How Not To Be An Idiot On Your Flight

Tis the season for crowded airports and full airplanes. It's all too easy to let the stress of flying during this hectic time take the joy out of the holidays, but not if we all work together to make the collective journey as smooth as possible.
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Man Sleeping on a Plane With His Head Resting on a Businessman's Shoulder
Man Sleeping on a Plane With His Head Resting on a Businessman's Shoulder

Tis the season for crowded airports and full airplanes. It's all too easy to let the stress of flying during this hectic time take the joy out of the holidays, but not if we all work together to make the collective journey as smooth as possible.

To help, Cheapflights has compiled these nine rules of airtiquette that will have you taking on air travel like a (very pleasant and thoughtful) pro. If we all lived by these helpful reminders, getting from point A to point B would be a breeze, any time of the year.

1
Respect others’ personal space
Cheapflights.com's first rule of airtiquette is all about personal space. If you’re a plane sleeper, it may be a good idea to invest in one of those neck pillows so you don’t find yourself cuddled up with the person next to you. Early morning and red-eye flights are tough, and a good nap helps pass the time nicely. But sitting next to a fellow passenger does not make the two of you cuddle buddies. Please respect your fellow passengers’ space when you float off to dreamland. And, while we’re on the topic, please keep your legs, arms and luggage inside your designated seat area for the remainder of your flight. Image: Matthew Hurst, airplane seating via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
2
Keep your germs in check
The last thing any of us wants as a souvenir from our travels is the cold from the person sitting next to us on the plane. When sharing air in a confined space, it’s more important than ever to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. No one likes a Mr. or Mrs. Sniffles (unless it’s the name of your pet pug, because that’s adorable). If you need a tissue, ask around or grab one from the lavatory. Whatever you do, just ask me for one instead of using your sleeve, please. Also, they make travel-sized hand sanitizer for a reason, so don’t leave home without it. Image: Arlington County, clean hands via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
3
Mind your aromas
Speaking of sharing the air with your neighbor: aromas waft and linger on a plane, and no one wants to sit next to Pig Pen. So if you’re craving that tuna sandwich with a side of Funyuns, think again. Stick with acceptable snacks like grapes or crackers with (non-stinky) cheese. Likewise, no one wants to smell your feet on a seven-hour flight so please keep your shoes on. Your toes will have plenty of time to be free on a sandy beach. Additionally, just because you love your favorite perfume or cologne doesn’t mean you need to bathe in it before your flight. As a rule of thumb, stick to one spritz before you jet set — and, when in close quarters, a little deodorant can go a long way. Image: Felipe Ernesto, Spray via Flickr CC BY 2.0
4
Take it easy on the boozing
We don’t want to be a buzz kill. Afterall, a cocktail can be a fun way to start a vacation a little early or relax after a long travel day. However, no one really wants to hear you slurring your speech after copious amounts of mini bottles or yelling at the flight attendant when he or she cuts you off. Pro tip: Elevation really does lower your tolerance. Plus, who wants to arrive at their destination with a hangover? Image: Sam Howzit, Lunch is Served via Flickr CC BY 2.0
5
Don’t crowd the crowd
Are you in Zone 1? Great. Please be ready to board when the gate crew starts the process. If not, please back up. And when the seatbelt sign goes off at the end of the flight? Rushing down the aisle to get two rows ahead while others grab their bags gains you nothing but stares and ill will. At baggage claim, you can see your suitcase coming in plenty of time to grab it. There is no need to stand elbow to elbow along the belt like you’re prepping to wrestle a greased up pig. Image: Kenneth Lu, “Please report any unattended luggage.” via Flickr CC BY 2.0
6
Speed the process for all
Last, but certainly not least, we’d like to remind you, things go more smoothly when we all work together. Do your part by planning ahead and being as as efficient as possible. Have your liquids ready when you get to the front of the security line and get the gate check tag for your stroller before boarding the plane. Be as accommodating to others as you can. If you do not have a connecting flight, it might be a good idea to sit back and relax while stressed-out fellow passengers leap for their luggage and hit the ground running to their next flight, which starts boarding in 10 minutes. Or, if you see someone struggling to take down luggage from the overhead bin – help ‘em out. We know traveling can sometimes be stressful, but being kind and helpful to your fellow flyers goes a long way. Image: Flik, busy schedule via Flickr CC BY 2.0

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