Airplane Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts

Nov 13, 2019

Top 10 Etiquette Rules Air passengers should follow

1. Help your Fellow Passenger

Passengers on a plane

When you are putting your bags onto the overhead bin, ask your fellow traveler to put up theirs too. It is not the only kind to do so but it also saves everyone’s time. Reduce the hassle and everyone can have a stress free flight.

2. Be Courteous while Boarding and Packing

Passengers on a flight

The airlines love cramming more people in their aircraft. There is little you can do about that. But what you can do is not to fight over bin space. Put your bags vertically instead of horizontally. This makes more room for others to put their stuff. Do not shove more than one bags up there. Put the other one under the seat in front of you.

3. Be willing to swap seats with a family

Women with a baby

Airlines can charge extra for adjacent seats. This ends up blocking people from each other. Sometimes even family members. If you find yourself blocking people be a gentleman and offer to switch seats. They will remember your kind gesture. Remember one thing though, offer to give up your seat once the plane has reached cruising altitude. If you try to switch seats while people are boarding it will be inconvenient for others.

4. Don’t Snag the Security Line

people walking

Come prepared for boarding. Hold out your ID and passport as you approach airport security. Think ahead and try to make their job easier. If you are waiting for your turn, remove your belt and watch, take out the laptop and separate your liquids. This will quicken the boarding process when it’s your turn.

5. The risk of Napping

Sleeping women

Snooze in the plane but respect your surrounding and other travelers. Reclining your seat back might be comfy for you but certainly not for the one sitting behind you. A travel pillow comes in handy since it lets you doze off without invading anyone’s personal space. If you snore during sleep the flight attendant or a fellow passenger might wake you up.

6. Not Everyone Likes Talking

Passengers talking

Many passengers pass time on the plane by talking but not everyone is a Chatty Cathy. Don’t force someone to converse with you. Read the signs, if they are giving short answers or avoiding eye contact you might want to leave them alone. When you find someone willing to talk, converse in a soft tone. Keep your voice low, as loud sounds can irritate others.

7. Respect Others Space

Air traveler

This is easy to understand but perhaps people violate this social code more than any other. When you try to sit keep the width of your legs within the frame of the chair. And the unfortunate soul that gets the middle seat gets both the armrests. It goes without saying that you need to protect your own space as well.

8. Keep Your Personal Items Close

Man sitting inside airplane

Air travel is a test of your patience and manners. When you walk down the aisle with carrying on bags or other belongings, keep them in front and close to your body. This way you won’t hit anyone. Make sure that you have everything you need during the flight with you once you sit down. No one likes the person reaching for the overhead storage mid-flight.

9. Don’t Bring Smelly Foods


An airplane is not a place to break out a tuna sandwich. The trapped odor of grease and meat of fast food items in an aircraft can be vomit inducing. If you have to munch something, have some nuts or pretzels.

10. The Window Seat Debate

Passenger sitting on window seat

This not easy. The debate is about the window shade. Some think that the one occupying the window seat decides whether to keep the shade open or closed. Usually, the one sitting next to the window likes to enjoy the view, so they keep it open. There is no solution to this but a compromise.

Anitha Perumal

Anitha Perumal

Content Strategist

Anitha Perumal is a Content Strategist at Claim Flights GmbH. She is a digital influencer, content specialist, analyst and always loves to do new things with new ideas. She holds a Master's degree in Information Technology.

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