Travel Etiquette


I recently attended the best concert-party, hosted by Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave. in San Francisco, and while embarking on the 7 hour flight to the west coast, I became inspired to write this post. I’m a frequent-flyer, and on average I board approximately 30 flights a year, and repeatedly notice the same travel faux-pas. Whether you’re flying first class, economy, across the country or around the globe, decorum should be a part of your carry-on luggage.

unnamed3I had a few false steps in my early travel days, and I am still partly guilty of numbers 1 and 2, but I now take extra measures to follow these 12 rules:

1. Set Your Alarm

No one likes to sit at the airport, but you should plan to arrive about an hour and a half before your flight departs.¬† You never know what could happen on your way to or while you’re at the airport. It also helps to have your transportation arranged early. And…

2. Pack Early

Pack no later than the day before your flight, and follow airport guidelines for what’s allowed (and not allowed) in your luggage. The only things that should stay unpacked are the items you will use right before leaving your home/hotel. Those can get added at the last-minute. Having your belongings situated beforehand allows you to flow at an easier pace. You don’t want to be that person with a bad attitude who’s sweating, huffing and puffing because the security line is moving slow and you need to hurry to your gate because you arrived late due to you not being packed (or you decided to sleep in). See? It’s a domino effect.

3. Sanitize

Bring your hand sanitizer, and use it (maybe even a mask). There’s something about having the sick, coughing, runny-nose person sitting next to you, who figures they’ll be courteous, wrap their hands around the beverage being handed to you by the flight attendant.

4. Stay Sober

Limit your number of spirits and cocktails. Although drunk passengers are entertaining sometimes, there’s a fine line between being funny and being the reason the flight makes an emergency landing.

5. Control Your Children

All kids are cute until they start climbing onto or kicking the back of your seat, and running down the aisle. Start teaching them proper airplane etiquette early, especially how to use their inside voices. Also, if you have an infant, keep their pacifier on hand to help relieve the pressure in their ears. The pressure is often the reason babies cry on planes.

6. Zip Your Lips

Don’t joke about any tragedies involving planes. Every passenger would like to believe they’re going to make it to their destination. No one wants to hear of the plane crash you just heard about on the news. Also, the call you placed on speaker phone is unncessary. No one else on the flight cares – at all. Texting is the way of the future.

7. Be Silent. Be Still

Is all the moving around really necessary? If you’re uncomfortable in your seat, there’s nothing wrong with excusing¬† yourself to walk the aisle. Good circulation is imperative.

8. Pump Up Turn Down The Volume

Lower the volume of your voice, and on your ear buds or headphones. No one else should hear what you’re listening to, or your conversation with friends. At best, hold your racquetball tournament or date night stories for later. Also, turn the volume off on any games you play.

9. Hold the Onions

The plane gets stuffy at times, and since cracking a window or expanding the space is not an option, try not to eat food that has a strong odor.

10. Don’t Cause a Traffic Jam

Wait for the restroom to become vacant before you get out of your seat.

11. Look Behind Before You Recline

Airline seats are designed to give you better comfort during your flight. Take a quick glance back to make sure you are not causing discomfort for the passenger behind you. If you recline, do so in a slow, gentle way.

12 Wait Your Turn

When you arrive safely at the gate and the seat belt light turns off, don’t jump out of your seat and into the aisle to grab your bags from the overhead compartments. Unless you’re an X-Men character, you’ll probably get stuck in the aisle, like everyone else waiting for the people in front of you to get their overhead luggage, so the best thing to do is have patience and wait your turn. If you break this rule, you’ll just end up looking obnoxious and rude. If you have a connecting flight, try to check-in early so that you can change or upgrade your seat to something closer to the main cabin door.

3 thoughts on “Travel Etiquette

  1. Such simple, basic tips, yet it’s amazing how many people are oblivious to them. And I think a lot of those can be summed up by your #7 and #12 – basically being patient & tolerant. I’m generalising, but NO-ONE likes hanging around in airport lines, going through security checks, sitting in stuffy planes, and doing next to nothing for hours. But there’s always a few people who somehow forget everyone else around them and just make things worse! Great post… and 12 things I’ll definitely adhere to when I travel o/s to the U.S in a couple of months!



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