Tuesday, August 4, 2015

10 Ways To Be The Best Airplane Passenger Ever

Pre, post, and in-flight etiquette: it is something that seems like common sense, yet many people don't understand it. As a frequent flier and traveler, I have experienced a little bit of everything when it comes to flying. Truth be told, I think anybody that has been on a plane more than once in their life has probably experienced a terrible passenger, who clearly has never been on a plane before, and doesn't know the proper flight etiquette. Today, I'm going to share some of what I think are the most important pre-, post-, and in-flight tips to make other passengers love you (or at least not hate you)!

Pre-Flight Etiquette

1. Shower. Oh, how I wish I was kidding and that this was common sense. Unfortunately, apparently it is not. On my most recent flight I had the pleasure of being seated next to an extremely overweight man, who apparently made his new years resolution not to shower the entire year- and trust me, I could tell. For the love of God, people, take a shower before you are going to become close buddies with the passengers around you. While you are at it, try to apply a swipe of deodorant, and go easy on the perfume/cologne.

2. Know the rules of security. Luckily for me, I am a member of TSA Precheck- as such, my trek through security is usually quick and painless. Unfortunately for me, other passengers can be selected at random for TSA Precheck, and by not knowing the rules these people can screw up the entire process. As a regular passenger, you will likely be required to remove your belt, shoes, and coat. In addition to this, you will be asked to remove your laptop and 3-1-1 bag from your suitcase. TSA precheck members get to skip all of this (yay! You should join!) In any case, a few moments of planning can make the security process go much smoother and quicker for everyone. Once you are through security, quickly collect your belongings and move off to the side if adjustments are necessary.

3. Don't line up at the gate before your zone is called. Again, this is trying to be considerate of other passengers. Typically, airlines will call for passengers who need additional time or assistance first, then premium passengers, then priority passengers, then members of the frequent flier club, finally followed by the main cabin passengers and basic economy passengers. You know who typically lines up first, and proceeds to get in the way of everyone else? I'm giving major side-eye to the basic economy passengers who haven't been on a flight before. Please, stay seated until your zone is called and allow the boarding process to go much smoother!

4. Have in-flight items ready prior to boarding. Take just a moment to plan out your flight. Remove any items you will need from your carry-on luggage: for example, computer or headphones. If you will be stowing your jacket, remove that. Preparations such as these will allow you to board the plane, stow your luggage, and be seated quickly and efficiently.

5. Don't hog the overhead bins. I'll admit, I typically bring a carry-on bag and purse with me while flying. To be mindful of others, my purse remains at my feet, unless the flight is not full and there is plenty of overhead space. In any case, I still only place my purse in the overhead bins after everyone else has boarded and stowed luggage. When you are stowing your bags in the overhead bins, make every attempt to stow it lengthwise, not sideways- a standard size roller bag should fit lengthwise no problem, allowing for more people to stow their bags!

In-Flight Etiquette

6. Be courteous of those around you. Don't encroach on somebody else's personal space- keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs within the confines of your seat area- not in the passenger's next to you. This goes not only for physical space, but also as advice to not eat super smelly food or listen to obnoxiously loud music. Finally, my next two statements will likely be controversial. If you do not fit in one seat, and are spilling over the armrest, you need to book two seats. In addition to this, it is of my opinion- and many others- that if there is somebody in the middle seat, let them have the armrest.

7. Being courteous includes the person in front of and behind you. If you are consistently jabbing and hammering on the in-flight entertainment system, the person in front of you will notice. Please take care and use a light touch. In terms of the person behind you, when reclining your seat please do so slowly and carefully. They may have a laptop or drink on the tray table, and would appreciate a slow recline to allow them to react.

8. Watch your kids. Please, just keep at least one eye on them. Try make sure they aren't kicking the passengers seat in front of them, or running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I- and most other passengers- certainly don't mind kids, and understand that kids will be kids. They will cry. They will demand toys. Just watch them, and make sure they are being respectful of other passengers.

being the only passenger on this flight in the Dominican Republic was awesome!
Post-Flight Etiquette

9. Let passengers in a hurry deplane first. You know how the flight attendants always say on the speaker system "please allow those with tight connections to exit the aircraft first"? Yes, they actually mean this. I've been one of those passengers multiple times with tight connections, and those few minutes can mean the difference between making a flight or missing a flight. Just take a look around prior to standing up and entering the aisle to see if anybody needs to leave quickly.

10. Exit the aircraft, and move to the side. Whatever you do, don't stop in the middle of the pathway. If you need to make adjustments, check your phone, find a connection, move to the side to allow other passengers to smoothly exit the aircraft. Again, it is very likely that others may be in a hurry- or, at least know where they are going and want to reach their destination quickly.

For other frequent fliers, what are some of the ways other passengers have made your flights the best - or worst- experience? I'd love to hear about these experiences!

1 comment:

  1. As a frequent flyer, I can 100% say YES to every single one of these. I had 30 minutes to get through customs and make a connecting flight across the airport and even when I told people I was in a hurry they didn't let me through!! Very good list, very good post!!! <3


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