Aircraft Etiquette: The Do's & Don'ts of Flying
Imagine yourself together in the same cabin for ten over hours, with dozens, and sometimes even hundreds of passengers (how fun is flying, guys!). In order to ensure the most pleasant experience for all, it definitely would be nice if everyone actively observes aircraft etiquette. Read on to find out how you can be the best passenger for your own comfort and your neighbours!
Do freshen up before boarding.
Imagine that you have a long 10-hour flight ahead of you - what could be worse? You, feeling uncomfortable and icky as you were unable to freshen up before boarding. People tend to forget that planes are ultimately a communal space, for you and the other dozens over travellers as well, and is only natural to be filled with germs. Yet, it is easy if you wish for a more comfortable flight - just remember to freshen up or at least wash your hands and face before getting on the plane. Now, you can start your flight feeling fresh and ready to tackle that 10-hour flight!
Sit in your designated seat.
Suppose you arrive at your allocated seat and someone is already chilling in it. Annoying. This is especially so if you have already paid for your selected seat or the airplane seat gods have given you the seat of your dreams during check-in. Such incidences are usually by mistake, so just politely ask your fellow traveller to check their ticket and return to their allocated seat. Alternatively, feel free to approach a crew member for assistance as well.
Distribute your hand luggage.
In these trendy minimalist times where more than half of the passengers on the plane choose to travel with hand luggage only, it is definitely useful to distribute your hand luggage. Do you have a hand luggage case? If so, do remember to store it in the hand luggage storage compartments found above your seat. Otherwise, your small personal backpack and jacket can also be placed conveniently under the seat in front of you. This way, everyone can grab their own belongings efficiently and quickly, without having to compete for the limited luggage compartment space.
Listen to the flight crew.
If you wish for your flight to go without a hitch, it's best to pay attention to the flight crew. There are many rules on the plane, all of which are there for a valid reason (mainly safety, not just some other trivial regulation). Besides ensuring your safety as their utmost priority, the flight crew seeks to provide you with the best flight experience as much as possible. So, buckle up your seat belt when told to do so, place your seat upright when announced and only get up from your seat after landing when it is confirmed as such - it really is just that simple (-:
Be considerate to your neighbours.
Of course, the middle seat and the seat by the window are not particularly ideal during a long flight, as it is nice to stretch one’s legs every now and then and of course, to use the bathroom. If you know you are a frequent visitor of the restroom, please do opt for the seat by the aisle. Additionally, make sure you place all the stuff you need during the flight (such as a book or electronic tablet) under the seat in front of you. This way, you can minimise the number of times you have to get up and retrieve it from your bag in the storage space above the seats. Oh, and using your neighbour's shoulder as a pillow is also often not appreciated. Hence, do remember to bring along a neck pillow as well. Trust me, your neighbors (and your neck!) will be grateful!
Carefully move your seat back.
We all desire comfort while flying and putting our seats back is one way to achieve so - albeit considerably decreasing the legroom of the passenger behind you. Hence, do consider the welfare of your fellow traveller and remember to indicate if you wish to put your seat back. This allows them time to secure their food and drinks on the attached tray table, thereby preventing any unfavourable and troublesome spilling accidents as well.
Try and lay off the booze.
This applies to both before take-off and while flying - a glass of beer or wine is fine, but do keep it at a limited 1 or 2. With lower oxygen levels in the aircraft due to lower cabin pressure, our oxygen intake is naturally reduced. Hence, if you drink alcohol while on an airplane, you feel its effects at a faster rate, as compared to whilst drinking on land. Simply put, do drink responsibly - after all, no one appreciates a drunk neighbour.
Limit the volume of your entertainment.
The entertainment systems that the aircraft are equipped with nowadays are a blessing! With the wide selection of films, television series, games and music to choose from, those hours onboard the plane (literally) fly by. Keep an eye on the volume of your sound system though, your neighbours do not have to enjoy the steamy scene from that one movie or the seemingly never ending opera music that you love so much, with you.
Do try to ensure your children are on their best behavior.
Having children onboard a flight can be challenging. While it's only natural for babies to cry during the plane’s ascent and descent due to pressure on the ears, children constantly shouting and running up and down the aisle ... No, just no. Therefore, do ensure that your little bundles of joy have enough to be kept occupied during the flight (be it electronic devices, coloring pages or a book) or that they are already getting tired and hence, will be sleeping while onboard the plane. You deserve a quiet flight, and so does everyone around you.
Wait for your turn when exiting.
Every flight seems like an unspoken competition to be the first to leave the plane - people by the aisle immediately jump up, those in the middle seats are hopping up and down, while travellers by the window give frequent glances at the door. Yet, we all know that you won't really get out of the plane faster if one chooses to push and shove their way through. Instead, you could spend this time to check if you have left any belongings behind and switching your phone from airplane mode.
This article is adapted from CheapTickets.nl.