10 Things Not To Do On an Airplane

It’s no secret that travel on an airplane can potentially be stressful, especially if you have connecting flights. However, there are things that you can do, or rather not do, to minimize the stress and even enjoy your flight. Here are the to 10 things not to do on an airplane:

Don’t bare your feet – Planes have very limited space. The sight of bare feet, let alone the smell, is very uncomfortable and inappropriate in such a closed confinement.

Don’t abuse the seat recline – Again, due to limited space if you recline fully you reduce dramatically the space for the passenger behind you. Also, if you recline rapidly you risk hitting the passenger behind if they are not sitting back. If you must recline, then do it slowly and try to avoid fully reclining. The only time a full recline of the seat is warranted is if it is a red eye flight, that is, overnight.

Don’t abuse the overhead compartment – These days the overhead compartment space is very limited due to the number of passengers per flight. Airlines try to fill the flights as much as possible and this means that the overhead compartment space is very limited. If you can fit it below the seat in front of you then don’t put it in the overhead compartment. It will just take away space from someone that will need it. And when you need to use the overhead compartment, then place your item in such a way as to allow more space for other items.

Don’t talk loudly – If you do carry on a conversation then don’t talk so loudly that your neighbors must hear every word. Keep your volume to the minimum and allow others to snooze, watch inflight programming, or just close their eyes. Also if you discipline your child then do not talk at the same level the child is making a noise.

Don’t go to bathroom when food is served – The aisle is very limited in width, just barely enough for the food cart. It would be extremely inconsiderate if you decided to go to the bathroom when food is served and make the flight attendant back up all the way to let you pass. Not only will it inconvenience other passengers but also the flight attendants are on a tight schedule on most flights.

Don’t insist on talking when the other person is not interested – There is nothing wrong with introducing yourself, saying hello, and having a conversation if there is mutual interest. But if the other person is not interested in talking then do not insist on it. Look for obvious signs like the other person is not saying anything in response, is looking at a newspaper or magazine, fidgeting or constantly adjusting their position, looking away, etc.

Don’t make dumb jokes – People are tense enough flying and trying to get to their destination safe. So don’t talk stupid by making jokes like “I think there is something wrong with the wing”, or anything to do with bombs. You may enjoy seeing people freak out but this type of humor does not belong on a plane and may even get you kicked off the plane (remember the movie Meet the Parents?)

Don’t invade the other person’s space – Unless you are in first class then your seat real estate is very limited. As such, respect the other person’s space by not taking over the elbow rest between the two of you. Don’t stretch your legs or open them so wide the person must sit knees-together.

Don’t pray out loud – Praying is fine. But do it silently. Praying out loud can make people very nervous, especially if you include phrases like “please don’t let us crash”. And the non-religious tend to pray out loud only when they think their life is about to end. So imagine what may go through their minds.

Don’t disrespect the flight attendants – Being a flight attendant can be a very stressful job, especially when the plane is full and/or when there are very demanding passengers. A flight attendant may have carry-over stress from the previous flight as well. Calling them names like “Hey, sweet-cheeks…” or “doll” or something demeaning like that can just aggravate the situation. Also by being rude when they bring you the wrong thing or are late getting you something can also make them feel worse. In the last year or two there were at least two cases of flight attendants just losing it on a plane, reported by mainstream news. So don’t provoke things by mistreating the flight attendants.

Don’t hog the aisle – This is especially true when getting on and off the plane. Don’t make the passengers wait unnecessarily when you place your bag in the overhead compartment. When getting off, if you know that it will take you a while to get your things together it is better to let the other passengers pass you by. When you see another passenger behind you is getting their things, thus temporarily halting the line, this is the moment to get your things as well. However, even during the plane trip don’t stick your leg out into the aisle. This is a tripping hazard.

OK, so the list has 11 items or things not to do on a plane. But 10 is just a nice even number that is easy to recall. Hope this list will help to make your next plane trip more enjoyable and smooth.

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