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Okay, so there isn’t exactly a handbook on how to behave on an airplane, otherwise known as airplane etiquette but there are some tips to make your flying experience a pleasant one for everyone around you, including you. To play your part, I’ve put together a list of 14 basic rules of airplane etiquette, based on my own flying experiences.
1. Reclining your seat.
Rule number one: there’s a legitimate safety reason why airlines seats need to be in the upright position at certain times. Mealtime is no exception. Don’t recline your seat when you’re eating. Do you know what that does to the person behind you? You know exactly what it does!
2. Be aware of the people around you.
That means keeping your headphones at a reasonable volume, not loud enough for the rest of the plane to know your business. This goes for LOUD conversations, too.
3. Armrests wars.
As for the dreaded armrest debate, here’s my take on it is this: The person in the middle already has it bad enough, so let them have it. But, you should feel free to say something if their elbows start invading in on your space.
4. Bringing food on the plane that smells.
I love tuna fish sandwiches, but I don’t necessarily want to smell it for a whole 5 hour flight, neither does everyone else on the plane.
5. Mind your body odor.
Wear deodorant (and don’t fart.) I don’t even know what to say to this aside that it should be mandatory before boarding a plane.
6. Letting your kids run wild while you have noise canceling headphones on.
You may be exhausted, but they are your responsibility. This isn’t a daycare.
7. Insisting on a conversation when its obvious your neighbor doesn’t want to hold one.
The earphones are a dead give away.
8. Loud conversations.
Your neighbor and those 10 rows back don’t want to hear about you shenanigans from the night before.
9. Getting up to use the restroom every 20-minutes when you picked the window seat.
This needs no explanation.
10. Remember how security works.
This is all about thinking a few steps ahead, so you get through the screening process as quickly as possible. Before you get to the x-ray machine, take everything out of your pockets. Put it all in your bag, or the pocket of a coat that you’ll put through the machine. When you belongings come out, collect them quickly and move to a spot where you’re not blocking anyone. Then you can put your shoes and belt on.
11. Don’t hog the overhead bin.
Carry-on space is at a premium these days. If you have two carry-on bags, keep the smaller one at your feet.
12. Don’t get hammered.
Having a few drinks is a fine way to pass the time, but keep yourself in check. You open the door to annoying everyone around you, reeking of booze, and needing to get up to use the lavatory every 20 minutes.
13. Respect the lavatory.
This one’s simple: Don’t take a lot of time, and don’t make a mess. There are probably people waiting to get in there, and they deserve a clean lavatory as much as you do.
14. Get off the plane politely and efficiently.
Remember that everyone is as eager to get off the plane as you are. Don’t crowd into the aisle if there isn’t room, and let everyone ahead of you get out before making a move.
I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.