Travel & Leisure

Flying Dos and Dont’s

Sometimes we all need a gentle reminder about airplane etiquette

Photo: iStock/vovashevchuk.

Some people in planes and airports seem to forget that they’re not at home, but even those who do their best to be polite might not realize they’re doing things that drive everyone around them crazy. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top things to keep in mind.

Don’t ask people to watch your stuff.

You need to make a quick trip to the washroom, or perhaps you want to buy a cup of coffee. It can be tempting to ask someone next to you to watch your stuff, but do us all a favour and don’t. We don’t want to be responsible for your belongings—and for security reasons, you should never leave your bag or bags unattended.

Don’t go mouthing off to airport security personnel.

Perhaps airport security can seem abrupt, unfriendly, or even rude at times, but have you ever considered how many rude people they have to deal with every shift? Be one of the nice ones.

Don’t recline your seat in economy.

Yes, the amount of space you get for the price of a plane ticket has gotten smaller. When you recline your seat, you’re subjecting the person behind you to hours of discomfort. If you feel you must recline your seat, don’t go all the way: compromise and push back only slightly.

Do put your carry-on luggage above your seat.

Some people are so worried about losing their bag or having it or something in it stolen that they place it in an overhead compartment they can observe from their seat. Don’t—it just creates a chain reaction of people hunting for overhead space, causing chaos and slowing boarding.

Don’t clip, file, brush, floss….

Apparently a lot of people don’t understand that most people find other people’s personal grooming disgusting. Never ever clip your nails in public. (What if a clipping lands on someone?) Don’t file or paint your nails, either. Brushing your hair or teeth or flossing in front of others is also gross. Find a washroom.

Don’t glare at parents.

Yes, screaming babies and crying toddlers are annoying, but so are people who glare and sigh loudly at the poor parents.

Finally, the middle seat gets the armrest.

It’s bad enough getting stuck in a middle seat, so if you’re lucky enough not to be that person, the kindest thing you can do is let your neighbour have the armrest.