Airplane etiquette

Simple rules to follow when traveling by air

With the current concerns about sharing close quarters with other humans and their germs, it seems a good time to review some basic air travel manners – or, mannairs, as we like to call them at TakeOffeh.

Carry a bottle of waterless hand sanitizer. Germs can live up to four hours on objects such as armrests and door handles. If you can’t get to running water and soap, use the goop!

When the airport is crowded and seating limited, put your bags on the ground, not on the seat beside you. You may want to create a containment zone around you, but unless you bought a ticket for your bags, other passengers get priority.

Yes, they really need to see your ID and boarding pass. Keep them both in hand before you attempt to board. If you can’t find them, step out of line, and then search through your pockets and bags.

Don’t linger in the aisle. The aisle isn’t a meeting place or a storage area – the crew and other passengers need to get by. Get your gear stowed and yourself in your seat as quickly as you can.

Don’t put your essentials in the overhead bin. It’s disruptive to the crew and other passengers when someone keeps leaping up to rummage through their bags.  Put all the things you know you’ll need during the flight in a small bag under the seat in front of you.

Share your armrest. ‘Nuff said.

Use your backrest carefully. Sitting in an upright seat can be uncomfortable and confining. But, don’t fling your backrest down – you’re just making the person behind you miserable. Try to take it slow – the closer the seats are crammed together, the more cautious you should be. If there is such a thing as a mealtime, put your seat up so the person behind you doesn’t have your head in their food.

Don’t pound, push, kick or pull the seat in front of you while sitting, entering or exiting. It makes people crazy.

Don’t glare at crying children and their parents. It won’t help, and the parents are likely mortified already. Why not give the kid a smile, or a toy?

Parents: don’t play your kid’s dvd with the sound. Everyone can hear the squawking of the cartoon characters. Use headphones for your child.

Don’t hog the loo. The dozens or hundreds of your fellow passengers are in the same boat as you – drinking water to stay hydrated and sitting too long…now’s not the time to perform a makeover.

Sneezing, coughing & other bodily excretions. Whether you are on a plane or on the ground, sneeze into your armpit! Cough into your hand! With the cramped seating on a plane, a sneeze can cover a lot of ground, and earn some very dirty looks.

Watch your liquor. Not only can you get drunker faster on a plane than on the ground, but dehydration can lead to massively cruel hangovers. Spare everyone, especially yourself, by moderating your consumption.

Don’t yell at the crew or staff. Whatever the problem, shouting won’t help.

When all else fails, keep yourself busy. If your flight is crowded, uncomfortable and rage-inducing, amuse yourself. Read a dumb novel, listen to some Britney, eat great chocolate.

Photo Credits: floop, gchutka, andymagic

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