Travel Tuesday; travel etiquettes


A little while back it was the first time I ever heard of the knee defender. Have you heard of it already? If not, a quick explanation: the knee defender is a devise that blocks airplane seats from reclining. It is being promoted as a tool to defend yourself against reclining airplane seats.

knee defender

As said, I had never heard of this devise probably due to the fact that I am not so tall to need something like this, but in August I read that an United Flight diverted after a passenger used the banned seat recline jammer {a.k.a. the Knee Defender} which resulted into a scuffle. I was amazed, by both the seat recliner and that an airplane had to divert its flight as a fight started {apparently the lady who was sitting in front of the guy with the knee defender threw a glass of water over the guy behind her, after he did not want to remove the device from her chair…}.

This made me think on travel etiquettes on airplanes. Not only about reclining your chair but the whole deal. For the last couple of weeks I have been on airplanes so much, that you start to notice things… I’m not the only one, and in this time of social media you must be very careful what you do.

PassengerShamingTake a look at {Facebook or Instagram} for instance, where they put up photos of passengers that are rude or just plane ( 😉 ) inappropriate. I thought people in hotels sometimes forgot social etiquettes, but in airplanes it can be just as strange…
Nobody wants to be featured on this page, so besides just thinking about how to act in a public space {because believe it or not, an airplane still is a very public space even though you have paid to be in there}, some of the travel etiquette tips that I like to hold on to while flying.

Pick your chair wisely:
So everyone knows you can check in online and you can choose your chair where you want to sit during your flight. Every plane is slightly different and so the good seats are sometimes difficult to find. I like to sit on a window seat above the wing – as above the plane you will feel the turbulence less. So before I check in I’ll check out Seat Guru – this website shows you the pros and cons of each seat on the plane you’ll be taking. Definitely worth a look before you select your seat.

Besides that, also think where you’re going to sit. I know the places with much legroom are sparse, so the seat in the front is always a good choice. However, do think about the fact that there these seats are usually taken by parents with small children, as they can put there baby cot here. So if you want to have some shut eye and don’t want to be disturbed by small children opt for a chair away from this area. Also the parents will appreciate it when they are able to have a baby cot area where their kids can have a decent sleep as well. Think about it – a win-win situation for everyone.

Boarding like a pro:
First off, most airline companies have a system for boarding. Whether you agree to the system or not {take a look at the different systems, times and satisfactions done by Mythbusters} the system was put in place for a reason. So please follow it and don’t crowd the gate or the isle just because you want to get on the airplane faster. By doing so it boarding will only take longer, not just for you but for everyone.

Respect the flight attendant:
It all starts in the beginning of the flight, please greet that lovely flight attendant, they are there to do a job and make your flight easier and better. Then listen to the safety demo – especially if it’s still done by the flight attendant – not only for your own safety (as each plane is slightly different) but just to give the courtesy to the job they are doing. Wouldn’t you get annoyed if people wouldn’t pay attention to you while you are doing your job?

As I was always thought to treat others as I would like to be treated, I try to do this in every situation. And you know, most of the time it will work in a positive way for me with more smiles and even better service from the flight attendant. And if it doesn’t work that way, at least I am happy I was not the one who made them more cranky by being rude.

Respect your neighbour’s personal space:
Personal Space
There is already that little space on an airplane, so not to annoy yourself or others, respect your neighbour’s personal space. As there is no easier way to irritate someone by invading their personal space. The armrest truly is a boarder not to be crossed, and in my experience the person in the middle should get the armrest, as who really wants to have the seat in the middle, and they have no other option {at least the window or isle seat passenger has one all to himself}. Be mindful that your shoulders, arms, legs coat, magazines and newspaper do not cross over into the space of your neighbour.

Also be mindful of what kind of person is sitting next to you. Depending on who you will be sitting next to, be sure to give hints or take clues. If you are too tired to chat or too anxious not to, make sure that the person next to you is looking for the same kind of interaction.

Be thoughtful:
Be Thoughtful
There is so little space in an airplane, so you need to be thoughtful when moving around. In some airplanes the chairs are so incredible straight up, that it is no wonder that the minute the fasten seatbelt sign is switched off you want to go and recline your seat. But take a look before you lie back, just to make sure that you’re not going to knock of a drink on the person behind you, or damage the laptop that is just set up.

Also think about you you get out of your seat and sit down – especially on a night flight when the person in front of you is a sleep. Do not grab on to the chair in front of you to get up or sit down, the other person will have a shock of their life when all of a sudden his chair starts to move uncontrollably!

When it’s time to deplane;
When leaving the plane, do not try and leave before the passengers seated in the row before you. Give them some time to gather their belongings from the seat pocket and the overhead bin. That’s just the way it works.

So that was me rambling on about the flying etiquettes, what do you find the most annoying thing about airline passengers? Feel free to share your comment below. 

2 thoughts on “Travel Tuesday; travel etiquettes

    • You’re absolutely right! They have to do their job as well, and passengers can make our break their shift! And it’s not that difficult to be polite is it; most of the time even easier than being rude! 🙂

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