Air travel is not what it once was. Gone are the days of families getting dressed up in their Sunday best and eagerly anticipating the experience of flying. Rather than spacious seats and fun flying experiences, the news reports are filled with stories about travel issues, rude passengers and poor plane etiquette.
Whether you are flying first-class or economy, you can make your flying experience more pleasant by respecting airline etiquette. If all passengers “play by the rules,” everyone’s flight experience would be more pleasant and memorable for all the right reasons.
To do your part, here are 10 things you can do to help improve the flying experience for yourself and others:
- Follow all security protocols: Don’t be the person who ignores security rules. When approaching the X-ray machine, be prepared to take everything out of your pockets, remove your shoes, have your passport and boarding pass handy, and be quick to respond to inquiries from security staff. This will help the line move quicker.
- Don’t try to board the plane out of order: If you are in boarding section 3, wait until your section is called before you get in line to board the plane. There is no need to butt in line; the plane will not leave until everyone is on board.
- Recline with care: This is a hot topic that is still up in the air. Should you recline your seat? Is it your right, or should you consider the passenger behind you and obtain consent? If you do plan to recline your seat, give the person behind you some notice. They will appreciate the courtesy.
- Don’t let your kids run wild: Flying is uncomfortable enough, and passengers may not appreciate being in a position of needing to tolerate other people’s children running about noisily. If you are travelling with your kids, do your best to keep them in check.
- Turn off your electronics before departing: We all know that flight attendants will request that you turn off all electronic devices during takeoff and landing. Even if you think it’s a foolish rule, you should respect it.
- Avoid repeatedly getting out of your seat: Once the plane takes off, stay in your seat. Go to the washroom before you board the plane, get everything out of your bag before the plane departs, and do your best not to disrupt food and drink service.
- Don’t hog the overhead bin: When flights fill up, space in the overhead compartment fills up quickly as well. Do your best to share the space with other travellers in your row. If you have more than one bag, keep one stored under the seat in front of you.
- Leave the middle seat armrest for the person in the middle seat: No one wants to get stuck in the middle seat, especially if they are crammed between two strangers. It’s a tight fit, so consider giving up the extra armrest so the person in the middle can be somewhat comfortable.
- Take a hint: If other passengers are not interested in talking, take the hint and leave them alone. Many people use the time on flights to take a nap, read a book or just relax. Respect their privacy.
- Get off the plane efficiently: Don’t make a mad dash for the door as soon as the plane lands. Be patient and wait your turn. Also, avoid crowding the aisle and getting in the way of other passengers trying to get to their baggage from the overhead compartment.
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