9 Things You Shouldn’t Do On Airplanes For Both Your & Your Fellow Passengers’ Sakes
Eating stinky food, clogging the toilet, or dousing yourself in perfume while on an airplane will make you pretty unpopular with your fellow travelers. While you might think you're a considerate air-travel comrade, you might not be aware of some things you shouldn't do on airplanes. Unless you have your own private jet like Lady Gaga, or if you're spend-happy enough to spring for a first-class ticket, being trapped in a steel tube hurtling through the sky in very close quarters with other passengers can be unpleasant. In order to get where you're going fast, you give up a lot creature comforts, including your personal space. So, while traveling, there are a few rules of common decency everyone should adhere to so that the journey is pleasant for all.
Possessing some level of self-awareness is important when flying so you don't end up infringing on other people's right to enjoy the little area of personal space provided to them. Seriously, air-travel gaffes are so common that almost everyone and their grandmother has some horrible story about being trapped in a middle seat while an oblivious stranger drools on their shoulder. So, if you're doing any of these things on an airplane, here's a lesson in airplane etiquette so you can go from air-travel zero to friendly-skies hero.
1. Wearing Perfume
Smells are more intense when you'e packed into a steel tube with hundreds of other people. For the love of all things great and small, forgo the perfume. Many people are chemically sensitive and your boarding the plane smelling like a fashion magazine can actually make some people sick. For instance, because I have scent-induced migraines, sitting next to someone wearing perfume is pretty much my worst nightmare.
2. Coughing & Sneezing On Your Neighbor
During flu season, we're all just trying to stay healthy. If you have to fly while you're sick, be sure to practice basic cold and flu-season etiquette, like covering your mouth, or even wearing a face mask to eliminate the spread of germs.
3. Bringing Smelly Food Onboard
If you can't live without a hot dog topped with raw onions, eat it before you get on the plane. Under no circumstances should you ever bring smelly food on an airplane. If you do have to bring food onboard, pick something neutral that won't offend your fellow passengers.
4. Not Respecting Other People's Space
Everyone has a limited amount of personal space on an airplane, and respecting it is vital for the mental wellbeing of all passengers. An airplane is not your home, and traveling can only be pleasant if everyone adheres to basic rules of etiquette.
5. Cutting In Front Of Other Passengers
Unless you're going to miss your connecting flight and you let people in front of you know, mowing down other passengers to be the first one off the plane is not cool. Everyone wants to get off the plane, so please allow people in front of you to collect their bags and get off before you jump the line.
6. Getting Up Eleventy Million Times
If you're someone who has to pee more than a few times during a flight, do your best to book an aisle seat in advance. There's nothing more annoying than a window-seat passenger who makes others get up every five minutes so they can get out of their seat.
7. Making A Mess In The Bathroom
An airplane bathroom is already the smallest, smelliest place I can think of. Please don't make it worse by not flushing the toilet, not cleaning up after yourself, or not throwing your paper in the trash.
8. Being An Armrest Hog
If you've ever had the dreaded middle seat on a plane, then you know that trying to get access to an armrest can be like competing in the Hunger Games. If you're seated in a window or aisle seat, please make sure that the poor middle-seated person has access to at least one armrest. There's nothing worse than having to spend an entire flight with your hands in your lap because people on either side of you take your armrest.
9. Not Reading Social Cues
So, you've boarded the plane, put on your headphones, and closed your eyes. This signals that you're not really up for conversation. However, some socially clueless people ignore this and try to make you their new best friend. While you might be a chatty Cathy, the person next to you might want to enjoy their flight in meditative silence. If your fellow passenger has signaled that they're not interested in talking, please respect their decision to enjoy their flight without hearing your life story.
Let's face it, pretty much everything about flying is a pain, and sometimes people are understandably cranky by the time they board the plane. Let's all try to make the experience a little better for one another. Because, we're all in this awfulness together.