Happy Travel Tip Tuesday! This month I want to touch base on basic airplane etiquette, drawing inspiration from the past week where I endured 4 flights, each with their own mix of excitement and frustration. When flying to and from your next bucket list location, remember that you are still in a public place – not your living room.
My most recent experience was the passenger in the middle row across from myself (it was a wide body plane) spread out over all the seats, shoes off, SOCKS off, and resting her bare feet on the pull-down tray. Gross! I’m never eating any crumbs off trays again. I know you want to relax and get some shut-eye on long flights, please spare us the sight of your feet! Airplanes are not as clean as you think. Carpets get spot cleaned, the windows are not regularly washed, and attendants only have 5 minutes to walk through and tidy the plane before the next batch of travelers load in, so really, do you want to walk around in bare feet collecting those germs and bringing them with you? There are better souvenirs in the airport gift shop.
Make it a smoother ride for everyone by maintaining your personal space, and respecting those around you, especially if you like the same treatment back. Most people prefer the aisle or window, but quite often the only seat left is the middle. Let the middle seat passenger use both armrests (they are stuck in the middle, with no window to lean on, or aisle to escape down. It’s the right thing to do), keep your legs in front of you, and respect the bag rules for safety reasons.
Last week my middle seat neighbor brought two bags with him; his so-called personal bag and a carry-on. The carry on tightly went in the overhead storage bin, no issues there. It was this so-called personal item that was so large, it could not fit under the seat in front of him, barricading myself, the window passenger, in my seat for the entire flight. When the flight attendant came by for pre-takeoff checks, he carefully angled his body and what appears to be Harry Potter’s cape to cover his enormous bag so the flight attendants did not notice. When disembarking the plane, he couldn’t get his bag out, as it got stuck, delaying many passengers from leaving the aircraft. Don’t be this person. If your bag is too big to fit, pay to get it checked or pack better for next time, do not inconvenience others just because you can’t pack accordingly.
Disembarking – We all want to get off the plane. It’s hot, smelly, and we are excited to start our next adventure or return home. Don’t rush ahead (if you must to catch that connecting flight, do so kindly, you really do catch more bees with honey). But don’t push, shove and cut in line, just don’t.
Other things to consider when traveling, it’s kind to help those around you that are having a hard time with their bag. If a family asks you to swap a seat – consider it, one day that could be you asking to sit next to your sweetie pie (some low budget airlines *cough* Viva Air Peru *cough* world’s worst airline *cough* purposely don’t seat you together, so that you’ll pay extra fees to move. Instead, we sat 24 rows apart.).
Who doesn’t love free wine? But does that mean you should get drunk? NO. You are not at the bar. A rule of thumb is that 1 drink on a plane is equivalent to 2 drinks on the ground. Respect those around you and keep your drinking to a minimum. We don’t need to hear you shouting, or crying, while we are trying to eat our hospital food sized dinners. Don’t be that person. They also say to avoid coffee, tea, and sodas, but meh, go for it if you like, just be sure to stay hydrated. My drink of choice is a tomato juice, a special treat when among the clouds.
So there you have it, some of my tips to make the flight enjoyable for yourself, and others. Do you have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments below!