Surviving with style: a guide to airplane etiquette

happy Surviving with style: a guide to airplane etiquette Kim Wright
Approx read: 3 mins

Ah, the airplane. A metal bird soaring through the clouds, a microcosm of humanity crammed into uncomfortable seats.

But fear not, this ain’t the Hunger Games (although sometimes it feels that way).

This is your guide to navigating the economy class jungle and emerging victorious – or at least not wanting to duct-tape your neighbour to their seat.

Seatback symphony? More like silent disco

The seat in front of you. Not a drum for your air band audition, not a jungle gym for your restless knees, and not a launching pad haul your hulk upwards when you need a bathroom break. A gentle tap to get someone’s attention is all it takes, if at all. Imagine your fellow passenger in front as a grumpy librarian – shhh!

Armrest Armageddon: a territorial tango

Armrest allocation? Let’s break it down, gladiators. Window warriors? Claim the window-side armrest, your fortress against the world. In the middle seat purgatory? You, my friend, are the king (or queen) of the double armrest empire. Aisle aficionados? The aisle armrest is your lonely dominion, but remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Don’t sprawl into the middle seat’s rightful territory – that’s a one-way ticket to a death stare.

The recline rumble: a balancing act

Reclining is your right, but with great power comes the responsibility not to turn your neighbour into whatever they’re eating or drinking. Meal service is not the time to become a reclining Roman emperor. The slightest reverse movement of your seat could send that lukewarm airplane chicken flying.

Exit row euphoria: patience is a virtue

Snagging the coveted exit row seat doesn’t give you free first-class access, champ. Those closest to the exit get dibs when deplaning. Patience is key, grasshopper. Queue jumping is for toddlers (and even they get scolded for it).

Overhead locker limbo: the luggage lottery

We’ve all been there: the overhead locker scramble resembling a flock of frantic pigeons. But listen up, if you can’t reach your bag without holding up the entire aisle, take a deep breath and step back, Jedi trainee. Let the human traffic flow. Your luggage retrieval can wait until the coast is clear.

feet Surviving with style: a guide to airplane etiquette Kim Wright

Barefoot blues: to sock or not to sock?

The allure of kicking off your shoes after take-off is undeniable. But hold your horses (or should we say, untie your laces?) Economy class isn’t a barefoot haven for exceptionally good reasons. Airplane floors have seen their fair share of questionable substances, and while your toesies might be yearning for freedom, are you prepared to unleash their aroma on your fellow passengers? Then there are the aesthetics to consider. Imagine being stuck next to someone whose pedicure hosts fungi and flotsam not seen outside a petri dish. No bueno.

Bonus Round: booze and ballads don’t belong

A few drinks might loosen you up, but it shouldn’t loosen your inhibitions to the point of becoming a one-man karaoke act. This metal bird isn’t your personal concert hall, and unless your rendition of ‘I Will Survive’ is Beyoncé-worthy, keep it under wraps. Trust us, your fellow passengers would rather listen to the engines whine.

Remember, little airplane etiquette goes a long way. Follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll be well on your way to a smooth flight.

Rules for air travel that will make your life (and mine) better