Part 2: The unspoken rulebook of airport etiquette
By Aimee Heckel
The things that drive you crazy while you’re flying are so extensive that we had to make a two-part series. On Friday, we presented the first five unspoken rules of airport etiquette. The list continues today.
The next time you’re traveling, keep these six tips in mind. Your fellow travelers will appreciate it.
6. Don’t stink. In these tight spaces, every odor is magnified. Shower before you travel. But be light on the body sprays and perfumes, because some people have allergies. Basically, try not to smell like anything and you win.
Need help? One of our favorite subtle smells is the Philosophy Amazing Grace body wash line (instead of perfume), available at Macy’s. Save money on it with these Macy’s coupons. Read more articles about Macy’s here.
One traveler, Celeste, noted, “If you take your shoes off on an airplane and your feet obviously stink, please put your shoes back on! Don’t stink up the whole plane and pretend like it’s not you. Rude.”
Don’t forget your face. As one traveler wrote, while on an airplane yesterday, “For the guy next to me right now and almost always: Pop a mint before you fall asleep with your mouth open. Good God!”
Also consider the odors of your lunch and carry-on. That tuna sandwich that sounded delicious when you were not onboard? It smells like rotting death to the strangers who are confined in the cabin next to you.
7. When it’s your turn, do the hustle. Frequent travelers, like Ray, beg you: “If it takes you more than 15 seconds to separate your liquids, take off your shoes, and get your stuff down the belt, move over. I have this stuff down to a fine science and I can get half naked and re-dressed with my laptop in a separate bin in about 6.7 seconds.”
8. Heed social cues. Some travelers love to chat to pass the time. Others — not so much. Take a hint. If the person next to you isn’t looking for a new best friend, don’t chat their ear off during the flight.
9. Respect the employees. Flight attendants are people, too. Gate agents are just doing their job. If you can’t get an upgrade, deal with it. Know beforehand if there’s an extra carry-on or luggage fee so you can prepare yourself emotionally and not freak out publicly. Yes, the fees suck. No, we don’t want to hear you cry.
10. Mind your boundaries. As you walk down the airplane aisle, carry your bag in front of you. Over-the-shoulder luggage smacks passengers who are already seated.
Likewise, pay attention to where you are, um, putting your body parts. As one traveler so eloquently put it, “If you are in the aisle seat and got there first, get up for the window and middle person. I do not want to lap-dance you.”
If you don’t know the person sitting next to you, lower the armrest. And figure out a way to share it. “Armrests are a misnomer,” one traveler, Jim, says. “They should be called annoyance generators.”
Furthermore, be careful not to recline your chair abruptly, and don’t grab the chair in front of you when you stand up. Your interactions with the chairs affect others around you.
11. Wait your turn. You learned this in elementary school and it’s still true. Don’t jump up as soon as the plane lands and try to win the prize for First Person Off The Plane. This is like airplane road rage; you might get out a nanosecond quicker, but it’s rarely worth the extra stress. Even if you’re in a hurry, everyone could get off quicker if everyone would keep order and walk single-file down the aisle.
“Everybody jumps up and you can’t even get your carry-on out of the overhead because of the swarm of bodies,” says traveler, Beth. “Like really, where are you going to go? Everybody is bottle-jammed anyway. Just sit. Sit! And wait.”
What to save money on your next vacation? Here’s a link to our favorite travel coupons.
Other articles you might also enjoy: