If you’re like most people, flying around in a big metal tube in the sky isn’t your idea of a fun time. From the terrible food to the cramped space, flying can be a miserable experience. Don’t make the flight even more soul-sucking by breaking airplane etiquette. We’ve compiled a list of the worst-inflight offenders.
The human gas machine
You pass gas the entire flight without getting up to go to the restroom. If your seatmate buries her nose in her scarf, it’s time to take action. Don’t forget that your fellow passengers are trapped on the plane with you and can’t escape your obnoxious fumes.
The bad breath seatmate
You start chatting with your seatmate, only to have her wince and pull away as much as possible. That’s a sign it’s time to grab a breath mint.
The seat switcher
In the past, I’ve obliged when asked to switch seats so that friends and family members can sit together. Now that airlines charge extra for premium seats, I’m hesitant to give up my window or exit row seat to someone else who didn’t plan in advance or pay for a premium seat. I’m not giving up the extra leg room in seat 6A to sit at the very back of the plane, near the restrooms. Sorry.
The seat recliner
You slam your seat back without checking to see if the person behind you has their laptop out on the tray table or the size of a basketball player. I’m not in the anti-seat recline camp but please be considerate of the person behind you. No one wants to have their laptop or their knees crushed.
The queue jumper
You’re at the gate and so excited about your destination that you jump out of your seat and run to the front of the plane. Unless you have a tight connection to make, wait your turn to depart the plane. Waiting your turn means letting everyone in front of you exit the plane before you. Resist the urge to cut in line. If you’re stuck in row 41 and have 15 minutes to make your connection, politely ask other passengers if you can jump in front of them.
The argumentative couple
No one wants to hear you and your spouse arguing for 5 hours straight, especially if your fight causes your kids to cry.
The rule breaker
Think the 1 carry-on and 1 personal item rule doesn’t apply to you? Even if you manage to get on the plane with extra bags, prepare to be glared at by fellow passengers, especially if bin space is on short supply.
Airlines keep redesigning their seats to be thinner and lighter which means they transmit the smallest kick. Every time you cross your legs or reach into the seat pocket, chances are you’re disturbing the person in front of you. If you’re a parent, make sure your child refrains from repeatedly kicking the seat. On a side note: The seat in front of you is not a handrail. It turns into a human catapult when you try to use it for leverage.
Whatever you do, don’t strip down to your bare feet. Your feet probably stink and no one wants to look at them. One thing that’s even more appalling than bare feet? Placing your bare feet on someone else’s armrest.
The mad dasher
Patience, grasshopper. There’s a reason that airlines board by zones or groups nowadays. Airlines are trying to cut boarding times and get passengers on the plane faster. If you dash to the front of the boarding queue, you’ll most likely be told to go to the back of the line.
The bin stealer
If you’re sitting in the rear of the plane, don’t place your bag near the front of the plane unless instructed to do so by the flight attendants. Airlines should require carry-on bags to be placed in the bin above your seat.
Like it or not, babies on flights are a fact of life. You should make an effort to quiet your baby, even if it doesn’t work. Fellow passengers will appreciate that you’re doing your best to stop the crying and will usually show some sympathy.
The really sick person coughing everywhere
Sometimes you have to fly when you’re sick, but that doesn’t mean you need to cough and sneeze all over everyone else. There’s nothing worse than boarding the flight and realizing your seatmate is going to be coughing all over you. Do everyone a favor and wear a mask.
What’s your airplane pet peeve?