Now that the world is beginning to open for travel, let’s review some basic airport and airplane etiquette tips that will help you be a polite traveler and passenger. Because many of us may not have traveled for quite some time, remember to carry yourself with an air of kindness, graciousness towards others, and respect. With the right attitude, any travel experience can be memorable in the best of ways.
In the airport
- The TSA pat-down or random screening is for everyone’s safety and isn’t personal. Allow it with a smile, grace, and without showing any annoyance.
- Don’t be the person on a people mover (moving sidewalks between airport terminals) that stands side-by-side with others, blocking those wanting to arrive more quickly. Please stand to the right, allowing others to pass on your left. This applies to individuals and groups.
- Observe the 10-foot talk rule and try to be at least 10 feet away from others when making or receiving a call on your mobile device. This can be tricky in a busy airport, so do your best to find an appropriate space to engage in your private conversations.
- If seated on large, connected seats at an airport gate or in waiting areas, remember your movements may affect others. Tapping your foot or bouncing a knee may jostle everyone else seated on the connected seats too!
On the plane
- Upon entering an airplane, move all carry-on bags to your front, including backpacks, shoulder bags, purses, and rolling luggage. This makes placing the items in an overhead compartment and entering your seat much easier and will reduce the likelihood of bumping others. Plus, it takes less time for those waiting behind you.
- Keep your arms and legs in your space. Don’t be a “seat hog” or knee spreader. The spaces may be tight, so sit as comfortably as you can within the space of your seat and remember that the passenger seated in the middle seat in a multi-seat row has access to both middle armrests on an airplane.
- If listening to music or watching a movie, please do so with personal earphones. Those around you may not wish to hear your movie or music choice.
- If in a situation where a child (or adult) places their feet and begins bouncing the back of the seat in which you are seated, graciously and politely request that they stop. If it continues, motion for a flight attendant to help.
- If wanting to lean your seat back, after reaching the appropriate altitude, slowly release the seat, turning to the person seated behind you to let them know you are putting it down. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
- If on an early morning or late night flight, dim your screen on your phone, laptop, or mobile device.
- If seated near the window, ask the person next to you prior to opening or closing the window shade. It may impact their screen or interrupt their sleep.
- If a flight attendant forgets your beverage or fails to bring something you requested, simply and graciously ask again!