DOs and DON’Ts: Air Travel

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Air travel can be either an exciting time for people or a very scary time. It all depends on the person. Some people get a thrill from the experience of flying while others are so scared that they require a Valium and a stiff drink to even board the plane. But no matter which type of person you are, there are certain etiquette rules that, if we all follow, can make air travel a more enjoyable experience for virtually everyone.

DO: Know the baggage requirements.

Every time I fly, it amazes me how many people honestly don’t check the baggage requirements beforehand. And it’s really not that hard! Every airline has the requirements up on their website. So check it and you won’t be surprised by suddenly having to check your carry-on bag that contains all of your in-flight activities.

DON’T: Argue with the flight attendants.

If a flight attendant tells you to put your chair upright or fasten your seat belt, then put your chair upright and fasten your seat belt. They’re not there to give you a hard time. Their job is to get you safely from point A to point B while flying tens of thousands of miles up in the sky.

DO: Be prepared for security.

No one wants to spend any more time than they have to sitting in an airport security line. By thinking ahead and emptying your pockets or by taking your shoes or jacket off, you can help make the process smoother and quicker for everyone. Once your belongings make their through the x-ray machine, gather them as quickly as possible and move to another spot where you can get everything together and put your shoes back on, without being in anyone else’s way.

DON’T: Douse yourself in perfume or cologne.

Because no one wants to be next to someone that reeks of the Macy’s perfume section, while stuck in a glorified metal box with wings for 3 hours.

DO: Be courteous if you’re going to recline.

This is definitely a topic for debate, but I say that if your seat is able to recline, then you have the right to. But it can’t hurt to glance behind you first to make sure that you won’t be completely disturbing someone when you do recline.

DON’T: Let your kids run amuck.

Kids are kids, we all get it. And sometimes they have meltdowns for no reason at all. But, as a parent, try and pack a bag full of activities such as puzzles, coloring books, movies, or whatever so that you’re at least prepared with stuff for them to do. Because parent or not, no one likes to be stuck on a plane with a screaming child.

DO: Give the person in the middle seat the armrests.

I know this might seem a bit extreme to some of you, but think about it. The person in the window seat can lean against the side and rest their head. The person in the aisle can stretch their feet. But the poor person in the middle seat has nothing. So at least give them the armrests!

DON’T: Get drunk.

No one wants to be stuck on a plane with an annoying drunk person. So please, don’t be that person. A couple of drinks on the plane is fine assuming you didn’t already have 6 others in the terminal bar before the flight. Moderation is key.

DO: Wait your turn to leave the airplane.

We all want to get off the plane ASAP. There’s no denying that. So wait your turn, keeping in mind it goes by rows, and everyone will be a lot happier.