If everybody had some common decency and some common sense, then flying could be a much more enjoyable, civil experience. But as many frequent flyers know, you come across some travelers whose minds just don’t work. Because of them we wish these unspoken rules of airplane etiquette were enforced by the flight staff. Here are 10 rules of airplane etiquette that should be enforced way more.
You really want to lean against the window and take a nap during your flight. Too bad! If you get up to use the bathroom a lot, you can’t sit by the window. You have to forego the window seat and take the aisle seat so you don’t make two other passengers get up for you and cram the aisles every half hour.
If you know that moving a bag over into the next compartment would make room for your bag — fine. But before doing so, ask around to see whose bag it is, and ask if they don’t mind you moving it. They’ll almost always say that it’s fine but if you don’t ask, they could have a hard time finding their bag when the plane lands.
You know that little no-smoking sign with the little slash across the cigarette picture? There should be a similar one with a slash going through someone reclining in their seat while the person behind them has their meal tray down!
Please, please do not bring tuna or curry or garlic spaghetti onto an airplane. There is nowhere for that scent to go until the plane has landed. And there are already passengers struggling with altitude sickness as it is.
It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining and you want to see the mountains. If you’re taking a long flight where there is a major time change, and everybody’s internal clock says it’s midnight — even if you’re flying over a place where it’s 6 a.m., keep your window shut!
It’s all they have. Don’t take that from them.
Many people on the flight with you are on their way to vacation, and nothing ruins a vacation and wastes the thousands of dollars spent on it like being sick and bedridden in a hotel room. So if you’re sick and absolutely have to fly, spare others your virus. Wear a mask.
If you’re flying with hyperactive children who scream, kick seats, and run around in the aisles, make sure you’re sitting with or at least near them. Don’t leave the poor passengers around them to police your kids.
How is it possible that some people on planes think they are the only ones who have somewhere to be? And how can they think it’s OK to charge past someone in the aisle ahead of them who was clearly getting ready to exit their seat?
Again, there is nowhere for that scent to go…and for your own sake, don’t walk around barefoot on airplane floors that may not have been vacuumed in days.
If you’re not in the aisle seat and know you have a small bladder, ask the person in the aisle seat to let you out so you can go to the bathroom while they’re awake. Even if you don’t have to, just in case, so you don’t have to wake them up later.
If the overhead compartment is deep—which most are—put your rolling suitcase in there longways (left to right). When you shove it in there horizontally, you just stole a spot from somebody else’s bag, and left a useless amount of space in front of yours.
Don’t assume that you can go ahead and sit in the empty seat next to your travel companion just because it’s empty, thinking, “Whomever this seat belongs to will have no problem letting me stay here.” It really irritates people to find someone sitting in their seat. Some even get confused, thinking they got their seat number wrong, when they see you sitting in it!
If you want to get your in flight meal, then stay awake long enough to get it. Don’t force your row companion to awkwardly decide whether or not to wake you up when the food cart comes down the aisle. Or worse, don’t go bothering the flight attendants when you wake up hungry and they’re on their break.
As a general rule, find a way to sleep within the confines of your own seat. Do not lean your head against the seat in front of you—the person up there can feel the pressure of your head against their back, and as you adjust during your sleep, you drive them crazy.
It doesn’t matter how giddy you and your travel buddy sitting 12 rows behind you are over the trip you’re about to embark on. Don’t make the person in the aisle seat get up a dozen times so you can go to the back of the plane just to visit your friend. And don’t make people trying to get to the bathroom maneuver around you as you’re blocking the isle, socializing.
It doesn’t matter if you have absolutely zero belongings to gather once the plane touches down. You will wait for the rows in front of you to get off the plane before you go charging down the isle. If you wanted to deboard first, you should have thought about that when you were too lazy to do an early check in and choose your seat.