It seems as if air travel in 2019 is more unpleasant than ever. Leg space is shrinking, security restrictions are getting more stringent and airports aren’t any less crowded. Add a bunch of passengers with poor airplane etiquette to that mix and you have a recipe for a very unpleasant flying experience. So, what is proper airplane etiquette? Here are a few basic rules:
1. Ask First, Then Recline
As airlines continue to cut costs, certain luxuries such as adequate legroom have been sacrificed to the gods of financial gain. That's exactly why this is the very first rule on our list. Look, we'd all love to recline our seat as far back as possible and chillax for the entirety of the flight, but that doesn't mean the person sitting behind you should be subjected to your head resting on their lap for the next 5 hours. You can always ask if it's okay, and if they don’t mind, then recline.
2. Don't Hog the Armrests
Here’s a controversial truth: The middle seat should automatically have the right to both armrests, as it is the only perk to being stuck between two people for hours on end. There are only four armrests to every three passengers, so if anyone deserves the extra comfort, it's the poor soul sitting in the middle seat. If you disagree, you are likely sitting in either the aisle or window seat, each of which comes with its own unique benefits, so, seriously... get over it.
3. Stop Packing Over-Sized Carry-Ons
I understand not wanting to forget any essential items
back home, but do you really need to bring your home movie projector to the Bahamas? Plan carefully and pack lightly - you and your fellow passengers will be happier for it. Besides, you’ll save yourself the embarrassment of struggling to fit your bag into the overhead compartment while everyone watches.
4. Respect Personal Space
Manspreading is an epidemic that has made its way from the New York public transportation system to your favorite airline's economy class area. No one wants to touch knees with a total stranger for the duration of a flight, so keep your legs within the boundaries of your seat. Leg room territory is valuable real estate on a flight, and we all know you shouldn't wander into your neighbor’s property uninvited. Oh, and while we’re on the subject, sitting in the aisle seat does not mean you should stretch all the way into the aisle. If the flight attendant trips over your foot and accidentally spills ginger ale on your brand new laptop, it's safe to say you probably deserved it.
5. Got Headphones? Use Them.
This should go without saying, but if you are planning on listening to music, catching up on a podcast, or watching a movie on your laptop, use your headphones! As great as you think the latest Beyonce album is, your fellow passengers may not feel the same way. Oh, and keep it at a reasonable volume, k?