We’ve discussed how to behave in an airport and some initial considerations for behaving on an airplane. Now we wrap up our air travel etiquette series with some final thoughts on behaving in an airplane. What suggestions do you have?
- Do your best to have quiet conversations. Those around you may be trying to sleep or read or may simply not want to hear your conversation.
- Never, under any circumstances, should sound come from movies watched on the laptop, musical devices, handheld games or other electronics. Use headphones or mute buttons.
Communicating with Seat Mates:
- Some air travelers enjoy the opportunity to get acquainted with a seat mate. If both seat mates are interested in conversation, by all means quietly chat away.
o A seat mate who is reading likely does not want to be disturbed. If a reading traveler is interested in conversation, he or she will usually close the book or turn it over when you begin talking.
o Likewise, a seat mate using a computer, watching a movie or listening to music is usually signaling that he would like to be left alone.
• Be considerate of nearby passengers and avoid inappropriate conversation topics.
- When and where possible help parents traveling with small children on and off the plane (and in any other way you can). A wriggling child is a lot to wrangle!
- Until an affordable and widely available instant no-crying-baby device is invented, you must assume that babies on planes will cry. Getting angry and glaring at parents will not quiet a crying baby and is simply inappropriate. I think it’s safe to say that the child’s parents would also very much like for their baby to stop crying.
- That said, parents should make every effort to entertain young children on flights in an effort to avoid screaming and temper tantrums.
o For painful popping ears: a bottle or a binkie during takeoff and landing may provide the suction to keep ears open and for older children, chewing gum or pinch the nose while blowing out will help.
o Good in-flight entertainers include DVD’s viewed on laptops, puzzles, handheld video games, coloring or sticker books and card games.
o Plenty of snacks!
- Your children are precious, but no passenger wants your child staring over the back of the seat at them for any portion of the flight. Keep your children in your row.
- Simply do not badger or argue with flight attendants. No exceptions. In fact, be gracious to them.
- It’s best to avoid heavy perfumes, especially aromatic foods and the use of other heavily scented products when flying.
- If something you’re eating or drinking spills on another passenger, offer to reimburse them for their clothing item (except when the spillage results from turbulence).
- Avoid inebriation.
- Avoid joking about or discussion the safety of flying, terrorism or other topics which may agitate fearful flyers.