You wouldn’t dare put your elbows on the table during dinner. Sneezing and coughing without covering your mouth are out of the question, too. But have you ever examined your “jetiquette,” or air travel manners? Whether you’re flying first class or economy, a little civility goes a long way towards keeping the friendly skies truly amicable.
Gailen David, otherwise known as the Sky Steward, is founder of the Jetiquette Academy. A former flight attendant with over 20 years of experience in the airline industry, he’s seen it all — from bare feet in the restroom to irate and anxious passengers — and says people are longing for the time when there was more courtesy in the skies. In response to the outcry, he compiled several do’s and don’ts for air travelers.
- Have a game plan that allows you to pass through security quickly without holding up the line. Be prepared to place certain items in luggage and others in bins by making them easy to reach.
- When seated in economy, use only the space in your own seating area.
- Use as little space in the overhead compartment as possible. Also, try to use one near your seat rather than one closer to the front of the plane.
- Blow your nose in the lavatory, not at your seat. Leave the lavatory as tidy as possible for the next passenger.
- Greet anyone sitting next to you. However, if you would like to chat more, be aware of signs they would like privacy (i.e., they put on headphones, take out a book or close their eyes).
- Walk around the airplane barefoot. This is highly unsanitary and rather unsightly. (Some people even step into a lavatory without shoes.)
- Place garbage into seat back pockets or throw it onto the floor. It makes for a messy environment that everyone has to endure.
- Allow your children to kick the back of the seat in front of them. If your seat is being kicked, it is acceptable to ask the parent for help.
“Proper jetiquette starts one person at a time and travels with us around the world,” David says.