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Saturday, November 29, 2014

How to Be a Good Plane Passenger

Okay, so the holidays are here and that means you're going to be faced with bigger travel crowds than usual and crabbier passengers and all that other good stuff nobody likes about flying and going to the airport. Everyone needs to do their part to make the experience less stressful and annoying for everyone else. Be the best passenger you can be and maybe inspire others, too.

  • Put your bag in the overhead as quickly as possible, but move into your row to let passengers further back go by so you aren't holding up boarding.
  • Go one way during boarding. If you plan to switch seats, wait until everyone is onboard and seated before you head back upstream.
  • Turn down your electronics. Headphones are better. Not everyone wants to hear your movie.
  • Don't take up overhead bin space with things that fit under your seat, like purses, jackets, hats, etc. One of you, one bag in the overhead. Them's the rules.
  • Don't use the headrest in front of you for leverage to get out of your seat. We know it's tight, but causing the person in front of you whiplash won't make matters better. Use your armrest instead.

  • Don't stand in the aisles. There are people trying to get to the bathroom and flight attendants trying to do their jobs. Also, if there is any unexpected turbulence, you could seriously hurt yourself or others.
  • Be aware of your child's behavior. Bring games and activities to keep them occupied. We all know it's impossible to keep them from screaming or kicking sometimes, but if show others you are at least trying, they won't hold it against you. If you have toddlers that are seat-back kickers, remove their shoes, as this might keep them from doing so. The seat back is not soft and can hurt their toes enough for them to think twice before doing it again.

  • Ask for everything you need at once. Ex: coffee with cream and sugar.
  • Be kind, don't recline whenever possible. At the very least, look before you just shove your seat back. People working on laptops and tall people already have limited space to work with. Some people sleep on their tray table. Crushing their head will not win you friends.
  • Let your seat mates know you need the restroom so they can move. There is not enough room for you to climb over them, and everyone hates it. Maybe your whole row will just go at once.

  • Have everything you need in the seat pocket or bag under your seat. Nobody likes seeing you midrif, butt, underarms right in their face while you are rummaging in the overhead during flight.
  • Wait until the service carts are done before heading to the lav. There's barely enough room for them down the aisle. You will just end up in some stranger's lap while trying to get by. 
  • Everyone is having the same experience. Complaining about things that can't be fixed in midair is not helpful. It just makes other people angry, so sit back and take a deep breath and don't sweat the small stuff.
  • Smile! It'll make everyone around you a little more Cheery. "Please" and "thank you" never hurt either.
I know that airplane travel can sometimes be painful, but the other 200 people on the plane probably aren't having a better time than you, because the holidays are stressful. The flight attendants are doing everything they can to make your trip as smooth and pleasant as possible, so try not to take it out on them. They're probably doing their best. Things may go wrong. They usually do. It's not the end of the world. Just remember what the holidays are all about and enjoy your flight.

How do you make holiday plane travel more bearable?

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