Let’s talk travel etiquette (or lack of) while on a plane – ugh!

For those of us who travel frequently and for those who just travel for summer vacations by air, this is for you! Because I’m on airplanes nearly weekly, I’m providing a list of etiquette tips and basic dos and taboos. I’m sure you’ll identify with many of these behaviors as you’ve probably noticed them, too!

Here we go…

  • Seats are for people – don’t put luggage or feet on seats - the gate area is for everyone, not just for people who need a pack mule for all of their belongings
  • When leaving the gate to board the plane, throw your and your children’s trash away
  • Boarding the plane – you may feel like cattle, but even cattle need their space so back up a step rather than crowding
  • Once on the plane heed the request to step into the aisle so other people can pass – if it takes more than a few seconds to stow (squeeze, push, shove) your bag you may need to check it the next time
  • When the flight attendant asks for all electronic devices to be turned off and stowed for takeoff, don’t be a child and wait until you’ve been caught to obey the rule!
  • To talk or not to talk to the stranger seated next to you…not everyone welcomes conversation so pay attention to signals – a face buried in a book is one of them!
  • We have now reached 10,000 feet does not mean I can now listen to my music, watch a movie or play a game on my iPad without headphones
  • If you decide you’re more comfortable reclining your seat, do so carefully and not right after beverages have been served
  • As one flight attendant recently admonished “no hoarding the snacks – we need to have some for everyone” – does this remind you of kindergarten…hmmm…who would be so greedy?
  • If you brought your very own delectable snack or meal, does the odor of it cause people to wrinkle their noses or bring tears to their eyes –remember it’s called shared airspace!
  • Speaking of offensive aromas, because you were rushed you thought, “I’ll polish my nails on the plane to save time” – that would be a big NO, don’t do that!
  • No personal grooming on the plane unless you’re in the lavatory – I have witnessed flossing of teeth, clipping of nails, tweezing of brows and things that involve a nose without a tissue
  • When using the plane lavatory, leave it clean and tidy for the next person and don’t forget to lock the door/slide the latch to indicate occupied
  • Take pity on the middle seat occupant – they really deserve both armrests, don’t you think?
  • Seatback pockets are NOT trash receptacles and the flight attendants should not have to clean up after you…ever!
  • And if you’re traveling with children (your children), remember your parenting skills are being duly observed
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