Belted-up, ready to fly, but have you remembered your flight etiquette? Love or hate flying, there are some things you can and can’t do to make the experience that little bit nicer for everyone else on board. Lost in the excitement of heading to your holiday destination, sometimes we can forget how our actions can affect other passengers and the crew.
Whether it’s a short journey or long-haul flight, you’re in a relatively confined space – don’t be that annoying passenger or that inconsiderate neighbour-on-board!
From sharing the window view to not being a space invader, check out our 5 basic flight etiquette tips to not being just plane-rude in the sky!
Even if you’re an incredibly experienced flyer, don’t flout the rules and ignore the requests from airline staff. Buckle up when asked to, turn off your phone and listen to the health and safety instructions. There’s no point in fighting the airline staff if you don’t agree with the rules – they clearly know best and are there to ensure your safety. Give up your carry-on bag if it’s too big to store in the overhead compartment and switch off your electronic appliances, even if you’re convinced they can be used on-board.
Don’t blast out music from your headphones either – not only can this be really annoying for neighbouring passengers, it drowns out any announcements given by the pilot or crew.
2- Be aware of the kids
Kids running up and down the aisle, kicking the back of passengers’ seats and leaving clutter down the side of their seats is a big no-go for flight etiquette! Make sure you talk the kids through what they should be doing once on board and keep an eye on them. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, whether it be moving seats to warming up a bottle of milk for a baby.
Of course, kids will be kids and flying can be an intimidating experience so if you’re flying and there are noisy children close by, have some patience and respect for their parents. Hopefully, they’ll realise soon enough if their children are being disruptive and try to rectify the situation!
3- Show respect
As you board the plane, hold your luggage in front of you – balancing it above your head or to the sides will inevitably result in another passenger being bumped in to. Similarly, ensure you’re not invading other passengers’ personal spaces – stay within your chair and don’t forcibly rush people down the aisle getting on and off the plane. By being respectful of others’ personal spaces, you’re halfway there to being the perfect inflight neighbour!
You may be travelling to celebrate an occasion or let loose under the sun, but drinking too much alcohol can cause real problems on board. Drink responsibly and of course, never abuse other passengers or airline staff. If another passenger is being disruptive and you’re anxious about their behaviour, don’t hold back from telling a member of the crew.
4- No litter-bugs!
Wear deodorant, be aware of your personal hygiene and proximity to other passengers (don’t take off your socks!), clean the toilet after use (check the kids have) and don’t throw litter or leave it needlessly behind. You’re on a plane, not in a cinema, where scattered popcorn and leftover drink cups are the norm! Usually, a flight attendant will come down and collect rubbish so there’s really no excuse for leaving your mess. Check the kids haven’t dropped anything before you leave the plane too, whether it be a toy or empty packet of crisps.
5- Common sense
A lot of flight etiquette comes down to common sense. Don’t swear or shout – there’s more than likely to be children on board. The airline staff are there to assist everyone on board, not just you! Respect their services and remember, your safety is imperative to them.
It’s not forbidden to talk to your neighbours – this can really help pass the time on a long-haul flight, but have the common sense to know when someone is trying to sleep, snooze or simply have some down-time without exchanging conversation with a chatterbox!
The recliner is a topic of huge debate on planes – as much as you have the right to recline your chair, courtesy would have you check the passenger behind does not have food on their open tray and has enough room if you’re planning on reclining for a long period of time. For a long-haul flight, bring an inflatable pillow on board. Falling asleep on your neighbour’s shoulder is never a good idea!