Airplane Etiquette: 6 Practices

Be Considerate of Your Fellow Passengers

Part of having a good flight can involve something as simple as choosing the best airplane seat for your needs. However, when so many people are crammed into a flying tube of metal in the sky, all it takes is one inconsiderate person to ruin things for everyone in their vicinity.

Unless you’re planning on paying for luxury air travel options where the personal space you’re afforded is so spacious you don’t have to worry about bothering anyone else, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with airplane etiquette to make sure it’s a smooth flight for you and everyone around you.

Here are six things you should never do on an airplane:

1. Refusing to Wear Your Seat Belt

Yes, it is uncomfortable and it stops you from getting into the best position for snoozing — but it is absolutely essential to wear your seat belt on the flight. You are required by law to wear a seat belt on some phases of the flights and if you are not wearing it you can be escorted off the plane.

It’s not worth the hassle, so make sure you are buckled up at all times.

2. Taking Off Your Shoes

It might be more comfortable to release your feet from their prison during a long flight, but have some consideration for others when you do so. When you take your shoes off your foot odor will permeate the small space within the plane cabin and be unpleasant for others.

Don’t think your feet smell bad? They do — and it’s even worse if you prop your feet up on the seat in front of you.

In order to stay comfortable on the flight without having to go barefoot, consider wearing comfortable shoes such as flats or running shoes, rather than boots or high heels.

3. Drinking Too Much

It can be nice to have a glass of wine to help yourself relax and fall asleep on a flight, but be very careful when it comes to drinking too much. If you are visibly intoxicated you might not be allowed on the plane, or you might be removed from the flight.

It’s understandable as a safety measure because the airline doesn’t want to deal with rowdy and drunk passengers while they are navigating the skies.

There are also other reasons not to drink heavily on a flight. First of all, flying dehydrates you already and alcohol exacerbates this effect. Also, it will give you a lower quality of sleep and will reduce the function of your immune system.

It is better to keep your alcohol consumption low and drink plenty of water instead to keep yourself hydrated.

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4. Making Inappropriate Jokes

It’s important to have a sense of humor, but when it comes to flying on a plane you should simply avoid all jokes about violence and related topics. Making these jokes on a plane is a very bad idea, as they could be interpreted as a threat by the airline staff or other passengers.

You run the risk of getting yourself kicked off the plane and questions by security personnel, which could result in fines and serious trouble. Instead, keep your jokes to yourself or simply don’t make those kinds of jokes (in your head or out loud).

5. Wearing Too Much Perfume or Cologne

Be careful when you are wearing perfume or cologne, as spraying on too much can be overwhelming for the other passengers who are cramped in close quarters with you. Some people are extra sensitive to fragrances and the scent of your perfume or cologne might make them dizzy or give them a headache.

The ideal goal when you fly is not to smell like anything. Simply have a shower before you fly, make sure you are wearing clean clothes and wear a mild deodorant.

Your scent-sensitive seat mates will thank you.

6. Disrespect COVID Policies

With COVID-19 spreading across the globe, many airlines have their own rules and guidelines for safe travel. These often include showing proof of vaccination, and wearing a mask over your nose and mouth while on board. These policies are in place to keep everyone, fellow passengers as well as airline staff, safe. You should always follow these safety protocols, the same way you would with all other in-flight rules.

These are five sins to avoid when flying in an airplane so you can have an enjoyable flight and avoid annoying the others around you.

What other pet peeve behaviors bother you on airplanes? Tell us your stories in the comments below.

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