Flying Etiquette: Airplane Passenger Travel Advice

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Air travel can be a fun and useful way to visit far away places quickly, however passenger etiquette is critical. Below are some helpful tips to make flying easy, enjoyable, and respectful for everyone.

At the boarding area, make sure to only take up an appropriate amount of space. Place multiple belongings on nearby seats is unnecessary and prevents others from having a place to relax before the flight.

Don’t line up in a way that blocks the walkway to the gate entrance when waiting for your zone to begin boarding. This prevents other passengers who are trying to board with their correct zone from having a clear path.

Store your bag in the overhead bin around your seat area. Do not store you bag in the front portion of the plane if you are seated in the rear. Additionally, only place one item in the overhead bin. Hold on to items like coats, small personal items, and delicate objects until boarding is complete.

When seated for the flight, the middle seat of a three-seat row is entitled to both armrests. Passengers seated in an aisle seat should not have their feet out. This can cause tripping hazard and issues for flight attendants with beverage carts.

During international flights, keep the window shade closed when the lights are off to prevent outside sunlight from filling the cabin. Make sure to not put your feet in unusual spots or constantly press against the seatback in front of you.

Stay seated until your section is disembarking the aircraft. There isn’t enough space for everyone to remove their luggage from overhead bins and place it on the ground. It’s always puzzling when everyone stands immediately after the seatbelt sign goes off, only to be crowdedly standing in the narrow aisle.

Wait your turn to exit the aircraft unless you are trying to catch an extremely short connection (notify other passengers of your situation). The traveler two rows in front of you is also deplaning and shouldn’t be cut off. Patience is critical for a smooth process.

At the luggage carousel, stand back several feet so that others access the area and grab their bag in the event it arrives first. Always check your bag to make sure you are not mistaking it to be one similar to your own.

This is just some of the many important actions and behaviors travelers should do when flying to make the experience peaceful and organized for everyone. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Points, Miles, Martinis reader Steven, a Delta Diamond Medallion for sharing his advice on flying etiquette. 

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  1. Ah, I get so annoyed by passengers who have no airline etiquette. Would be so nice if everyone had a little more consideration for those around them. Long haul flights are never fun, but a little respect goes a long way!

  2. Great advice! Patience is key – in most things, especially when traveling. All fellow passengers are in the same situation, but you can all help make the experience as pleasant as possible for each other.

  3. If everybody would follow these simple rules, flying would be a lot less stressful for all of us:-) I recently took our 4 month old baby on a plane and was pleasantly surprised how understanding and kind people suddenly were!

  4. How about this, rather than standing somewhere that doesn’t block the way while waiting for your boarding group to be called, how about falling the directions and remain seated until your boarding group is called? That would be the correct etiquette.

  5. All Good suggestions and should be posted on message boards at the gate, while waiting in line, and any other place passengers congregate. finally at baggage claim a line on the floor with a sign to stand behind until your bag is available might (i emphasize might) help the terminally stupid figure out how the system works.

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