Airplane Etiquette – Your Ticket to a Pleasant Flight
Don’t you sometimes wish there were stricter rules on an airplane; that people could get ticketed or kicked off the airplane for inappropriate and rude behavior? (Hey, the airlines could charge for parachutes.) If you’re a frequent flyer, no doubt you have some horror stories to tell. Unfortunately, you can’t force etiquette on others but you can control how you behave. Your flight and the flight of the people around you will be a better experience altogether if you practice a little airplane etiquette. Hopefully, others will follow your example. Here are some ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of airplane behavior.
* Board the plane without lingering or holding up the line.
* Ask other passengers before moving their bags around in the overhead compartments.
* If you need to remove your shoes during the flight, make sure you have something to control any foot odor, such as odor-absorbing inserts.
* Be polite if your seat mate is talkative. You can graciously tell him or her that you are tired and do not really want to talk, but if they are compulsive or annoying about talking, just smile and be polite.
* Be careful when opening the overhead luggage compartment. Make sure nothing falls out onto your fellow passengers.
* Keep your elbows and feet to yourself. No one needs to have his or her space invaded.
* Discuss the flight ahead of time with your children so they will know how to behave. Small babies and toddlers whose schedules are often upset by flying are harder to deal with, but older children can be instructed on airplane behavior.
* If you have a window seat, check with your seat mate before fiddling with the window shade. See what he or she would prefer and try to reach a compromise. Then leave the shade alone.
* Don’t put your carry-on bag in an empty seat until you know everyone has boarded the plane. If the seat is still empty, then use it.
* Refrain from enormous carry-ons. You’ll regret it, and so will the people around you.
* Switching seats is fine once everyone in on board, but don’t switch until you are sure everyone is seated.
* Don’t “over talk” to your seat mate if he or she does not seem interested in a conversation. Be sensitive and aware of other’s nuances and body language.
* Do not try to read over anyone’s shoulder, whether it’s a computer, book or magazine.
* Don’t kick the seat in front of you or bump it incessantly.
* Don’t try to be the first one off the plane. Wait your turn, and let others go ahead, even if your luggage is in the overhead compartment toward the front.
Generally speaking, airplane etiquette is a combination of common sense and good manners. Try to be a pleasant passenger and hopefully others will do the same.