If you’ve spent enough time on airplanes you’ve no doubt had some bad experiences that you wish you could’ve avoided. Maybe another passenger was sitting in your seat and refused to move? Maybe the passenger sitting in front of you spent the entire flight with their seat fully reclined making you flight extremely uncomfortable? Those of us who travel have all been on a flight with a passenger who thinks the entire world revolves around them. Some these issues can even lead to physical altercations as patience dwindles and tempers flare.
So, how can you avoid awkward and even painful experiences next time you fly? Here are four airplane faux pas’ to avoid on your next trip.
Flight Etiquette Tips
Know When and When not to Recline Your Seat – The question of when and how far back to recline your airplane seat is quite a hot topic. There are some of the opinions that unless you’re 5ft 10, never recline your chair in an airplane. Others feel that they paid for the seat and should be able to get as comfortable as possible. According to The Travel Wizard, the average seat pitch on a short flight is only 31 inches, so that doesn’t leave a lot of extra room. Because of this, you should be strategic and thoughtful of the passenger behind you when reclining your seat. You may even consider giving the person behind you a heads up if you are thinking about reclining.
Only Use the Overhead Bin Above Your Seat – For many fliers, using another passenger’s overhead compartment space is a major no-no. Travel guru Patrick Smith had one plea when asked about flight commandments: do not put your carry-on in the first empty bin that you find. “It drives me crazy when I see a guy shoving his 26-inch TUMI into a bin above row 5, then continuing on to his assigned seat in row 52. Those seated in the front must now travel backward to stow their belongings, then return upstream, against the flow of traffic. Then, after landing, these same people have to fight their way rearward again while everybody is trying to exit.”
Airplanes Are Not the Place to Make New Friends – Egencia, a corporate travel management company, conducted a survey that showed 24% of business travelers like to network during a flight. Conversely, 38% of passengers put their headphones on to listen to music when dealing with a chatterbox while 15% pretend to be asleep. If you like chatting it up, try reading a person’s body language to gauge whether or not the person next to you is open to conversation. Do they turn to you when responding to you or do they look away? Do they answer with short statements or do they seem willing to have a conversation? Are they wearing headphones? Are they yawning at an unusual rate? Be mindful of what your seat companion is telling you and respond appropriately.
An Airplane is Not the Place to Get Wasted – Mark Twain said, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough”. People who suffered being witnesses to scary fights on airplanes started by drunk passengers would beg to differ. Not only are these fights terrifying but they can also lead to the inconvenience of having their flights diverted to eject intoxicated passengers. Use common sense when it comes to drinking during a flight and don’t overdo it.
Always err on the side of caution when it comes to airplane etiquette. For more tips on flying smart and safe, please contact Elevate Aviation here in Salt Lake City, Utah.