Mind Your P’s & Q’s: Be Polite On Your Next Flight
June is a great time to vacation, following the months of cold and sometimes rainy weather. School is out for the kiddos. The weather has warmed up and it is not scorching hot like it is in July. June is my favorite time to travel, but I have found myself dreading air travel during my trips. The 2018 Expedia Airplane Etiquette Study surveyed 18,229 people from 23 countries and found the most annoying behaviors are ‘the seat bumper’ (51 percent), ‘the aromatic passenger’ (43 percent), ‘the inattentive parents’ (39 percent) and ‘the armrest hog’ (13 percent). There is a saying — the only person you can change is yourself. So here’s my advice: be the ideal airline passenger next time you travel.
- Do try to get a seat next to your children if you are a parent. I once had a three-hour trip in front of a hyper child who kicked my seat the whole flight while his mother slept two rows away. Parents should make sure they are seated next to or near their children. Nobody expects children to have perfect manners during a flight, but we do expect parents to supervise and discipline their children when they are unruly. Tip: keep children entertained by bringing toys and snacks for longer flights.
- Do not hog the armrest. Let’s be honest — we do not necessarily like for our arms to lie next to a perfect stranger on an airplane, so the question always comes up —who gets the armrest? If you have the aisle or window seat then of course you have the outside armrest to utilize. When there are three seats together both middle arm rests should go to the person in the middle as a courtesy for having the most uncomfortable seat.
- Do not wear perfumes or colognes on flights. I am one who will not leave the house without putting on a fragrance, but there are a few exceptions to my rule such as when I am traveling or conducting interviews and trainings. Many people have allergies, so when flying it is best not to apply any fragrances that may trigger sensitivities of those onboard. In addition to not wearing fragrances, passengers must always wear fresh clothes and shower before flights.
- Do be patient with elderly people and with parents with children. This bit of advice should be obvious, but recently I have seen so many people who are rude and rush older people and people with children. Parents are already stressed out from traveling with children and older people may not be able to move fast. If you see someone struggling and you have an extra hand, please offer to help. Something simple such as putting an elderly person’s bag in the overhead bin or offering to hold items for a parent with a baby while they get settled in will ease the stress of traveling for them.