Are there travel etiquette tips that you should know? There definitely are! I’ve been flying for many years but recently revved up my travel with a few bucket list destinations in Europe and a goal of visiting as many countries as I can before I turn 50. It’s also my dream to visit all 195 countries with my daughter. While it may not come to fruition, it doesn’t hurt to try.
Throughout my travels, I’ve met some rather rude travelers. Thus the reason for my post. Last year saw us flying over 100,000 miles, and some things should just never be done. That’s why I’m here to guide you along the right path before boarding your flight thru your final destination. Here are a few travel etiquette tips that you should definitely know.
DON’T USE BOARDING AREA SEATS FOR YOUR LUGGAGE
There’s nothing worse than making it to your gate, tired after maybe a long flight, or a tiring trip to the airport with your kids, and there are no seats available because other fliers have decided that they need the seats for their bags. There are usually other passengers standing while chairs are used by non-essentials. Be kind and consider leaving the empty seats next to you available so others can use them.
BOARD WITH YOUR ZONE
There’s a reason that airlines assign boarding groups, it’s only fair that the people who paid for the privilege to board first, should do so. Kindly sit and wait until your group is called before boarding. Standing in the way only makes the process longer.
BE POLITE TO YOUR CABIN CREW
Being polite goes a long way. Many tend to take their frustrations out on the flight attendants, but remember they are not responsible for flight delays; neither did they design the seats. While they are there to serve and make sure that you’re comfortable, they are also not your personal maid.
STORE JUST YOUR CARRY-ON IN THE OVERHEAD COMPARTMENT
The overhead compartment is to be used for your carry-on luggage and not your coat, your newspaper, or your backpack unless you’re in an exit row or a row that does not have a seat in front of you. Most overhead compartments also come with a guide showing how to store your luggage to maximize space. Save the extra space for your fellow passengers who need it for their carry-on. Also, store your carry-on close to your seat and not in someone else’s unless there is absolutely no space available.
STORE SMALLER ITEMS UNDER THE SEAT IN FRONT OF YOU
As I mentioned before, store smaller items such as your handbags, backpacks, coats, etc., under the seat in front of you. Not only are they more accessible as they’re within reach, but probably a lot safer too. Checking your luggage, because the overhead bin has been filled with items that could have been stored under the seat is not only a hassle but is usually a reason for flight delays because that traveler now has to do a last-minute luggage check.
CHOOSE YOUR SEATS IN ADVANCE
Unless you booked a last-minute flight, then consider choosing your seat, especially when flying with friends and family. Having to ask another passenger to give up their seat because you didn’t plan accordingly or were too cheap, especially if they’ve paid extra for their seat, is not fair to them. So either accept the seat you’ve been given or choose your seat in advance.
GIVE UP YOUR ARMREST TO THE MIDDLE SEAT
I don’t think it’s a written rule, but it’s an unwritten one. While the person in the aisle has the legroom, and the window passenger obviously has the window, it’s only fair that the person in the middle has the armrest. It’s the least you can do for them having such an unlucky spot, as no-one volunteers for a middle seat if they don’t have to. Whenever I travel with Madison, I always place her near the window, and I sit in the middle so that she doesn’t disturb another passenger unless I’m going with family.
LOOK OR ASK BEFORE YOU RECLINE
Sure, you have a right to recline, especially if you’re going to be on a very long flight, but it’s just common courtesy to look or ask the passenger behind you if it’s ok. Maybe they might be eating or possibly using their laptop for entertainment, and it would be nice to get a heads up before reclining and potentially crushing them.
TURN DOWN THE VOLUME
Wearing noise-canceling headphones may be useful for you, but not quite so for the person next to you when you have the volume turned up loud. Keeping your volume low shows consideration to those around you, especially the passenger who may be longing for some sleep.
LET THOSE IN FRONT YOU DEPLANE FIRST
It has happened numerous times; the plane gets to the gate, and a select few people in the back rush to the front, hoping to get off first. Unless you’re late for a connecting flight, the civilized thing to do is to let those in front of you deplane first. If you let those in front of you move first, deplaning will go so much more smoothly and quickly.
WALK ON THE LEFT, STAND ON THE RIGHT
This isn’t just for moving elevators, but those walking as well. There are actually signs posted that state this, yet we would see people stand side by side, chatting blocking others from moving forward. Merely step aside and let those who are in a rush get by. Maybe they’re late for a connecting flight.
Travel can be a joy and is a privilege, not a necessity, and many are lucky to be able to do so, especially when you’ve booked that perfect vacation spot. Travel is about expanding your horizons and the experience, so a little travel etiquette will go a long way. Enjoy your travels!