Spend enough time on planes and you will be horrified at the way some other travelers behave. Most people however are unaware their behavior is offensive and would be embarrassed if they knew. Sitting next to someone doing any of the following things can ruin your flight, but not only do you not want to sit next to this person, you don’t want to be them!
With that in mind let’s look at some airplane etiquette items, to help you become the ideal traveler.
1. Take A Shower!
I don’t know why this even needs to be said, but for the love of God take a shower the morning you are flying! You may think you smell fine, but that musty smell people get when they haven’t showered is gross. Especially when you are trapped next to it on a long flight. Or any flight.
2. Use Deodorant
Again, really?? I had a lady argue with me about this on a travel forum recently. She said why bother when you will jut be sitting there next to strangers anyway? Here is why – B.O is gross. No one should have to smell your B.O on a flight.
3. Wear Clean Clothes
Even if you have been backpacking for 6 months you can find a basin, some water and some soap and at least wash a t-shirt and some undies a couple of days before you fly. Being stuck on a plane next to someone who is smelly is just plain awful, and unfair.
4. Dress Appropriately
The first thing to think about is being comfortable and warm when you fly, but you also need to be appropriately dressed. Don’t have your boobs half hanging out, your belly out, short shorts etc. Do all of that at home by all means, but on a flight you need to think of others too.
I was stuck next to a girl in a crop top recently, and her belly rolls were all over the place, with her bare skin not only squishing into our shared armrest, but also flopping over into my seat space.
Some airlines won’t let you on if you are inappropriately dressed, others don’t care.
5. Don’t Pick Your Nose, Ears or Any Other Body Part.
This is just basic decent manners. If you need to get something out of your nose/ear/bandaid/other body part, go to the bathroom and do it there. It is so unbelievably gross to be stuck next to a picker.
6. No Manspreading.
Dudes, I get it – you want to spread your legs, claim someone else’s space, and draw attention to your crotch. But for God’s sake, cool it. Your space is what falls between the arm rests, nothing beyond that. So keep your leg out of the aisle and out of the person next to you’s space. It doesn’t make you look like an alpha male, it makes you look somewhere between insecure and rapey, especially if you are sitting next to a female.
I have exactly zero problem telling any dude to get his leg out of my space, but plenty of women get intimidated (which is probably why you do it) and won’t say anything. It’s not cool, so stop it.
7. Stay In Your Own Lane
Keep your body inside your seat. Your thighs don’t belong in my seat, your arms don’t belong there either. We all have paid for the space that lies between the armrests, so you need to keep all of you inside that space.
If you have a window or aisle seat you can lean to the side or adjust yourself to get comfortable. The person in the middle seat has nowhere to go so they get both armrests – it’s only fair.
Also, keep your hair out of other people’s business.
8. Keep Your Feet On The Floor
You may be all up on your comfort game, but feet need to stay on the floor. Whether bare feet or in socks, it is never ok to put your feet up on the seats or on the armrests of the seat in front of you.
9. Don’t Bring Smelly Food On Board
I’m a huge advocate of bringing healthy snacks when you fly. Sometimes you wind up bringing something more substantial on the plane with you, but just make sure its not smelly.
Be considerate of others when bringing food on board. Tuna sandwiches, fast foods, Chinese food – smelly foods don’t only bother the people sitting immediately around you, but also stink out that entire section of the plane. The smell of McDonalds remnants is even more gross 3 hours into a flight than when you board with it.
While we are on food, also don’t bring messy foods that you can spill on someone. I have had starbucks tipped on me, and pho splashed on me. It’s not fair, don’t bring them on board.
10. Take Out Your Trash
Before landing the flight attendants always come by with trash bags to collect any refuse you have. Rather than dropping trash on the floor, put it in the bag. If you have been sticking dirty tissues etc in the seat back pocket, now is the time to trash them. Don’t leave a mess behind.