Top 25 Airplane Etiquette Rules: Don’t Ever Fly Again Without Them!

Laurel Perry's picture


Top 25 Airplane Etiquette Rules: Don’t Ever Fly Again Without Them!

I’m begging you...please read this. Read all 25 of these etiquette rules before ever stepping foot on an airplane again.

I spend many hours in the air on long international flights.

Top 25 Airplane Etiquette Rules: Don’t Ever Fly Again Without Them!

It seems many people have not gotten the memo in regard to airplane etiquette. I am usually very cordial in my delivery of a message, but this time I’m not holding back. Everyone has a limit. I’ve been compiling a list, and it’s not pretty.

Top 25 Airplane Etiquette Rules: Don’t Ever Fly Again Without Them!

Now, I’m sure it’s not you making these grievous etiquette blunders, but feel free to share this list, so the offenders can be put on notice.

1. This is not your father’s Lazy Boy! Do not put your seat back the entire flight unless you are sleeping, or so tall that you are eating your knees. I’m 5’10”, you’re killing me here! Meal time- seats up! Check out the person behind you. Do they have a child? Tall? Have a heart, take the sacrifice. By all means, when you do put your seat back, do it gently.

2. It is not ok to rest your head on or touch the stranger next to you without their permission. Yes, I know, this is a cultural thing in some countries. Just don’t do it.

3. Get it together in security! If you can not get your stuff on the security belt in a timely manner, practice at home! Read the rules, pretend you are taking a test and the frustrated people behind you in line will be giving you a grade. Pressure’s on! If you can’t handle the pressure, move off to the side and come back in when you are ready.

4. On that note, don’t wear your super studded rock-star bling, leave that awesome cowboy belt buckle at home, pre-check your bags for liquids, and the laptop comes out and goes in a tray all by itself. Thank you.

5. Your carry on luggage is getting out of control. Your excruciating attempt to stuff it in the overhead, taking up all the space and making things fall on my head, not cool.

6. Let’s not have a power struggle over the arm rest. One takes the front, one takes the back. You got this. In the end, middle seat gets both arm rests, it’s only fair.

7. Hey ipod person, I can hear your music and your video games through your headphones. Turn it down. If you are auditioning for American Idol, practice elsewhere please.

8. Don’t get hammered on the plane, really, don’t get hammered on the plane. Not kidding.

9. Don’t stink! This includes body odor, bad breath, cologne and perfume, feet, stinky food, and the residuals from your bean dinner last night.

10. Take care of your personal hygiene in the bathroom. This includes, but is not limited to, flossing your teeth, brushing your hair, itching your nether-regions. This is all gross stuff to do right next to me, don’t.

11. If it’s an over night flight, don’t be a loud-mouthed frog. Let us sleep without having to listen to you. If all the lights are off and 90% of the plane is asleep, it’s a good clue to zip it up.

12. Chatty Cathy, you know who you are. Please don’t force me to talk to you. If I have to pull out my headphones to answer you, I want to be left alone. I respect you, sincerely, but please don’t talk incessantly without my reciprocal engagement.

13. Snoring. What can I say?  You probably can’t help it, but if I give you a nudge - know why.

14. Don’t fight with the flight attendants. You will slow us down, and ultimately, you will lose.

15. Don’t be a Diva. We all have needs. Suck it up for the duration of the flight. You may reenter your pampered life at home or your swanky hotel. Actually, if you are really so accustomed to being pampered, you can probably afford first class. If you’re such a big fish, don’t sit with the sardines.

16. If you are having an escalating issue with another passenger, call the flight attendant. We don’t need to be inches from your hostility. Do not bring us into your ring.

17. Why do I even need to say this? The bathrooms. It’s bad enough that hundreds of us have to do our business in that tiny space. Be a grown-up and clean up after yourself.

18. The aisle is not your living room. Don’t stand there loudly hamming it up while people are trying to sleep around you.

19. I rarely have issues with kids on planes, honestly. Kids are kids, be understanding. They are going to cry during take off and landing. You would too if it felt like someone was driving nails in your ears. Give mom or dad a smile and let them know it’s ok.

20. With that said, be aware of your kids at all times. Pack a bag of new fun stuff. There are all sorts of great things you can do with kids on planes. Consider yourself the party clown for the duration of the flight. You can do it. I have three kids, I feel your pain.

21. Window seat person - Open or shut. Be at peace with your decision and leave it that way.

22. Don’t grab my seat and pull on it when you are walking by and don’t pull the one in front of you when you are standing up, use your arm rests.

23. Dress appropriately. I really don’t want to touch your flesh or see things I shouldn’t see. Make your parents proud.

24. Customs: fill out your card on the plane, not when you arrive at the customs agent. Ask the flight attendant if you need any help.

25. We are all waiting to get off and race to our connecting flights. Don’t push your way through, and please allow the rows in front of you to get out if they are ready
air passengers.

Top 25 Airplane Etiquette Rules: Don’t Ever Fly Again Without Them!

Now, shape up - or go on a ship!

Do you have any that I missed? Do us all a service - share yours in the comments below, and pass this post around. We all thank you for it.



Laurel Perry is an Italy Expert. She shares her passion, tips, and Italy secrets with travelers through her work as a Family Travel Consultant, Italy and Luxury Travel Specialist with Ciao Bambino




Photos used with no known copyright restrictions.
Top photo courtesy of University of Washington Libraries. Digital Collections 

Middle photo courtesy of State Library and Archives of Florida

Bottom photo courtesy of State Library and Archives of Florida