Have you ever gotten on a plane and thought to yourself, “Is it rude to ask when food will be served on this flight” or “Omg that guy has his feet on that person’s headrest!” We have more opportunities to fly now more than ever and we’re constantly faced with new and innovative ways to annoy everyone else on the flight.
With more and more people traveling I’ve been wondering what it takes to not be “that guy” on the flight. I think we’ve all seen the videos. Maybe even had an experience of our own when someone is being rude and disrespectful on a flight.
I’m always a passenger on a flight and not the crew, so I decided to ask one of my best friends and seasoned flight attendant, Taylor. Taylor is always very respectful of others so I couldn’t think of anyone better to ask what she thought the rules of “In-flight Etiquette” should be.
#1. Take your headphones off and make eye contact when speaking to your flight attendant.
Yes, we all know how we just want to dive into our own world and not the reality that we’re stuck in a plane for the next six-plus hours. That’s still no reason to address your flight attendant with your headphones in. It’s not very respectful and your not even going to hear them so what’s even the point?
#2. Don’t talk during the safety demo.
I’ve been on a lot of flights and know that the safety demo can be kinda boring. However, it’s the flight attendants’ job to do it for every flight and if you are being loud it is just disrespectful and distracting to them. Pick up a magazine or listen to some music so they can do their job, please.
#3. Don’t touch us, poke us, or grab us.
This is common sense in my opinion. People, in general, do not like to be touched without their consent, especially poked (who pokes these days?). I know that you have a question and need to get the flight attendants’ attention. But invading their personal space isn’t the best way to go about it. Please, just wait a few minutes and they’ll be happy to answer your question.
#4. Ask a man near you to help with your bags, not the flight attendant.
This was actually new to me because I always thought that they would rather I go to an attendant if I need help with my bags. The reason is that taking down and putting up your bag can take a while and will hold the other passengers up. Believe me, you do not want to get in the way of my connecting flight! Asking someone to help you makes the process much smoother than asking an attendant to help you.
#5. Take items you might need out before you board, not in the aisle.
I do this too sometimes. I have my carry-on and once I get to my seat I take out a blanket, neck pillow, book…. you get it. All the while I’m holding people up trying to get to their seat. I can feel their glares on the back of my neck. Some things are just too big to put into my purse before I board. My new way around this is to take everything I want out before the flight and put it in a foldable Chico bag. I can access it anytime I want and then put it back and fold the bag up when I’m done.
#6. Don’t shoot the messenger.
When you’re on a flight you can’t get things as easily as you could on the ground. What they go up with is what they have. Which can be difficult for some people who aren’t used to someone saying “sorry we just ran out of coffee” or “the chicken dinner isn’t available anymore” or “you can’t have any more scotch that’s your fifth glass.” It’s easy to take out your frustration on the flight attendant. You know it’s not their fault but because they’re just there you can’t help it. Understand that they didn’t eat the last chicken dinner, drink the last cup of coffee and five glasses of scotch are enough!
#7. Do not enter the galley, this is the only space they have for themselves.
I know it can be really difficult to patiently wait for the flight attendant when you need something. However, there is such a thing as personal space and for flight attendants, this is the galley. I personally like to think of this area as the equivalent to going into the kitchen in a restaurant. I’m sure you have something very important to say. Probably about how your food was too salty or is taking too long, but believe me, going into these areas is not the way to solve your problem.
#8. Don’t badger your flight attendant for every little thing.
We all don’t want to be THAT person but sometimes we’re just really, really needy and we just can’t explain it. I know I’ve had sometimes where nothing is right and I don’t know why. “It’s too cold, can I have more wine, my TV isn’t working, can I have more wine.” No one is saying that your needs aren’t important. Just try to remember that there are a lot of other people on the plane and only a handful of flight attendants.
#9. Overhead compartments are for large suitcases, not small bags.
This one actually surprised me as a top ten tip. I see the frustration when I think of it though. These tiny bags are probably always the first to fall out of the overhead compartment and are the most difficult to get out when you need something. I can only imagine all of the bags of souvenirs that get shoved up there only to fall out at the worst moment. No one wants to get smashed in the head with your Oktoberfest BierStein.
#10. Put your shoes back on when walking about the cabin and using the lavatory.
The 747 jumbo jet is not your living room. You’re not walking down the hallway to use your own personal bathroom. This is an airplane with other people and other people are nasty. If you want something comfortable to wear I would recommend these unisex water shoes. They are easy to clean, foldable, and cover your entire foot. Pus you can use them for a lot of different activities and not just avoiding plane germs.
I hope this has been as insightful for you as it has been for me. Till next time!
Photo Credit to: jeshoots