How Not To Behave On An Airplane

September 22, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Travelpro’s blog has addressed the somewhat controversial issue of passenger etiquette several times. Few if any well mannered travelers would question such common sense recommendations as:

  • Be courteous to fellow passengers. It only takes one rude person to undermine the flight for a cabin full of people.
  • Be courteous to flight attendants (who have a lot of authority on board). According to the Air Transport Association, “if a passenger’s behavior is offensive to other passengers, the airline reserves the right to deny boarding or remove the passenger from the flight.” So, boorish behavior may not only offend fellow passengers, it can get the offender thrown off the plane.
  • Passenger Comforts

    Image by caribb via Flickr

  • Refrain from operating electronic devices when told not to (they really can interfere with the plane’s navigational systems).
  • Carry on only two bags (Travelpro, of course) and placing one bag in the overhead bin — without crushing the luggage already there — and one under the seat in front of you.
  • Respect your seat-mate’s “space” by not occupying two arm rests, taking up more than one seat, deeply reclining your seat, or spreading out work or reading materials beyond your area.
  • Respect everyone’s right to solitude by not talking endlessly to fellow passengers not interested in a conversation.
  • If you’re the “talkee” instead of the “talker” in an unwanted conversation, convey your disinterest through body language by providing short answers, not asking questions, turning away, or reading a book or your computer screen.

Interestingly, Lonely Planet recently conducted an online survey on passenger behavior that uncovered several concerns we had not addressed. They published a “tongue-in-cheek but nonetheless practical” Passengers’ Airline Behavior Bill of Rights, which USA Today reported on. Among their observations:

  • It’s OK to remove your shoes in flight, as long as your feet don’t smell. (Keep in mind that “don’t smell” is a relative measurement.)
  • You can use the overhead light when the cabin lights are dimmed — even if your seatmate is sleeping.
  • If the kid behind you is kicking your seat back, it’s appropriate to ask the parent to put a stop to it.
  • Passengers have a right to recline, except during meals and when prohibited by the flight crew.

USA Today is running its own survey which currently ranks reclining in a full cabin No. 2 in a list of in-air annoyances, right after passengers wielding too many carry-ons.

Passenger etiquette is certainly a hot topic. Fortunately, Travelpro customers are not only well equipped, but well behaved. We hope you have a safe — and comfortable — trip.


2 Responses to “How Not To Behave On An Airplane”
  1. L. Bennett says:

    It is just common courtesy to respect another person’s space and respect the authority that is on the plane. The flight attendants job is hard enough without added stress from inconsiderate passengers.

  2. Mark Gerst says:

    A friend of mine used to put headphones in his ear. When people started talking to him, he would show them they were not plugged in. Thus, conveying the message that he is not sociable.