Airplane Etiquette – Luggage Factory

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Airplane Etiquette

There is a right way and a wrong way to fly, don’t let anyone tell you different. Many travelers attempt to make themselves at home in flight. It helps them relax, sleep, and make an uncomfortable, stressful circumstance slightly more palatable, but there is such a thing as too comfortable. Some flyers attempt to adapt these thin-aisled airplanes into a residence for the duration of the flight, at the expense of fellow flyers. If you think you or someone you know might be a serial offender of in-flight etiquette, heed these guidelines to work towards a peaceful flying experience for everyone.
  1. Limit Your Carry-On Size:
Tighter restrictions on carry-on luggage in recent years quelled this issue to a degree, but passengers still attempt to bring mammoth-sized carry-ons to store in the overhead bin. While you may squeeze an extra outfit or two into your bag, you’re also taking up an entire bin, and we all know how valuable bin space is on a long flight. Just think of everyone else before you sneak that 24” bag past the gate and jam it down the aisle. Try to stick with the smaller 20” bags, 22” bags, and boarding bags if you need a carry-on. Also, try not to store any ancillary items, like jackets, sweaters, and anything you can store on or under your seat, in the overhead bin. Reserve the bins for luggage only, as these little items are just big enough to keep a few extra bags from making it into the cabin.
  1. Try Not to Recline/Be Polite if You Must:
To recline or not recline? At least, that should be a question we all ask ourselves before mashing the button into the side of the chair and jamming the seatback as far as possible. It’s no secret that airline quarters are cramped, making the seatback the greatest point of contention among passengers. Devices designed to restrict another passenger from reclining are widely available, leading to fights between flyers making an already uncomfortable trip even worse. Here’s some advice for navigating seatback problems. Don’t bring anything that restricts the chair in front of you from leaning back, and practice common courtesy before exercising the recliner. If it’s a short flight, there’s really no reason to recline. Everyone sits in the same uncomfortable boat for the duration of the flight, and fewer people sleep on short flights, so dropping the seatback is inconsiderate. If you’re going to be in the air for a long time, then reclining is more appropriate. Just turn around and check with the passenger behind you (Assuming they aren’t sleeping) to make sure they don’t mind you leaning back. Most of the time, passengers will acquiesce and appreciate that you considered their space before dropping the seat back. It might seem simple, but too often the recliner provokes passenger squabbles.
  1. Headphones Exist for a Reason:
There’s no problem with listening to music on a flight. It’s an easy way to pass the time, drift off to sleep, or tune out noise of the cabin. Just try to keep the volume down to a degree. Earbud technology is pretty sophisticated these days, so you should be able to hear your music without blasting the volume. Again, it’s common courtesy, you may love heavy metal, but chances are the old man next to you doesn’t (Even if he does, he probably doesn’t want to hear the muffled ear version). Chances are the volume can be loud in your ear without echoing through the cabin. All you have to do is pull your earbuds out and away from your head to check your volume. Just turn it down a little, for all us.
  1. Conversations:
If you are traveling with family, friends, or work associates, talking passes the time and reduces the stress of a long flight. However, talking too much, or more specifically, too loudly, can drive fellow passengers mad. Most people try to sleep, concentrate on work, read a book, or watch movies on airplanes, all of which require a certain level of quiet to enjoy. Carrying on long conversation at full volume across rows and aisles disrupts whatever peace may exist for flyers. Don’t do it. If you have a conversation, please speak in hushed tones and try to keep it between the two of you. There’s no need to involve everyone on the flight.
  1. Seriously, Don’t Bring Smelly Food:
This guideline applies to any form of mass transit, but especially airplanes when every passenger is stuck with same sights, sounds, and particularly smells for hours in a floating air-tight cylinder in the sky. You may love garlic and onions, egg salad, or that fresh tuna fish sandwich, but those foods are awfully aromatic. Just keep in mind that you have to share that air with hundreds of other passengers for hours, so they have to deal with the pungent smells wafting their way through the entire cabin. Your taste buds can suffer for at least a couple hours. Just choose something with a little less aroma to spare us all from the wrath of the smell.
  1. Limit your Intra-Jet Travel:
The aisle and middle seats are rough places to be already, with aisle traffic constantly buzzing through knocking your elbows, or two bodies sandwiching you into the middle of the row like a sardine. Don’t make it worse for these unfortunate souls by constantly taking trips to the bathroom, or rifling through the overhead bin. Keep everything essential that you might need for entertainment or work purposes under your seat, and do your best to control bladder issues. Sometimes you have to get up; everyone understands that, but make efficient trips. Even constant trips from the aisle seat can be disruptive to the flow of the flight crew and other passengers. No one really needs to get up five or six times if you’re considering your fellow passengers. Please try not to.
  1. Exercise Patience when Boarding/Deplaning:
Nobody really enjoys commercial air travel (Generally speaking); it’s just one of the necessary evils we all face to reach our destination. All passengers are eager to board to get the ball rolling through the flight, and eager to escape once the plane arrives at the gate. With that in mind, try to practice patience. Just because you stand up the second the seatbelt sign is off and tear your carry-on out of the overhead doesn’t mean you are getting off the plane any faster or before the rows in front of you. Too often, passengers jostle and box each other out to try to get off the plane a half second faster. This only serves to heighten the stress level of all passengers and block the aisle for people with connecting flights, who should get off first if there’s a time crunch. Try not to be aggressive. Remain patient, and realize that the fastest way to get off the plane is to let the process play out in orderly fashion. You’re almost off the plane, don’t start a fight or rudely push past another passenger.

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