."  Well that is all too true on an airplane.  It is tight!  However, just because it's tight does not mean that you have to ignore the people around you.

When sitting down or getting up use the arm rest not the persons seat in front of you.  It is very uncomfortable and annoying when people are always pulling on the back of your seat.  Many people have the ability to sleep while being on a plane but are unable to because someone is always yanking on their seat.  To me this is a common courtesy but it seems that common courtesy doesn't mean a whole lot these days.

What Are You Doing?

As I sat on my flights last week I looked around at the people that were nearby.  There were people sleeping, reading books, watching movies, playing games, working on laptops, and talking.  I don't know why it is that some people think that what they have to say the world should have to listen.

Having a good conversation is very enjoyable, but having to listen to someone talk because they are talking so loud that you are unable to not listen is very rude.  You are not E.F. Hutton and everyone does not want to listen.  This applies to talking on your cell phone also.  Yes we are all impressed that you have the latest edition of the iPhone so use it's cool features and send a text telling your relatives that you have landed.  You are going to be seeing them in just a few minutes and you will have all the time in the world to tell them about your flying experiences so spare everyone around you from having to listen, again it's just common courtesy.

There's Pills for That!

This may seem a bit strange and you may think that this is just a rare rant, but it actually happens more frequently than you might think.  If you have gas then spend a few bucks for some antacids.  On this most recent flight someone had a problem and we all had to pay the price.  It was horrible, about every ten minutes you see people around putting scarfs, hands, and other items over their nose to try and defuse the smell.

All of these items that I am mentioning should be common sense, but for some reason escapes people.

It's Time to Get Off

Once that plane docks and the fasten seat belt sign goes off it seems that everyone jumps out in the isle to line up for exiting the plane.  Well, everyone except the person you are sitting next to when you are in a hurry.

For me, I always obtain an isle seat.  However, I did not book my last flight and it was booked just a couple of days before departure.  This made for a limited number of seats which put me by the window on one flight and in the middle on another.  It was funny how both times I was sitting next to a person who had either reached their destination or had plenty of time until their next flight so they decided to not get caught up in scrimmage of getting off the plane.  What they failed to realize was that I needed to get off as quickly as possible.

There is nothing wrong with waiting, but if you are blocking someone else at least ask them if they need to get out quickly.  Remember, you don't know what they are facing and while what they are facing might not be important to you it is important to them.


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    • zzron profile image

      zzron 8 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Very informative thank you so much.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      Try flying first class, you'll never go back again.!

    • profile image

      Tiffani 8 years ago

      i did read this one.

      and i laughed out loud at the gas part.



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