If you’re reading this, it means that I am already off on my big trip to Tanzania. Each way, the flight is roughly 30 hours. Yikes. That said, while flying comes second nature to me (I fly to NYC once a month or more), I’ve learned my fair share of travel tips and mid-air manners for life at 30,000 feet. Today, I am going to dish my tips on in-flight etiquette. According to a recent study, half of airplane travelers surveyed are most annoyed by: 1. Fellow passenger’s poor hygiene, 2. Kicking the back of airplane seats, and 3. Deplaning before those seated in front of you. While I’m sure all of you have lovely up-in-the-air etiquette, I thought it might be nice to go over the basics. So think of this as your “go graceful” travelers guide…
- Carry low & light. If possible, check your bags. If you do carry-on, hold your bag low so as not to knock your neighbors as you make your way to your seat.
- Use your overhead. Real estate is valuable on an airplane, so pack your goodies into the overhead compartment that correlates with your seat. I cannot tell you how many times I have spotted people jamming their things into the compartments toward the front of the plane (far away from their seats). Now what do all those people at the front of the plane do? Simply put, be courteous.
- Sprawl slowly. Only recline once the crew has stated that it is safe to do so. When you do recline, do it slowly. No need to surprise the person sitting behind you with a quick jolt.
- Get over grabbing. Try your best not to grab the headrest of the seat in front of you as your make your way to and from your spot. It’s annoying, isn’t it?
- The armrest debate. There are a few ways to deal if you find yourself in the center seat: A) You share with your neighbors, B) You claim one right off the bat, C) Hopefully the two end seats will feel bad for you (you know, since you’re “stuck in the middle”?) and just let you have both of them.
- Chatty Cathy and Silent Susie. Depending on who you end up next to, be sure to navigate such encounters with grace. If you are too tired to chat or too anxious not to, take a clue from (or give one to) your neighbor.
- Smells & stinks. Be mindful and don’t bring smelly food onto the plane such as fast food, stinky garlic hummus or sticky buns etc. Also, don’t wear perfume or lotions that are particularly overpowering either. Your fellow travellers will thank you!
- Turn it down. While that new Ellie Goulding remix may be amazing, you don’t need to share it with the rest of the plane. Remember that other passengers can often hear what you’re listening to on your headphones if they’re blasting.
- Bring your own books (or entertainment). How creepy is it when you realize lazy Larry hasn’t been sleeping the past 3 hours…instead, you realize, he’s been reading The Hunger Games with you! No thank you.
- Don’t be a diva (or a drunk). Remember, everyone is in the same boat–err, plane–so act accordingly. Things might not go your way, but it’s important to behave and be as lovely as possible. I like to think a Zen-like attitude will influence those around me.
If you have any other frequent flyer pet peeves to air or suggestions to share, tell me in comments below.
Speaking of flying, if you could visit 3 locations (anywhere in the world) where would you go?
Fly fabulously ladies!