How to Behave On a Plane

December 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Members of the TravelPro team are in airports an awful lot, and we’ve seen some things we’d rather not. We’re talking adults acting like children, throwing tantrums, pushing, shoving and generally challenging the dictionary definition of polite as they make their way from one airport to another.

There’s an awful lot of frustration and annoyance when people travel, but we’re all feeling it. And there’s a good chance impolite passengers won’t get tossed off a flight just for being rude or inconsiderate, so all we can do is police ourselves when we travel.

A post on the Economist’s “Gulliver” blog celebrated Miss Manners tackling airplane etiquette, and there were some great tips in there, including some that may seem like common sense, but we were all raised with different expectations.

Here are some of our favorite tips:

  • When you’re waiting for your flight to board, only get out of your seat and into the boarding area when your zone number is called. It creates more room for a smooth, seamless boarding process with fewer delays.
  • Overhead bins should really be reserved for rollaboard bags. If you don’t want to hang on to your jacket or other smaller items, wait until all the larger bags have been stowed snugly in the bins, then place your items in around them just before the airplane doors close.
  • Keep your conversations at a low volume, but don’t give parents too much grief when their baby or young child makes a ruckus. They’ve got a tough job, and there’s a good chance you’ve got noise-canceling headphones or earplugs on hand. (If not, treat yourself to an adult beverage.)
  • Lean against the window or your flying companion if you’re going to nap on the flight. If you have neither of those things, lean forward into your tray table unless you know you can keep your head upright and not wind up in your neighbor’s lap.
  • Flight attendants have one of the most challenging jobs out there. Consider being sweet to them, looking them in the eye to thank them for your drink and bag of peanuts, or maybe even paying them a genuine compliment — you might just make their day.

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.

Etiquette For Traveling With Children

March 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Child travel is challenging for both passengers flying with kids, and those flying near kids. Preparation, patience and proper travel etiquette go a long way in ensuring the flight is as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved.

For those passengers traveling with children, it’s important to think through what everyone in your group will need during the flight. By anticipating the challenges of navigating them through a busy terminal and frantic security checkpoint and onto a crowded plane, you can plan and pack accordingly.

Here are some travel tips everyone flying with kids should consider:

Prepare A Trip Case: While shepherding young children through the airport, you shouldn’t have to hunt through multiple bags to locate airline confirmations, boarding passes or rental car reservations. Simply insert a trip case containing all travel documents into your Travelpro rollaboard’s ticket pocket, and relax. Everything you need is now in one place for quick and easy access.

Anticipate The Needs Of Infants & Toddlers: When traveling with kids two years old and under, you must always be prepared for emergencies. You should not only pack diapers, clean clothing and medicine in your Travelpro luggage, but place them in the outer pockets so they’re readily accessible. Whenever possible, be sure to change diapers in the bathroom instead of at your seat.

Encourage Your Kids To Carry-On: Have your children pack a backpack that they’re responsible for. By involving them in the planning process, they’ll be less intimidated at the airport. (Plus, you relieve yourself of the burden of crammed-full carry-ons.) You should limit the number and size of items they take, and encourage them to make a list of their belongings which they’ll keep in their backpack.

Board First And Deplane Last: By boarding the plane before other passengers, you buy extra time to get the children settled in their seats. By waiting to deplane until after your fellow passengers, you won’t stress over everyone’s mad rush to leave. Obviously, you’ll need to arrive at the airport earlier, and allow extra time between connecting flights.

Pack A Surprise Bag: Bring along a surprise bag containing books, games, dolls and other visually stimulating toys that you can pull out when your children get restless. And don’t forget technology when finding ways to keep your kids entertained in flight. Be sure to load up on appropriate iPhone® or iPad® “apps”.

To those passengers who find themselves seated next to small children in flight, please be patient with any resulting inconvenience. In most cases, the parent is doing all he or she can do to keep the child occupied. And, if they’re not, an angry confrontation will only make matters worse.

Just remember that children are children, and they’ll do what children do. By practicing a little etiquette and understanding for everyone, your flight will be much more enjoyable and less stressful.

Understanding Armrest Etiquette

March 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Air travelers face an etiquette question every bit as challenging as who goes through the elevator doors first, should you take the last hot wing, or whether one should initiate eye contact in an elevator. . .

Who gets the armrests?

Is it the passenger who arrived first? (the “stake your claim early” approach)? Is it the passenger stuck in the middle seat? (the “pity the poor soul” method)? Is it the overweight passenger? (the “why not, he’s already spilling over into my space” theory)? Or, is it most aggressive passenger? (the “survival of the fittest” technique)? And, is an armrest up for grabs when one passenger momentarily abandons it to grab a magazine or accept a drink (the “you snooze, you lose” strategy)?

Difficult issues, indeed. Proper travel etiquette should provide guidance in these situations. But, as frequent fliers well know, good manners often stay on the ground.

In a two-seat row, cooperation is more likely since only two people are vying for the middle armrest. Communication is much easier and most people go along to get along.

Three-seat rows add another player, and increase the tension. Obviously, the aisle-seat passenger gets the aisle-side armrest, while the window-seat passenger gets the window-side armrest. Possession of the middle armrests often comes down to who’s least comfortable with having their personal space invaded.

So, what happens when two assertive, armrest-coveting people are seated side by side? In most cases, the passenger who fears social awkwardness more than claustrophobia will yield. But, it’s highly likely that he will employ the “you snooze, you lose” strategy at some point during the flight.

The bottom line is that most of the flying public are mature adults who accept the fact that air travel involves some inconvenience. When sharing an aisle with an inconsiderate jerk, they remain polite and avoid confrontation.

It makes sense. Why complicate an already unpleasant situation over an armrest (which, incidentally, can be raised to create more room for everyone involved).

If you’re stuck with a seatmate who has poor armrest etiquette, look at the bright side. At least, he’s not staring you straight in the eye in a crowded elevator or eating your hot wings.

Ten Commandments Of Airline Travel

February 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The inconveniences of air travel are well documented. In exchange for being quickly transported from one location to another, you have to put up with a lot of grief. Jostling crowds, security hassles, unpredictable delays — they’re all part of the flying experience.

Unfortunately, everyone reacts to this differently, and what we consider acceptable passenger behavior is not always followed, or even clearly defined. What we need are written guidelines for proper passenger etiquette. We’ll modestly call them the Ten Commandments Of Air Travel:

  • Thou Shalt Not Be Rude To Fellow Passengers: It only takes one jerk to ruin the flight for a cabin full of people.
  • Thou Shalt Not Be Rude To Airline Staff: Be courteous to flight attendants (who do their very best to ensure all passengers’ needs are met). Remember these attendants have a lot of authority, so your boorish behavior may not only offend your cabin mates, it may get you thrown off the plane.
  • Thou Shalt Not Aimlessly Occupy The Aisle Causing A Back-Up Of Fellow Passengers: Quickly find your seat, stow your bags, and sit down so the people behind you can do the same.
  • Thou Shalt Not Dominate The Overhead Bin: Carry on only two bags (Travelpro, of course). Place one in the overhead bin — without crushing the luggage already there — and one under the seat in front of you.
  • Thou Shalt Not Invade Your Seat Mates’ Space: Don’t claim two arm rests, take up more than one seat, recline your seat into the lap of the person behind you, or spread your possessions out beyond your area.
  • Thou Shalt Not Carry On Smelly Food: Don’t subject those around you to the heaping garlic and onion sandwich you grabbed in the terminal. Eat it before you board, and be sure to invest in some breath mints.
  • Thou Shalt Not Operate Electronic Devices When Told Not To: They really can interfere with the plane’s navigational system.
  • Thou Shalt Not Force Unwanted Conversations: Respect your fellow traveler’s desire for solitude by not talking endlessly (especially when they’re clearly not interested in a conversation).
  • Thou Shalt Not React Rudely When An Unwanted Conversation Is Forced Upon You: Politely show your disinterest by providing short answers, not asking questions, turning away, or reading a book or your computer screen. Or you could even tell them, politely, you need to sleep.
  • Thou Shalt Be Mindful Of Children: If you’re traveling with children, make sure they’re well behaved. If you’re traveling alone and seated near a screaming child, be patient and don’t make a bad situation worse. Deep sighs and pointed looks truly don’t help.

If everyone would follow these travel commandments, the skies truly would be friendly, wouldn’t they?

Etiquette 101 For Business Travelers

October 29, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

The rules of travel etiquette intensify when you’re traveling on business. You not only need to observe common courtesies, but avoid social miscues that could derail your business objectives.

During your trip you should follow the same general rules of etiquette that apply to leisure travelers:

  • Don’t be rude to flight attendants or fellow passengers.
  • Refrain from operating electronic devices when instructed not to.
  • Carry on only two bags, placing one bag in the overhead bin and one under the seat in front of you .
  • Don’t occupy your seat-mate’s “space.”
  • Don’t talk endlessly to fellow passengers who are not interested in a conversation.

Beyond these basic civilities, as a professional business traveler you should always:

  • Dress appropriately for every business occasion (and make sure to transport and protect your business wardrobe in Travelpro luggage).
  • Respect your customers’ and co-workers’ time by always being prompt for meeting, meals and gatherings. Be aware that in some cultures “on time” means late. Check with your in-country associates.
  • Allow coworkers some down time by not doing business around the clock.
  • When traveling internationally, research and follow local customs, as well as learn and use key phrases in the host country’s language.

Besides observing business etiquette, you should also follow basic rules to ensure your safety when abroad:

  • Don’t dress in a way that would mark you as an affluent tourist.
  • Don’t use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets, and avoid traveling at night.
  • Appear purposeful when you move about, and only ask for directions from someone in authority.
  • Keep a low profile, and avoid loud conversations or arguments.
  • Don’t discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse-snatchers.
  • Be wary of scam artists, pickpockets and groups of vagrant children.
  • Keep your hotel room locked at all times, and don’t leave money or valuables in it when you’re out.
  • Only take taxis that are clearly identified with official markings.
  • If confronted, don’t fight back. Give up your valuables.

To summarize Etiquette 101 for Business Travelers: Be courteous, knowledgeable and safe.

For more information on Travelpro luggage, visit our Travelpro Retail Locator on our website.

Etiquette 101 For Leisure Travelers

October 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

If you fly regularly, you’ve undoubtedly at some point been seated next to an inexperienced traveler.

He or she is usually (but not always) a leisure traveler who’s nervousness, carelessness or cluelessness ruins the flight to everyone within a five row radius. If only every passenger was required to pass a travel etiquette class before being allowed to fly.

Such a class would emphasize:

  • Being courteous to fellow passengers. It only takes one rude jerk to undermine the flight for a cabin full of people.
  • Being 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.
  • Refraining from operating electronic devices when told not to (they really can interfere with the plane’s navigational systems).
  • Carrying 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.
  • Respecting 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.
  • Respecting 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, there are ways to diffuse the situation without being rude. You can convey your disinterest through body language by providing short answers, not asking questions, turning away, or reading a book or your computer screen.

If this doesn’t deter the talker, politely tell him or her that you enjoyed speaking with them, but now need to get some work done.

Air travel can be stressful, especially for inexperienced  travelers. Don’t add to their stress by being rude or inconsiderate. And, if you’re on the receiving end of poor travel etiquette, manage the situation with finesse.

Do so, and you’ll pass Etiquette 101 with flying colors.

For more information on Travelpro luggage, visit our Travelpro Retail Locator on our website.

Winning The Battle Of The Overhead Bins

September 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Have you noticed that when you carry on rollaboard luggage, you’re no longer the Lone Ranger.

These days, everyone carries on as many bags as the airlines will allow, and the fight for overhead bin space looks a lot like the Wild West. How in the name of Kemosabe did this happen?

First of all, nearly all airlines now charge for checked luggage. These fees vary by airline, and are typically $20 – $30 for the first bag checked. Higher fees are charged for additional bags, often twice the amount of the initial bag. In addition, you’re charged an overweight fee if your bag weighs more than 50 pounds.

And, as travelers try to avoid checked bag fees by carrying on their luggage, the airlines are enforcing size and weight restrictions more aggressively. In the United States, you’re allowed to carry on two bags, one weighing 50 pounds or less and measuring no more than 22 inches in length – with a maximum of 45 linear inches (the sum of the bag’s length, width and height).

This poses no problem for Travelpro customers, since we offer many types and styles of rollaboard luggage that not only meet these size restrictions, but are constructed of lightweight materials, enabling you to pack more belongings without exceeding weight limits.

Our functional, easy-to-use bags also simplify the boarding, seating and disembarking process. Most models come with a telescoping handle for easy transport. Plus, as you place your bags in overhead bins, our multiple carry handles enable you to lift them with two hands.

The best overhead bin strategy is to practice good carry-on etiquette:

  • Place your rollaboard luggage in the bin vertically instead of horizontally. This approach helps maximize the number of bags that can be stored overhead, and is now enforced by a growing number of airlines.
  • If you’ve carried on two bags, be sure to place only one in the bin. When passengers refuse to put their second carry on under their seats, overhead storage capacity is quickly filled.
  • If the overhead storage bin above your seat is filled, try not to use a bin behind you. You’ll be fighting the flow when you disembark, which irritates your fellow passengers.
  • Help any elderly passengers or mothers with young children who need assistance placing or retrieving their bags from overhead bins.

A little common courtesy goes a long way. Tonto would be proud.

Popularity of Rollaboard® Luggage Brings New Travel Challenges

August 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Revolutionizing air travel isn’t all wine and roses.

Travelpro’s invention of Rollaboard® luggage dramatically improved the flying experience of millions of travelers. But, with sharp increase in passengers carrying on their bags these days, new challenges have arisen.

The airlines are now enforcing size restrictions much more aggressively. On most airlines within the United States, you’re allowed to carry on one bag plus one personal item (briefcase, backpack, purse, etc) as long as the bag does not exceed overall dimensions of 45 inches (length + width + height). The maximum dimensions cannot exceed 22” long x 14” wide by 9” tall or 114cm (56 x 35 x 23 cm). On most international flights, the bag length limit is usually 20 inches.

This poses no problem for Travelpro® customers, since we offer many types and styles of rollaboard luggage that not only meet these size restrictions, but are constructed of lightweight materials, enabling you to pack more belongings.

Our functional, easy-to-use bags also simplify the boarding, seating, and disembarking process. Most models come with a telescoping handle which minimizes discomfort as you move through the airport. Plus, as you place your bags in overhead bins, our top, side and bottom carry handles enable you to lift them easily with two hands.

Regarding overhead storage in the Age of the Carry On, may we suggest a few tips:

  • Be prepared when your row is called. Board the plane promptly. Otherwise, it will be difficult to secure overhead bin space near your assigned seat.
  • If you’ve carried on a bag and personal item, place only one, the largest one, in the bin. When passengers refuse to put their second carry on under their seats, overhead storage capacity is quickly filled.
  • If the overhead storage bin above your seat is filled, try to use a bin in just in front of you. If you put the bag in a bin behind you, you’ll be fighting the flow when you disembark, which irritates your fellow passengers.
  • Another irritating breach of “carry on etiquette” is the traveler who insists on storing his rollaboard in the first overhead bin as he boards the airplane. While this might increase his or her convenience, it’s rude to those seated underneath and often initiates the storage bin scramble.
  • If the overhead bins are full, be pleasant with the attendant as he or she checks your bag. These people are forced to become bag storage referees, and your cooperation will be much appreciated.

The success of Travelpro Rollaboard luggage has significantly enhanced air travel for passengers worldwide. Even those trying to carry on wine and roses …

« Previous Page