Anyone who boards an aircraft is secretly hoping they aren’t seated anywhere in the vicinity of THAT passenger. You know the one…loud talker, space stealing, rushing into the aisle upon arrival, passenger. In the spirit of making the flight as pleasant as possible for all on board, below are a few basic rules for each passenger to follow:
Whose Armrest is Whose?
I think everyone can agree that the middle seat is not the most desirable. The window seat has the view; the aisle seat has the easy bathroom access. The middle seat? Nothing but tight quarters. So, to compensate for this, the least we can do is give them both arm rests. Yes, both. It’s an unwritten rule of airplane etiquette. Besides, the window and aisle seats already have one of their own, right?
Take the Armrest, but Not My Leg Space
So, you’re the unfortunate one stuck in the middle seat, but you have been graciously given both armrests. This does not also entitle you to spread your knees into your neighbor’s leg room area. You are not alone – we are all cramped. Please keep your legs within the boundaries of your own seat and the one in front of you.
Bag Above You, Not a Row Ahead of You
Why is it that by the time you get to your seat, there is no room in the overhead compartment for your carry on? That is, except for those bins located in the rows behind you. It seems that some travelers feel the need to keep an eye on their bag the entire flight, afraid it will be taken at some point, so they store it in the row ahead of where they’re sitting.
Keeping any valuables on you during the flight and not in your carry on would certainly eliminate this fear. It also prevents the eventual bottleneck in the aisle, with passengers having to squeeze past other passengers in order to store or retrieve their bag.
Clear the Aisle!
When boarding the plane, have any electronics, books, snacks or other items you may need during the flight already out of your carry on if you intend to store it in the overhead bin. Rummaging through your bag once you get to your seat can be aggravating as it will halt the loading process.
Once in the air, keep your bag, purse and legs out of the aisle. This practice will certainly make it easier for passengers who need to make their way to the bathroom or simply stretch their legs by walking down the aisle. Not to mention the flight attendants who are skillfully maneuvering the drink trolley back and forth.
No Odorous Food, Please
Is that garlic burger with extra onions necessary? Believe it or not, not everyone salivates at the first sniff of these potent aromas. In fact, for some it may have the complete adverse effect, causing a severe case of nausea or a whopping headache.
Do everyone a favor and stick with basic, albeit borderline bland snacks and sandwiches. The other passengers as well as your stomach will truly appreciate it.
Recline with Caution
How much comfort do you gain, really, by reclining your seat the incredible 2-3 inches allowed? Other than crowding the person behind you even more, I’d say the benefits are marginal at best. But if you must, be considerate and make sure to look back first. You don’t want to crush the laptop of the person behind you, or their knees for that matter, if the person happens to be rather tall. If all is clear, feel free to recline. But keep in mind that this increases the probability that your seat will be consistently bumped by the unfortunate passenger that you’ve just trapped in their seat.
Wait Your Turn
Now that the plane has landed and taxied to the appropriate gate, there’s no need to jump up and crowd the aisle as you wait to disembark. Everyone is anxious to get off the plane, and this process will go much smoother (and faster) if you simply file out in order.
With that said, certainly don’t wait until it’s your turn to exit to gather your items. And no, that phone call does not need to be made the minute the seat belt light is turned off. Take a minute to check the area around you, plan your next steps and perhaps even offer your place in line to the elderly gentleman who sat next to you in the middle seat. If we all practice a little patience and kindness when flying, it is sure to lead to a more enjoyable experience all around.
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