You might think air travel is all peanuts, gently used issues of SkyMall®, and rays of sunshine, but you’d be wrong. There are a slew of things you could be doing that are driving people around you absolutely bonkers. Are you an armrest hog? Go back to kindergarten and learn to share. Holding up the security line because you forgot to put all of your liquids in a separate bag? I really don’t think you need an economy-sized dandruff shampoo for two days away from home. There are tons of unspoken rules on airplane etiquette that you might not be aware of. Scope out our tips below and wow your new in-flight amigos with how awesome and well-adjusted you are to life in the sky.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
Just as we learned in “Lord of the Flies,” society needs rules to function and so do passengers deboarding an airplane. Sure, you’re in a rush to get off the aircraft and go see your Great Aunt Madge, but everyone else is in a hurry too. Unless you are Michelle Obama headed to your coffee date with Beyoncé, sit your butt in your seat until it’s your turn to head out. Passengers should get up row by row to leave the plane. There’s no reason to jump up as soon as you start to descend, grab your luggage, and push your way past small children and the elderly to get to the front. You look like a big jerk and are realistically only saving 30 seconds of time. So sit back and relax; you’ll be getting sloppy lipstick-stained kisses from Madge before you can say, “make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position.”
Move Along Little Doggie
Once you’ve landed in unfamiliar territory, you’re going to need to survey your surroundings. Instead of coming to a dead stop as soon as you exit the gangplank, break away from the herd of people stopped in the middle of the airport looking like lost puppies on adoption day. If you need to check for directions on screens or hunt for bathrooms nearby, put Mr. Common Sense to use and move over to the side of the walkway until you collect your bearings. No one appreciates having to shuffle slowly around you while you dawdle. Plan ahead by signing up for texts or downloading an app from your airline–usually these tech tools can help you with directions once you’ve arrived at your destination. Who knows, you might even be able to point another poor sap in the right direction, too.
The dreaded baggage claim. This year before peak travel season you thought, “I’ll buy this black suitcase with wheels, no one will have that, it’ll be so easy to find!” Ha, wrong. Even if you’ve souped-up your suitcase with multicolored gemstones and an embroidered picture of your own face so that no one could mistake it for anything but yours, chill out when you pick up your luggage. Like the varied tigers, bears, and rabbits on an actual carousel, you’re not going to have a problem picking out your suitcase from everyone else’s. And if someone grabs your suitcase by accident, or on purpose, you can totally unleash your Chuck Norris moves on them. So there’s no excuse to stand directly in front of the spinning suitcase structure with your arms spread out like a flying squirrel, your bag will be by your side in no time. Because when you block everyone’s view like a linebacker springing to action, your fellow travelers are thinking about how much they would like to drop-kick you back to wherever you came from.
If you already follow these tips and tricks, congrats! You are an all-star traveler who knows what’s up in the airport. Now is the time to get in touch with your inner Mr. Miyagi and take a young grasshopper under your wing–your powers of flight are too great to go unshared.