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Plane and Air Travel Etiquette

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 21 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Space Airplane Passengers Children

No matter how much you may be looking forward to travelling and experiencing new cultures or destinations, getting there by air can be a stressful event. Travelling in a small space, sometimes for a considerable number of hours, can affect your patience and stress levels. With a little bit of understanding however, you will be able to overcome the travel conditions and restrictions more easily and arrive at your destination ready to enjoy the experience.

Personal Space

In order to reduce your travel stress, imagine yourself in the centre of a bubble. This bubble extends away from you by around 9 inches, and this area is your personal space. To keep this space from being invaded by other people it is important that you respect the personal space of all your fellow travellers, especially passengers who are seated in close proximity to you.

Also be aware that any noise you are making – listening to an MP3 player with the volume turned by high or talking to friends – can be heard by those seated next to you. So adjust your volume accordingly.

Personal Hygiene

Travelling in close proximity to individuals who do not maintain good standards of personal hygiene can be an unpleasant experience. Make sure you are not one of these people by ensuring you shower and use deodorant before travelling. If you know you have a foot odour problem also refrain from removing your shoes during the flight.

Another worthwhile consideration is taking it easy with cologne and perfume, as some travellers may be sensitive or allergic to highly-fragranced scents and the chemicals that are used in them.

Do’s

Do aim to secure seats at the back of the plane if you are travelling with children, so that you are closer to the toilets. You will also find that you, and your child, will have a little bit of additional space to stand up and stretch during the flight.

Do be polite. If a passenger is attempting to engage you in conversation but you would rather not talk, politely tell them that you would like to make the most of the travel time by indulging in a bit of personal meditation time. Do also take notice when it is you doing all the talking. Not everyone wants to make new friends during flight time.

Do make sure you store all your personal belongings out of the way of the people you are seated next to during the flight, and ensure you have the items you will need throughout the flight – book, MP3 player, laptop etc – before you secure your seatbelt, so that you do not disturb others more than you have to.

Don’ts

Do not recline your seat as soon as you get on board the airplane. Your fellow travellers will all need sufficient time to get settled into their seats, and to make themselves as comfortable as possible for the journey. Wait until you are in the air and then carefully recline the seat, so that you do not cause the passenger behind you any discomfort. It is also worth remembering that your reclined seat will be violating their personal space bubble, so do act with consideration.

If travelling with children do not let them have free run of the plane. This means making sure that your children are well behaved and do not kick the back of the seat in front of them, are too loud or fidget too much in their seat. You must also respect that not all travellers are happy to share air space with your offspring.

Don’t store your belongings in any overhead locker. Placing your things in the locker directly overhead will enable other passengers to place their belongings close by also.

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