Traveling can be stressful, and it’s natural for your patience to wear thin. Lately, however, it seems that travelers patience has been wearing extremely thin, given the recent passenger quarrels over reclining seats. We want to help the travel world become a little friendlier, so we came up with the “Golden Rules of Flying” to help you become a happier and more respectful passenger. If you’re already abiding by the “Golden Rules of Flying,” high-five to you! Be sure to pass them on so we can work on creating a more positive travel experience for all.
Also, with travel etiquette being such a hot topic in the travel scene, we did a little research and found out which faux pas don’t sit well with frequent travelers. Check them out below the “Golden Rules of Flying.”
- Be kind
Our research shows that the biggest travel annoyance is passengers who are rude to the flight crew and staff … and we have a feeling that the flight crew and staff aren’t big fans of being treated poorly either. Remember that they have a job to do. They’re there to ensure you’re safe and comfortable, so treat them with respect. They’ll appreciate it and so will those around you.
- Be prepared
Being prepared will help de-stress your travels and help you avoid some major faux pas.
Traveling with children? Think about your travels before hand. Try to adjust nap times so your kiddos will sleep on the plane, making things easier for you and your fellow passengers. If that’s not possible, or if it’s an extra long flight, don’t forget to bring distractions and snacks to keep your children occupied and content. If you expect that your child will be a little cranky on the plane, pack a few goody bags filled with candy and earplugs for your aisle mates. They’ll appreciate the nice gesture and be more forgiving about any episodes.
You should also be prepared with the proper luggage. Know the rules and restrictions ahead of time and pack accordingly. Don’t bring on an oversized carryon or more than two personal items. This will help ensure you don’t take up more than your fair share of bin space. Check out our tips on avoiding #CarryonShame to help.
Always try to use the bin space directly above your seat. If there isn’t room try to put it in a bin above the aisles ahead of you. Having to grab a bag from a bin behind you will complicate and slow down the deplaning process.
Communication is key when flying. It’s common courtesy to give the passenger in the middle seat both armrests–they already got the short end of the stick. But if they aren’t utilizing them, just ask! If there’s an empty seat between you and another passenger don’t spread out and claim it for your own. Assume it’s a shared area. Ask if your aisle-mate minds if you use the extra space for your backpack or to cross your legs.
Communication can also be a great help in this endless debate surrounding reclining seats. If you know you’re going to want to recline, mention something to the person behind you when boarding. A simple “hey, I’m pretty exhausted and have a long business trip ahead of me, would you mind if I reclined a little later on so I could get some rest,” will go a long way.
- Be aware
General awareness during your travels will also go a long way in helping you avoid a good number of these flying faux pas. Nearly half of travelers get annoyed by those who talk too loudly on a plane. Be aware of your noise level and limit the chatting to those in your aisle.
Also, be aware of those around you. Not everyone is going to enjoy the smell of your tuna sandwich, so make sure you eat that, or any other smelly food, before boarding. Also, make sure you aren’t blocking the aisle or reclining your seat on the 6’8” man behind you using his laptop. Notice those around you and use good judgment.
- Be patient
We’re all anxious to get to our destination. After long lines and even longer flights, it’s understandable that everyone’s patience is running low. But attempt to hold on to your patience and trust the system. If everyone goes with the flow, things will go much quicker.
Prime example: getting off the plane.
Don’t rush to go before the aisle ahead of you. This will only slow things down. Same goes for the baggage claim area. Stand back until you see your bag. Standing close and blocking the area for others will only create chaos.
If you’re interested in checking out our research on which travel faux pas don’t sit well with frequent travelers, here’s our list of the top flying faux pas.
1. Travelers being rude to crew/ staff (62%)
2. People who don’t discipline their children when they’re misbehaving or disturbing other passengers (57%)
3. Someone that crowds your seat and/or hogs the “extra” middle seat (51%)
4. Travelers talking loudly on the plane (49%)
5. People blocking the baggage claim area for others (44%)
6. Those that recline their seat into your seating area (44%)
7. People that bring stinky food on the plane (44%)
8. Travelers that hog the carry-on bin (43%)
9. Those that rush off the plane versus waiting for passengers in front to exit (41%)
10. People who block the aisles during a flight (41%)
For more information or methodology, please visit our press release on this data.