Traveling is stressful enough without your fellow plane passengers behaving badly. Too many people forget basic codes of conduct when they board a plane. So let’s review some do’s and don’ts during air travel...
Don't delay the boarding process. Passengers tend to take their time settling into their seats and stowing their bags away, irritating their fellow passengers. There are 200 people waiting behind you while you fumble around wondering which bag to put your passport in.
Be organized. Before you board a plane, know what bag/items you are going to keep with you at your seat and what bag goes in the overhead locker. After all, you all want to take off on time.
Don't expect the cabin crew on your flight to lift your bag into the overhead lockers, especially if the reason is that it's too heavy for you. Passengers often assume that this is part of the crew's duty, and at times leave their bags in the aisle while they take their seats.
Ask your crew to assist you with lifting your bag if you need help. Be considerate of the weight of your bag when you are packing it and keep in mind that if it’s too heavy for you to lift, it’s probably too heavy for the crew.
Don't leave your seat without looking behind you. Cabin aisles are always busy with the crew, fellow passengers making their way to the toilet, or kids running amok. Remember, you're in a confined space with hundreds of other people and you certainly don't want to knock over that tray of drinks being served to the passengers behind you.
Be aware of your surroundings on the plane. Check your blind spot behind you before you stand up out of your seat to make sure the aisles are clear. The same way you check over your shoulder when driving out of a parking space.
Noise Level Don'ts
Don’t play your music, video games or movies out loud on a plane. This goes for talking loudly too. Don't be the loud guy taking the business call or the woman playing "Candy Crush" with the volume up too high, oblivious to the people around you. It's frustrating to be stuck in a restricted area with inconsiderate passengers. Don't be one of them.
Noise Level Do's
To keep yourself entertained without annoying your neighbors, bring headphones when you travel, and use your inside voice. Traveling can be tiring, so you'll always find people using their air time to catch up on sleep. Be aware of your volume level when you speak. You don’t want to be the jerk who wakes up the baby two rows away.
Don't bring smelly food onto a plane. If you don't like plane food and want to bring snacks from home, don't pack something that will irritate every nose in the cabin, like fish sandwiches or egg salad. Passengers often forget they're in a tightly shared space with other people and not in the comfort of their own home.
If you want to bring snacks for your flight, pack some something odorless or at least inoffensive. Good choices include fruit, salad, cereal bars and rice cakes. A good time to eat your own snacks is during the meal service when your fellow passengers are also eating, to avoid annoying people with smells or rustling plastic packets.
Call Button Don'ts
Don't overuse the passenger call button. For example, an all too common reason for calling an attendant is when window seat passengers need the restroom while the person next to them is sleeping, implying it's the crew's duty to wake up the sleeping passenger. Some people press the call bell every 30 minutes for drink orders. And passengers not paying attention often mistake the call button for the reading light, wasting the crew's time.
Call Button Do's
Be an adult and wake up the passenger next to you if you need a toilet break, or just hop over them. Visit the galley when you want that second glass of wine, a good excuse to stretch your legs. Familiarize yourself with the seat functions before hitting random buttons, and note the difference between the call button and the reading light. Remember, you're not the only passenger on the flight. Crew members have dozens of other passenger calls to attend to.
Don’t walk around a plane barefoot. Just don't do it. Planes are unhygienic and full of bacteria, yet you inexplicably see passengers going to the bathroom with naked feet. And that's not water on the bathroom floor. Also, don't put your bare feet on the armrests of the seat in front of you. Actually, don't put your feet there at all. Your fellow passengers do not need the germs you've carried back from the bathroom floor on their armrest.
Don't drink excessive amounts of alcohol on a flight. Drinking on a plane is not the same as drinking on the ground. Many passengers are unaware of the consequences of the high altitude. You're able to breathe at that height only because the cabin is pressurized, but it's not the same atmosphere that we are naturally used to. High altitude means there is lower air pressure, low air pressure means we breathe in less oxygen. As a result of less oxygen, we get drunk faster than we otherwise would.
In general, people are aware of how much alcohol they can handle. But on a plane it’s a different story. You may feel fine, but when you land you may find it difficult to walk in a straight line. Don't be the drunk person at passport control. Restrict yourself to a limit of drinks when flying, and consider the physical consequences of a high altitude.
Do not change your child’s diaper on the seat. You may be thinking, "Are people really that rude?" Yes, they are. Of course, it’s not easy traveling with kids, but that doesn’t entitle you to make it difficult for every other passenger in that cabin.
Bring your baby to the toilet to change their diaper instead of filling the cabin with a stink cloud. You're in a confined space. Everybody will smell what you’re doing. Ask for assistance if needed, especially when traveling alone with more than one child. Your cabin crew will be happy to keep an eye on your other kids if you need to visit the restroom with one of them.
Crew Jump Seat Don'ts
Don’t sit on a crew jump seat. Many times, you will see a passenger vacating their own seat to stretch their legs, but you find them perched on a crew jump seat instead. These are not for you to rest on while you take a break from the snoring guy next to you.
Crew Jump Seat Do's
If your flight encounters any form of turbulence, jump seats are the seats your crew will need to secure themselves. So if you're occupying a jump seat, you're endangering the crew's safety. Be considerate and remember that you have your own seat on the flight.
Travel Itinerary Don'ts
Don’t assume the crew on your flight knows the details of your travel plan. Passengers often incorrectly think flight attendants have information about connecting flights, times of departure or directions airport gates.
Travel Itinerary Do's
Do your own homework. Your crew won't know the ins and outs of every airport, nor will they know the schedules of your next flight. So gather all the information you need ahead of time and know your own travel itinerary before you start your journey.
Many injuries that occur on flight are due to passengers and crew slipping on trash and tripping over feet, especially during a night flight when it's dark in the cabin. So be mindful of the aisles, and keep your area tidy. Keep any trash you have in the seat pocket in front of you until your crew comes by to collect it. Keep your body parts in your seat. If you're traveling with infants, keep their heads out of the aisles when they're in your arms.
Personal Belongings Don'ts
Don't forget your personal belongings when you deplane. A common mistake that passengers make is when they remove their retainer, false teeth or glasses during a meal and place them on the meal tray, forgetting to take them back. Your crew will have to fish your item out of those dirty meal carts once you've finally realized the item's missing, unless they make you do it (which they should, and might, do). And on short flights, there may not be time to realize your mistake or search for the lost item, so say bye-bye.
Personal Belongings Do's
It's easy to make yourself at home in your seat for the duration of your flight. But before you deplane, check the seat pocket in front of you, the floor and the overhead locker for any bags or loose items, like your passport, as forgetting this important document is often the reason for passengers to run back through the air bridge in a panic. For security reasons, you won't be allowed to get back on an aircraft after you leave it. So it's crucial to look after your belongings while onboard.