As a jetsetter I travel and fly quite often. Whether it is for personal reasons or for work I find myself on an airplane almost every month. This year in particularly has been quite busy including 4 flights in one week! That is somewhat of a miracle for me if you read my blog post “Travel Blogger Confession: My Fear of Flying.” As a frequent traveler and a travel writer I thought I would share with you my top 10 dos and don’ts of air travel.
Before you even get on the airplane DO wait until your section is called to board and DON’T hover and crowd around the area by the door. Yes I know you are anxious to get on the plane so you can find space for your carry on luggage since you prefer the convenience, or are unwillingly to pay the ridiculous airline fees for a checked bag. However, standing there will not get you on the plane any quicker and will only lead to people tripping over you, bumping into you or falling over you. If you are taking a Southwest flight then please pay attention to the gathering areas marked with your letter and number.
2) Overhead Space:
When you board the plane please DO use the overhead space above your seat for your carryon bag and DON’T place it an overhead space of an empty seat or immediately at the front of the plane. Also DON’T take up two spots by placing your carryon bag AND your personal item in the overhead space. This is something that baffles me. I get to my seat and the overhead spaces above my seat on either side are already filled with bags. This has happened to me whether I am sitting in the front or back of the plane. If the airline only allows each person to bring on 1 carryon to fit in their overhead space and 1 personal item for under their seat and everyone uses their own space, this would not be an issue. Have you ever been stuck in your seat while others deboard a plane because you had to put your carryon bag a few rows behind your seat? Not fun.
Mistakes happen but try to familiarize yourself with the number and letter seating of most airplanes and DO sit in your correct seat. If one or two or three people in your group are seated incorrectly and people have to shift around it disrupts and delays the boarding process. For Southwest airlines remember that once you are allowed to board the plane you can sit in any open seat. Please DON’T automatically recline your seat all the way back. It is courteous to check behind you and even give the person some warning before you recline. Also, please DON’T hold onto or pull down on the seat in front of you to get in and out of your own seat. And, please DON’T assume the armrests on either side of you are for your use only.
If you DO start up a conversation with your travel mates or other passengers please DON’T speak loud. Use your inside voice lol. Sound travels easily in such a small space and there is no reason I should be two aisles up from you and hear your entire conversation. How about those overnight red eye flights when the cabin lights are off and you are trying to get some sleep but you hear constant chatter and laughing aisles away? Meeting and getting to know new people while traveling is one of the perks but I simply ask that you keep your voice right above a whisper 🙂
5) Based on #4,
DO bring and use headphones or headsets on an airplane and DON’T listen to or play on your electronic devices without them. Everyone does not need to hear your movie, music or cars crashing into each other on a video game. And please bring them for children as well. I was recently sitting in front of a child who was playing video games without headphones. Every loud shriek and crash made me jump up a bit out of my seat. Not exactly a relaxing flight 🙁
Airplane food if offered is expensive so like many others I bring my own. However, please DON’T pack smelly or odorous foods. Tuna fish? 🙂 Again, airplanes are small places and due to flying people often feel nauseated. Odors do not help this situation.
I know this is a touchy subject. I love children. I take care of them all the time as a pediatrician. I admire parents who do not let parenthood stop them from seeing the world. I admire them for exposing their children to new places and people. However, have you been on a long plane ride with a crying baby or a child that keeps kicking your seat? Please DON’T ignore your child’s actions assuming if you are not bothered no one else is. Please DO try to calm your baby or child if they get upset. Please DO apologize to those around you that may be affected.
I love cute little doggies! I would love to get a white fluffy one and travel with him or her in my Louis Vuitton dog carrier 😉 But please DON’T assume everyone feels the same way about pets. Please DO ask the passengers around you if they feel comfortable with you taking your pet out of the carrier to place on your lap. Do you recall the recent story about a woman on a plane with her pet pig? I can’t even imagine.
9) The Bathroom:
As if the plane itself wasn’t claustrophobic enough there are airplane bathrooms. It is unavoidable that you may have to use an airplane bathroom for #1 or #2. However, Please DO clean up after yourself and make sure the toilet has flushed! Please DON’T assume it is the responsibility of the flight attendants to clean up your mess. Be courteous to your fellow passengers in this regard.
Please DO wait your turn when deboarding an airplane. Let the people in the rows in front of you deboard first. It amuses me when everyone jumps up immediately when the seat belt lights go off even if they are at the back of the plane. Please DON’T climb over people in your row to get to the aisle! I recently had this happen to me and I could not believe it. Once in the aisle the male passenger had nowhere to go since the plane had not started deboarding. The passengers in front of him were so mortified they offered me the spot in front of them so I still got off first! Ha! Also, please DO be careful of people’s heads when you are taking down your carry on bags AND if you are a gentleman please be kind and offer assistance to the ladies.
I hope this list of my top 10 dos and don’ts of air travel have been helpful and humorous at the same time. I know this can all be overwhelming, especially to newbie air travelers, so here is another article I contributed to: “Tips for First Time Flyers” on HollyDayz.com. I truly believe if we all used these air travel tips it would make our flying experiences more pleasurable for everyone!
Have any of these things happened to you? If so share your thoughts with us below!
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Dr. Nadeen White is a "Blogger by Day, Physician by Night". She is an award-winning travel blogger, Amazon bestselling author and speaker. The Sophisticated Life Blog covers affordable luxury travel, culinary travel and wine. Her domestic and international travel guides gets people to the destinations of their dreams. So, if you are living the sophisticated life or desire to do so, this is the blog for you!