Airline Etiquette: How to be a Better Traveler

airline etiquette

The glory days of flying, where people would dress their best and you would be served full meals, is long gone. Nowadays, airports are crowded, planes are cramped and it seems like airlines are cutting back on amenities more and more.

Flying becomes even more unpleasant if you have to deal with rude passengers. Become a better traveler by following these basic rules. Otherwise, you’ll end up on here.

1. Don’t Try to Outsmart TSA

I get it. Going through TSA is annoying, but the rules are the rules. Trying to sneak items through security never works. Trying to outsmart the TSA just makes things harder for you and the lines longer for everyone else. Just follow the rules so you can get through as quickly as possible.

2. Don’t Hover by the Door to Board the Plane

I will never understand why people do this. If you have a ticket, you’ll be let you the plane, but only when it’s your turn. If you try to get on before your boarding group is called, the attendant will make you turn around and wait. I’ve seen it happen so many times. Just wait your turn and stop crowding everyone around you.

3. Don’t Try to Open that Alcohol

If you’re a nervous traveler on a long flight, a drink can definitely help take the edge off but don’t try to open those tiny bottles on your flight. The rule is: You’re allowed to take alcohol on the plane, but you can’t open it. It’s actually against federal regulations to drink alcohol on a plane that wasn’t served by a flight attendant. Part of a flight attendants job is to keep control of the cabin at all times, which means controlling how much people drink. Save that alcohol for after you land.

4. Don’t be the Annoying Drunk

Not everyone is in the mood to party on the plane. There is nothing wrong with ordering a drink, but no one wants to sit next to the loud, obnoxious person that has had too much. Don’t board the airplane drunk and respect those around you by saving your partying for your final destination.

5. Don’t Bring Smelly Food

Onions. Fish. Egg salad sandwich. Nothing stinks up a plane faster than smelly foods. Please just don’t.

6. Don’t Wear a Ton of Perfume

It’s nice that you want to smell good, but please don’t douse yourself in perfume. Personally, nothing gives me a migraine faster than a person that is loaded with perfume. A lot of people have allergies and are sensitive to smells, so please be mindful.

7. Wear Headphones

Some of your fellow passengers are trying to sleep or relax. They don’t want to hear your music or movie playing full blast. Wear headphones to help keep the plane quiet. If you forgot yours, ask a flight attendant for a pair. They almost always have some.

8. Don’t Take Your Shoes Off

I understand you want to be comfortable, but you aren’t in your living room. Walking around the plane barefoot, or putting your feet all over the seats or tray tables (where people eat!) is just gross. Keep your shoes on and your feet on the ground.

9. Don’t Be Rude to Flight Attendants

Flight attendants have a lot of responsibility, the main ones being to get you to your destination safely and on time. They aren’t your personal servants. Treat them with respect and follow their rules.

10. Don’t Ignore Your Children

I have respect for people that travel with kids. It’s hard enough traveling as an adult, so adding little ones has to be an extra level of stress.

I’m not one of those people that immediately gets annoyed when I see a child on a plane because 90% of the time, there’s no issue, but please don’t ignore your children on the flight. Don’t let them kick the seats, run up and down the aisles or draw on the windows with markers (all things I’ve seen on flights).

Fellow passengers – instead of automatically judging the family on a flight, maybe help them instead? The parents are likely stressed out beyond belief for fear that their kid is going to have a meltdown on the plane. Helping them with their bags, offering to switch seats or simply just being nice can go a long way. We all have a responsibility to be good passengers.

Airline Etiquette: Be A Better Traveler

Airline Etiquette: Be A Better Traveler

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