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A few etiquette tips for airline passengers August 2, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.

After two fifteen-hour flights, my patience with my fellow passengers was worn thin. Mainly by the seemingly total oblivion to being among so many others. Maybe it was just being on flights where it was obvious that most of the others seldom fly. So here are a few suggestions for not pissing off your fellow passengers:

If you are wearing headphones to listen to a movie or music, remember that because you cannot hear yourself does not mean that you have to shout when talking to anyone. If you want to carry on a conversation with someone else, take the headphones off. Corollary idea – when you laugh, it can be heard throughout the whole plane if you rely only on your hearing of it.

When you walk down the aisles, try to be careful and not bump those in aisle seats. If everyone only bumps into someone once or twice per trip to the lavatory or to stretch means that each aisle passenger gets bumped a couple of dozen or more times per flight.

Carry-on does not mean three or four bags that you must cram into the bins. Other peoples’ bags get smashed up to fit yours.
Wheelies are convenient, but not small. If you’re wheeling your bags about, remember that you have this long, heavy appendage. Bumping into someone or running over a foot is not just an oopsie. It is rudely careless.

When you exit, there is an order – front to back. People are waiting for the seats ahead to exit first. This does not mean you ought to move into the aisle and maneuver your way to the front.

If you have things you’ll need a lot during the flight, pack them in the bag you have under the seat in front of you, not in your bags in the overhead compartments. Getting things out of overheads when you’re leaning over someone is a bother, especially if you are so short that you bump into them as you get or return the bag to its place. It also is not smart to leave the overhead bins open for more than you need to. If there is turbulence, those other bags can pop out onto someone.

If the crew is filling the aisles with carts for beverages or meals to be served, that is not the best time to want to go to the lavatory.
If you have ambulatory children, do not let them use the aisles as a running area to release their boredom. If they trip, they will either collide with someone or with a hard stationary object like a seat arm. Disrupting everything because of your child’s stupid accident is more than rude.

If you are on international flights, pack a pen or have one handy. There are customs or immigrations forms for many countries, especially the US. Borrowing my pen might be OK, but if that means twenty other obtuse passengers use it, too, then that is taking advantage of my planning because of your stupidity.

There is a reason the crew dims the lights on long flights. Just because you cannot sleep on airplanes does not mean you ought to spent your time being loud so nobody else can.

The instructions to stop using your cell phones, having your seat upright or your tray table stowed are for YOU, not just for everyone else!



1. The Chemist - August 3, 2009

It sounds like you got stuck with a particularly bad batch. I don’t know what it is. Sometimes I feel like I’m traveling with other experienced, considerate, airline passengers, and others it feels like a free-for-all on a bus with wings.

I have forgotten to bring a pen once or twice. Once I made the mistake of bringing the wrong kind of pen and having it explode/leak in my bag. Never again. It’s been all ball-point from then on. Usually some of the better airlines will take cheap pens out with the application forms. (Lufthansa comes immediately to mind.)

2. fetzthechemist - August 3, 2009

I was flying Emirates, which now has grown so that Dubai is the hub for all of their cheap flights from India and Pakistan. Those people are less polite than the Gulf Arabs, although the running children were from the UAE. I think in general, people everywhere are less polite and more oblivious. I hate walking in airports and having to avoid the people zigzagging with a wheelie. They forget that the wheelie take up space and they zoom into a small opening in a crown, with the wheelie banging around behind them.

I travel enough that I am aware of these things. It makes my journey easier to pack light, to know what’s up. These infrequent fliers know nothing about travelling.

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