Airplane etiquette to make flying a breeze

Flying can be a stressful endeavor for some. Confined spaces, hundred of miles ahead of you and elbow-rubbing with seemingly lackluster (and super germy) people is a lot less glamorous than it used to be.

However, there are some simple rules that can make 30,000 feet above ground much more enjoyable. Keep these etiquette principles in mind next time you fly:

Say “no” to B.O.

Always, always, always apply ample deodorant before boarding a flight. We understand that TSA can be stressful (Can you say not-so-random selection?), but don’t subject your row-mates to your B.O. Also, try to keep anything else smelly to a minimum – lotions, food, etc.

Check yourself and your stuff

Photo by Alexis Paige
Photo by Alexis Paige

Leave the attitude and your luggage at checking. Like I said, flying is super stressful for some people, so try to be a little more understanding with others. As for your luggage, I doubt your month worth of clothes fits in a carry-on. Check the size requirements before packing so that you’re not hogging all the overhead space.

Down in front

So, you decided to bring your weekender bag (which is probably an appropriate carry-on size) on board. Instead of keeping it on your shoulder and trying to shove it behind you, hold it down in front of your legs. Betty, Stan and their lap dog will appreciate you not knocking them in the noggin.

Make yourself useful

If someone is struggling with luggage or their seatbelt, offer your services. Lend them a hand to lift that bag overhead or demonstrate how to click in the seat belt. If the issue persists, get the attention of a flight assistant.

Middle child syndrome applies

Photo by Alexis Paige
Photo by Alexis Paige

If you have the aisle seat or the window seat, you’re lucky. The person in the middle didn’t get the short end of the stick – they got the crumbs left over. Allow them to have the armrests as you both on the ends get more room and a better view.

Be mindful of allergies

Yes, airplane peanuts are the best peanuts above (lol) earth. But, your row-mate going into anaphylactic shock because you couldn’t resist sucks. Be polite and ask if anyone in your vicinity is allergic before delving into your snack. If you’re the one with an allergy, alert a flight attendant or your neighbors so they’re aware and can take any action necessary. Also, be sure to take any preventative meds before your flight.

Cover your mouth

If you cough or sneeze on your row-mate, I pray there’s an air marshal around because someone’s gonna want to fight. That is by far one of the nastiest things you could do. Please cover your mouth and nose in the crease of your elbow. If you’re sick, prepare with tissues, wet wipes and meds.

I can see your porn

Photo by Alexis Paige
Photo by Alexis Paige

What you watch, we watch. What you listen to, we listen to. The people behind you can see what’s on your screen, and trust me, they will be nosy and see what you’re up to. You’re in a small space, keep that in mind. If you really can’t control your urges, take it to the bathroom and dear god, please wash your hands. The same goes for handsy couples. I’d rather not have to use my barf bag.

Watch your light

Taking an evening flight or redeye means that there are some sleepy people on board. If you’re a night owl and want to read, be aware of your surroundings and point your light directly where it needs to be.

Be respectful

Overall, have respect for all who are in flight with you. Try to sympathize with the mother holding an inconsolable child. Check behind you before you recline and inevitably steal someone’s leg room. And don’t pick a fight with the flight attendant – they’re just doing their job and are most likely exhausted.

Featured Image by Brady Bessette