Travel Etiquette :: Flights

plane etiquette {Thank you to The Sky Steward, plane etiquette expert, for the above sneak peak at your Jetiquette Card. More info and the full card below!}

Unless you're flying in Singapore Air's all business class plane {yes, please}, air travel can test your patience.

Whether it's the stinky guy sitting beside you, the lady with a toddler a day shy of 24-months sitting on her lap while eating off your tray table for an entire 8-hour flight, or the dad who abandons his wife with a screaming baby {all situations that I've witnessed or been on the receiving end of}, plane etiquette is important as far as extending common courtesies to the people you're riding with for up to 15 hours. So, let's make it great.

Plane Etiquette Aside from our regularly scheduled content, this month's feature is travel etiquette. As part of the series, two weeks ago we gave some travel tipping suggestions, last week we discussed hotel guest etiquette and this week we're broaching plane etiquette. Here are the dos and don'ts of passenger air travel:

Overhead Bins

  • If you follow airline baggage requirements, you should be able to fit your carry-on suitcase into the overhead bins straight in, wheels out and down. Don't put your bag in sideways and make poor use of the bin's precious real estate.
  • At all cost, put your bag in the bin directly above or slightly in front of you, so you don't have to backtrack when everyone's exiting the plane.
  • If you're able, offer to help someone who is struggling to get their bag up or down.

At Your Seat

  • Don't be a kicker or knee-er of the seat in front of you.
  • Share the arm rest with the person beside you. It's generally accepted that the person in the middle seat gets both armrests, since the outside seats have a little more space.
  • When reclining your chair, double check the person behind you doesn't have water on their tray table, etc...
  • If you like to drink a lot of water, opt for an aisle seat for frequent trips to the washroom.
  • When it's time to sleep or watch a movie, close your window shade.
  • When you land, don't get on your cell phone and have a lengthy conversation when you're surrounded by people. Unless you're Lady Gaga, no one wants to hear about your personal life.


  • Be courteous about the amount of time you spend in the bathroom.
  • Men, put the seat down when you're done, no joke, it happens every flight I'm on.
  • Clean up the toilet seat.
  • Empty the sink's drain.


  • Don't wear bear feet. Gross.
  • If you like to fly sans shoes and wear travel socks like me, bring washable slippers for wearing in-flight and to the bathroom.
  • Make sure you are recently showered, nobody wants to smell your armpits for 10 hours.
  • Go easy on the perfume, cologne or smelly lotion.
  • Don't bring on smelly foods like tuna, opt for blander foods so the entire plane doesn't feel like they're eating your lunch with you ...

Check out the great visual air below. For more information about the Jetiquette Card and all things Jetiquette related, check out The Sky Steward, a flight attendant, media presonality and flight etiquette ambassador! Plane Etiquette

[Images by The Sky Steward]