Air travel has become a much less luxurious means of transportation since the mid 20th century, and many find it quite unpleasant today. More and more airlines are beginning to ditch the amenities that many people look forward to in order to save costs, but that does not mean that the flights are becoming cheaper or shorter. With that said, frustrations can begin to boil on a long, crowded flight, but it is always important to practice civility nonetheless. Here are a few basic etiquette rules to follow when flying.
Leave Room in the Overhead Bin
Just because an overhead bin is exactly that (right over your head) does not mean that it is for you and you alone. With the number of frequent flyers boarding planes today, they can get crowded, and thus need as much space as possible to accommodate their luggage. If you have more than one carry-on item, put the smaller bag at your feet to save overhead room.
Respect the Flight Attendants
This should go without saying, but many of the requests made by flight attendants upon taking off and landing may frustrate some flyers. For example, having to turn off electronics may inconvenience business travelers trying to get work done, but taking this out on the stewardesses is highly unprofessional. The only thing a commotion accomplishes is a delayed takeoff, aggravating all those around you.
Respect Other Flyers’ Space
Going off of the notion that flights are becoming more crowded, room is becoming more scarce. Be aware of the room that you are taking up, and if your seat reclines, do so respectfully. Warn the flyer behind you or ask if they’d be okay with you reclining beforehand. Similarly arm rests are known to be a source of confrontation with many travelers fighting over who has the right to which one. Again, be respectful. Use only one (depending on your seat location), and mind others’ personal space.
Control Your Children
A child on a plane is almost symbolic at this point. If you are flying with your kids, keep them under control. A loud child running about the cabin is just another source of stress for flyers trying to get through their flight. Talk to your children before boarding and explain the importance of being respectful, quiet, and polite. For passengers without children who may need to voice their opinions in the event of an out-of-control child, confront the parent with courtesy and ask them if they could take control.
Follow Standard Disembarking Procedures
This is perhaps the most frustrating part of flying. Many travelers are eager to get off the plane as quickly as possible, but there are standard disembarking procedures that must be followed. Rows are exited starting with the first, going back to the last. Cutting off anyone before your row is exiting will only delay the process, and frustrate flyers even more.