What Not to Do on a Plane: An Illustrated Guide

Some folks love air travel; others hate it; but regardless as to how you feel about flying itself, I think most of us can agree that there are certain things you just don’t do on an airplane. Weirdly, though, some people don’t seem to have gotten the memo — but a new Instagram account isn’t letting them off the hook: PassengerShaming puts bad airplane behavior on display for all to see. I think there are a few lessons here we could learn; don't you?

I’ll admit that part of me thinks PassengerShaming is kind of… well, mean. I generally dislike the word “shaming,” and I’m not sure it’s really the most effective way to teach good manners. That said, though, a picture really is worth a thousand words, so another part of me would like to commend the Instagram account for taking people to task for their poor flight etiquette. There's a lot I'm willing to let slide; unlike some, for example, I don’t care if you wear yoga pants or sweatshirts on the plane. I’m with Madeleine Davis of Jezebel: You’re going to be crammed into a tiny metal tube with a large amount of strangers for several hours, so when it comes to attire, comfort, not smartness, is key. But I also believe guidelines regarding personal hygiene and acceptable public behavior should still be followed, even if you are going to be crammed into the aforementioned metal tube with the aforementioned strangers. Don't be like these guys. It's just common courtesy.

Here, let’s take a moment to review the do’s and don’ts of air travel as illustrated by PassengerShaming:

DO: Keep Your Shoes On

And also out of other people’s tiny, airplane-sized personal space bubble. I don’t know you nearly well enough to be in such close proximity to your feet.

DON’T: Allow Your Hair to Mount an Invasion on Someone’s Seat Back

Your hair is great. It’s shampoo commercial-quality. Really. You could be a part-time model. You don’t need to shove it in my face for me to acknowledge that fact. And also, please do not block my in-flight entertainment system. It's all I have to cling to on this long and hopeless journey.

DO: Keep Your Shirt On


DON’T: Use the Bathroom Sink for Anything Other Than Its Intended Purpose


DO: Properly Dispose of Any and All Chewing Gum

Would you want to find your pillow covered in a stranger’s chewed gum and saliva? No? Then don’t put anyone else in that position, either.

DON’T: Perform Airplane Seat Acrobatics

I’m sure you’re very excited about the Cirque du Soleil audition you have lined up, but now is not the time to rehearse for it.

DO: Clean Up After Yourself

The flight attendants are not your mother — and even if they were, they still shouldn't have to clean up your messes.

DON’T: Do This

Oh, come on. That’s just rude.

Head on over to PassengerShaming's Instagram and Facebook pages for more. Fly well, my friends; may your travels remain forever free of jerks like these.

Images: PassengerShaming/Instagram