Airplane Etiquette for Travellers

Thu, 08/09/2011 - 5:56pm
Read Time: 1.9 mins

Getting to the airport early, checking in, clearing customs can be hassle enough. Once boarded and you're on the plane, you want peace and want to be able to enjoy your flight. When travelling we're sometimes forced to rub elbows with people we don't know and when you're sitting in close proximity for extended periods of time a little consideration can go a long way. Practice these simple rules to make your flight easier for everyone, including yourself.

Family at the Airport Departing - Flight Centre NZ


Welcoming fellow passengers
Say hi to the person you sit next to. It’s etiquette for the person about to sit to say hi first,
the person seated should reciprocate to ensure everyone has a pleasant journey.

Overhead compartments
Don’t steal compartments above of other seats. If you have lots of luggage, check it in!
Same goes for large cumbersome cabin bags, don’t over stuff them so they hit
everyone’s elbows on the aisle on the way to your seat.

Seat reclining
When you put your seat back, check the person behind you isn’t working on a laptop,
reading the paper or eating. It’s an unspoken rule that when meals are being served, you
put your seat forward.

Use only the space you need when you recline, don’t go all the way for the sake of it!
If you’re the victim of an insensitive recliner, try nudging the seat up when the recliner
goes to the bathroom. Or place your knee behind the seat as they’re reclining, which
makes them think they’re all the way back. Be careful not to overdo this trick, as
unwarranted nudges can cause in-flight brawls!

The arm rest
The person in the middle has the first right to the arm rest. Others on either side can use
their own dedicated arm rest.

Bathroom visits
If you are a frequent bathroom visitor, request an aisle seat.
If you’re in the middle, go to the bathroom when the aisle seat passenger goes, don’t
wait until they come back and get settled to then go.

Don’t spray perfume at your seat.

Take your earphones off when saying what drink or meal you would like and when
talking to your friends. No one wants to hear whether you have the chicken or the fish.
Some movies are very funny, but remember to laugh quietly at the good bits.

Air conditioning
Never play with someone else’s aircon. If it’s blowing on you, ask if they mind if you point
it away from you.

Meals and Drinks
Order ahead. It’s best practice to order a vege/vegan etc meal ahead of time. And don’t
ask for a regular meal when you’ve ordered a vege meal, just because it sounds nicer.
Try not to drink too much alcohol, leering passengers can make for a long journey.

Ask for a tissue, a constantly sniffing passenger can get very irritating.

Exiting the plane
When everyone stands to exit, always give way to those on the left. And make sure you
go row by row. If you’re going to take longer, wait until the end. Never go before the row
ahead of you if they’re waiting.

Follow the rules and you and your fellow travel passengers have a better flying experience! Do you have airplane etiquette advice for travellers that we may have missed? Share your experience with us and drop us a line in the comments section below.

Need more information about airport departures for international travel?
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