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The Mid-Air Code of Conduct

10 basic airline etiquettes every passenger ought to follow

Traveling by economy class comes with its own set of perils. However, plane journeys can be made a lot more comfortable if we kept some things in check and adhered to a few chivalrous protocols.

1. Everyone carries baggage

Figuratively and literally! While traveling by air, many of us are gripped with a paranoia that tells us to scram whatever we can into our cabin luggage, in case we need something during transit. We clog the overhead compartment with our bags, leaving very little space for other passengers. As a rule, make it a point to carry only one bag, and maybe a handbag with only a handful of basic essentials.

2. Gadget check

It’s simple. Keep your electronic devices switched off or on airplane mode before the flight is ready to take-off. Don’t switch them on until the sign above your seat doesn’t indicate you to do so. Not all rules are meant to be broken!

3. Easy on the freebie

Undeniably, one of the best things on a flight, especially a long distance one, are the munchies. Though there’s nothing better than nibbling on free snacks while watching a movie, or enjoying a few glasses of wine while gazing at the clouds, we’d advise you to draw a line. After all, having a drunk passenger 40,000 feet above the ground isn’t a pretty sight.

4. Recline with care

Everyone dreads the confinements of an economy class seat. The narrow legroom compels you to shrink yourself a little, and though reclining your seat becomes a luxury of sorts, it’s essential to be courteous towards the passenger seated behind you. Chances are that your jerky move might cause their food to spill. Inform them that you want to recline your seat, so they can make a little room for you and themselves.

5. Don’t be an aisle seat monster

Aisle seats are quite a privilege with the ease to get up as and when you feel like. However, avoid being insensitive to the middle and window-seat passengers who are already struggling with the lack of space. Keep the angry expression away, just like any of your bags that you place near your feet, since it may obstruct the other passengers from getting in and out. Similarly, for passengers with a middle or window-seat, avoid inconveniencing the aisle-seat passenger by not moving around too frequently.

6. Volume control

Conversations are great, as long as the entire aircraft doesn’t have to hear them. Tone down your volume while speaking to someone. Avoid blaring music even though you have your earphones on, since it might irritate the person sitting next to you. Also, snoring is the worst you could do to everyone around you. You might want to keep a check on that too.

7. Mind your tongue

A lot can go wrong in a flight. From ignorant airhostesses to someone kicking your seat. Being polite with the cabin crew and co-passengers will get you a long way. Don’t raise your voice or use language you wouldn’t be proud of, as that may be offensive and in turn backfire on you. Keep your cool at all times and be respectful towards everyone you encounter.

8. Restroom woes

Airplane lavatories are perhaps the worst part of the journey. Leave the restroom the way you’d want to find it. Be sure to clean up after yourself. In case you find the lavatory in an unsanitary condition, request the cabin crew for assistance.

9. Battle of the armrest

Here’s the diciest situation of the lot. Armrests are the territories every passenger wants to claim. But before elbowing the person next to you, know that there’s an unspoken protocol for this battle. The window and aisle seats enjoy a little extra space. It is the middle-seat passengers who are trapped at all times; so it’s only fair that they get the privilege of the two armrests on either sides.

10. Fall into line

Yes, it has been a long journey and you can’t wait to set foot in the new city. It goes without saying; the passengers before you disembark first. Refrain from the nudging, pushing and making incessant appeals to hurry up. Wait for your turn and be patient while they remove their bags or sluggishly walk ahead.

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