Whether you’re flying internationally or hopping on a cheap flight domestically, your inflight manners can also affect your fellow passengers. In fact, they’re more likely to affect them because passengers don’t generally possess the professional poise of flight attendants. To be a better passenger, doing your part to help make the plane ride go as seamlessly as possible can make all of the difference. These tips on airline passenger etiquette will help keep you from being the bane of someone else’s existence on a flight. 

Be Willing to Swap Seats With a Family

Mother and son with airline passenger etiquette

Families often have a difficult time trying to block out the seats that they need when flying. Because of this, it’s not that uncommon for one family member to be separated from the rest of their party. So the next time you take cheap international flights by yourself and find that you’re sitting in the middle of a family, it’s a good idea to switch seats with the solo party. You’ll be doing the right thing, and it probably won’t be much of an inconvenience to you to switch your seat. Just make sure that you switch seats after everyone has boarded or at another time when passengers aren’t standing and walking down the aisles.

Leave it Better Than You Found it

Stewardess cleaning garbage in airplane after lunch.

Your space on the flight is yours for the sliver of time that you’ve reserved it. Leaving it a mess after you’re done is not respectful to the inflight staff and the passengers who will be flying after you. Make sure you clean up after yourself; it isn’t too difficult, and it’s much appreciated by everyone. Throw out those empty gum wrappers, tissues, and magazines, and do your part to keep the plane as clean as possible. 

Let the Person in the Middle Seat Get the Armrest

The middle seat is pretty much the worst seat on the plane, no matter which row it’s on. It’s cramped, and the person that’s sitting in it usually doesn’t have a lot of space. Because of this, you should let them have both of the armrests. The person that sits next to the window gets to glance out the window, and the person in the aisle seat can easily get up to go to the bathroom without worrying about disturbing anyone. Because the middle seat doesn’t come with any of these perks, it’s common courtesy and a good example of airline passenger etiquette to at least give them the armrests to use throughout the entire flight.

Read more about this here: The Rules of Airplane Etiquette: Here’s What Not to Do!

Keep the Noise Down

Passenger in airplane using tablet computer. Woman in plane cabin using smart device listening to music on headphones.

Even if you wear headphones, blasting your music at top volume will be bothersome to the passengers around you. Be considerate of your fellow passengers and don’t listen to movies, podcasts, music, or anything on speaker or without headphones. This may seem obvious, but we can assure you that it’s not obvious to everyone. Do everyone around you a favor and keep your inflight entertainment to yourself. 

Only Use Large Bags for the Overhead Bin

Suitcase in overhead bin no airline passenger etiquette

There’s usually never enough room in the overhead bins for everyone’s luggage. Many passengers are often left scrambling trying to rearrange bags so that they can fit their items inside. This is why you shouldn’t use the overhead bins unless it’s absolutely necessary. Items like backpacks, messenger bags, or small pieces of luggage can be placed under the seat in front of you. When there isn’t enough room in the overhead bins for everyone’s luggage, it often causes unnecessary flight delays as flight attendants are left trying to reorganize everyone’s bags in order to get everything to fit.

Don’t Bring Any Smelly Food

Airline passenger etiquette not eating smelly food

Nothing is worse than being stuck on an airplane having to smell someone’s stinky food that they’re eating. When you’re flying, you need to think about the passengers around you before you whip out that tuna sandwich. Stick to items that don’t have an odor like granola bars, fruit, or a bag of chips. There’s really no reason why you need to bring any food on the plane that has an offensive smell. You don’t want everyone giving you dirty looks throughout the entire flight. Just because you choose to eat something smelly and stink up the whole cabin doesn’t mean everyone around you should suffer.

Exit the Plane in an Orderly Manner

After you’ve been in the air for several hours, you probably want to get off of the plane as quickly as possible. However, you also don’t want to be pushing and shoving everyone in your path just to get out the door. Let all the passengers in the rows ahead of your go first. Don’t stand in the aisle waiting for the rows in front of you to clear. Wait your turn to get your items out of the overhead bins, and help other passengers that are struggling to get their luggage down. Disembarking in an orderly manner will allow all passengers to get off of the plane faster.

Do you have any other airline passenger etiquette tips? Tell us in the comments section below!

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