There’s no shortage of stories about bad behavior of plane passengers, as it seems some folks just don’t know how to act while traveling. Spring and summer are busy travel seasons and to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved, etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore is sharing some basic rules people should follow on planes.
- “With the seats getting smaller and smaller these days, we all have to learn to get along,” she says. These are her top tips for more pleasant and civil air travel:
- If you bring food on board - and Whitmore says, “if you’re smart, you will” - don’t bring anything “with a highly identifiable or offensive smell.”
- If you can’t lift your own luggage, check it instead of carrying it on, rather than “rely on others to risk pulling a muscle to lift it for you.”
- Wipe the counter and sink in the lavatory, leaving it in better condition than you found it.
- “Don’t assume you’re entitled to an upgrade just because you paid for a cheap seat and you want to sit with a family member in a more expensive seat,” Whitmore explains.
- While she notes that “every passenger has the right to recline his or her seat,” she advises taking a quick peek behind you before you do “to avoid breaking someone’s knees or laptop.”
- Remember that if someone is wearing headphones or typing on their computer, it clearly means “do not disturb.
- When you need to go to the bathroom, “gently tap your seatmates” and say “excuse me,” rather than crawling all over them to get there.
- “Keep your dirty feet off the seat in front of you,” advises Whitmore. “This is not only gross, it’s unsanitary.”
- Airplane seats may be getting smaller, but this etiquette expert reminds us “that doesn’t give you the right to spill over into someone else’s space.”
- Keep your kids under control. No one enjoys the back of their seat getting kicked or having wild children running up and down the aisles.
- The middle seat may not be anyone’s first choice, but according to Whitmore, it comes with one perk: sole ownership of the armrests.
- If you watch a movie on your own phone, tablet or laptop, wear your headphones. “This may be common sense,” she says, “but most people forget to pack their common sense and their manners whenever they travel.”