Airplane Etiquette

In Hacks, Lists, Travel by Jaimie0 Comments

I have flown a few times…. I might be one of those rare creatures who absolutely loves flying. Like seriously looooove. Unlike my pal Jenna who merely tolerates airplanes, I could live on an airplane if I had to. I attribute part of my love of air travel to the fact that I have done it since I was a wee lassie and I feel like I have gotten it down pat. With all of my practice going through the motions I can get pretty antsy if I wind up next to someone who acts like they are the only person on the plane. So I rounded up my favourite tips for getting to your final destination without being hated by your fellow travellers.

At the Airport

1. Be prepared! Do not get into line if you do not have all of your travel documents!
– Boarding pass
– Baggage tag
– Passport/Identification

On a recent trip to Vegas with MVK they had it set up so you printed your own boarding pass and baggage tag at a kiosk and then you lined up to have your travel documents checked and your baggage tag scanned. We had all of our documents in hand and MVK got in the lineup and then a family of four cut in front of me! They were horribly obnoxious, kids running around, and they could hardly wrangle their gigantic luggage through the lineup. MVK got to the front of the line first but this family would not let me pass to join him so MVK being the gentlemen that he is, let the family go ahead of him….. They got up to the attendant and they didn’t have any of their travel documents printed so they were sent back to the kiosks!

Do not be these people! If you are unsure of what you need to have in hand, or where you need to go, do not be afraid to ask! There are always attendants around to assist you. If in the off chance there isn’t an attendant available do not hesitate to ask a fellow traveler for help.

2. Make it through security like a boss.
– Pack your bag so you can easily remove your bag of liquids and your laptop. You know they are going to ask you to do this so save them the trouble and have this ready.
– Wear minimal jewellery. Or take my tip, I pack all of the jewellery I want to wear in a baggie and toss it in my purse. Once I’m through security I’ll put on my watch, necklaces and rings.
– If you are going through US security take your shoes off. Again, you know they are going to ask you so be preemptive.

Again be prepared. Don’t rush into line if you aren’t ready. You aren’t doing anybody any favours and people will probably resent you if you are at the front of the line rummaging through your purse looking for all of your liquids while they are ready to go behind you. Nothing pains me more than this. Airport security has been the same for a while so please familiarize yourself with it to make things run smoother for everyone!

3. Take up only as much space as you need in the boarding lounge.
– One person = one seat. Bags, snacks, purses should be on your lap or on the ground.
– Handicapped seats are for those who need them. If you are physically able take a seat further away, or prepare to be given the stink eye by me.

4. Board the plane when they call you to do so. They have zones for a reason.
– Until your zone has been called, relax in your seat. Do not, I repeat do not crowd around the gate. Your zone will be called, and you will get on the plane. Be patient.

On the Plane

5. Use the overheard bin space wisely.
– Use the bin located above your seat. If this is full use the next closest bin.
– Larger items take priority in the bins. Do not put your purse or sweater in the overheard bin. This is high value real estate. Purses go under the seat.

6. Choose your seat based on the kind of traveler you are.
– If you like to sleep and rarely get up, the window seat is made for you.
– If you constantly need to get up to walk around or use the rest room, please choose an aisle seat.
– No one likes the middle seat, if you get stuck here my sincerest condolences to you.

If you sleep the whole trip as I do, do not pick the aisle seat. If you get up every hour on the hour please do not sit in the window seat. Nothing irks me more than being climbed over a dozen times by the person who insisted on getting the window seat.

7. Know your space and be respectful of your fellow passengers space.
– If you are in the window or aisle seat, the outside armrests are yours. Leave the middle two armrests for the sucker stuck in that middle seat.
– Feel free to recline your seat, but do so gently. Don’t jolt it back suddenly. If you really want to gain brownie points peek back and give your neighbour the heads up.
– Chairs should be returned to the upright position during meal times.
– Keep your feet on the ground, do not under any circumstances put them on the armrests of the seats in front of you. This is gross.
– Speaking of feet, keep your shoes on please.

On an overseas flight to London I was stuck next to a ridiculously obnoxious girl who within moments of take off took off her shoes and then thought it was a good idea to cross her legs and have her bare feet touch my legs. It was the grossest thing ever. Don’t be this girl.

8. Use common sense. You know what grinds your gears so try your best to be as unobtrusive as possible. Your fellow travellers will thank you. Trust me on this.

Travel can be stressful and tiring, but it doesn’t have to be. If you prepare yourself and act respectfully airline travel can be a breeze. I hope that you found this article useful. If you have anything to add to this list please leave it in a comment below!

Happy travelling!