Air Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts of Air Travel

We’ve all been there. Squished in the middle seat next to someone wearing WAY too much perfume/cologne, unable to hear the movie through your headphones because of the screaming child in front of you, knees constantly bumped by the refreshment cart going up and down the aisle (not to mention that same gentlemen who is using the bathroom for the 5th time!)…And the list goes on. 

If you are guilty of committing one of these faux pas, don’t worry, I’m here to help. If you are constantly at the receiving end, be sure to forward this article to everyone you know to make air travel more comfortable. Here, ladies and gentlemen, are 10 air travel tips to make your flight as smooth as possible:

  1. Don’t take Jeffrey on the plane! If you don’t get this reference, then check out this YouTube video about Little Jeffrey. Before you get offended and think I am implying that you should fly without children, I am not. I have a daughter and we often travel with her. What I mean is if you have an overactive little child, be sure to talk to him or her prior to the flight about appropriate behavior. And have a lot to keep your darling entertained–please don’t bank on the in-flight movie being appropriate for children!
  2. Be sure that your carry-on luggage meets all weight and height requirements. If it doesn’t, you will hold up the entire line of people as you try to shove your bag into the overhead compartment. These people will glare at you for the entire flight–and, regardless of how long you try, the Flight Attendant will still take your bag and check it for you.
  3. Don’t overindulge. Let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than being stuck next to a drunk, rambling passenger that wants to have a conversation from New York to Las Vegas.
  4. Keep conversations quiet. If you are traveling with friends or family members, the people in the back of the plane don’t care about your funny musings. They simply want to sleep. Please, let them!
  5. Keep personal devices silent. The man sitting behind you does not want to hear Candy Crush music for the entire flight. Silence your devices–if you really want to listen to that music, use headphones. For kids (their ears might be a little too small for the earbuds), check out Sleep Phones.
  6. Be cautious of how you smell. Obviously, you need to shower or bathe. But also be aware of how heavily scented your body spray or lotion is. If you can smell it, then it is too strong. You might love the newest fragrance–but the person sitting across from you might just have an asthma attack.
  7. If you have problems sitting still or know that you will frequent the restroom, request an aisle seat. This way, you won’t have to climb over people to get out of the row.
  8. Don’t have a lengthy cell phone conversation. With many airlines now considering the allowance of in-flight calls, please resist this urge and wait until you are on the ground.
  9. Keep what you need with you. If you know that you are going to read, get your book out before stowing it in the overhead. This goes for you iPad, your iPod, your planner, your water bottle (purchased after the security check point, of course), etc. The woman across the aisle does not want your bottom in her face constantly. On this same note, if you request the front seat of a cabin (coach or first class), you will be required to store your carry-on in an overhead. Just something to keep in mind–and a reason I usually book at least the 2nd row.
  10. Finally, as you exit the plane, refrain from pushing and shoving–and follow the basic format of the letting those in front of you go first. The only exception to this would be if there was a possibility of missing your connecting flight. In this case, notify a Flight Attendant to help you exit the plane as soon as the door opens. If notified, they will usually ask all other passengers to remain seated.

Okay, there you have ’em. 10 tips to make air travel more pleasant for everyone. Do you have a funny, tragic, true, or totally unrelated tale about flying? If so, I’d love to read about it in the comments below!

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