Exhausted by the poor travel etiquette of fellow passengers, I write this guide in the hopes that at least one of you will read it and spread the word. It mainly pertains to journeys by plane but you could generalise to other forms of transport too. To all of my fellow globetrotters out there, both new and old, I kindly ask you to:
Mind Your Manners! – A Request for Travel Etiquette Across the Globe
Please check-in online. Lighten the queues for those who really need it.
Pack in accordance with the published luggage regulations. No one wants to wait for you while you unpack and repack your bags that don’t meet requirements. I also don’t want to hear your excuses for not doing so.
Seasoned travellers pack light.
Leave some personal space between you and the person in front of you. I don’t need to feel your breath on my shoulder.
Wait behind the line.
Be especially aware when you’re at the front of the queue. Be ready to go to the next counter. Don’t wait for annoyed passengers also waiting in line to yell out that a counter is available.
Wait in line. Don’t try to sneakily cut the queue. Arrive early enough so that you are not running late for a flight.
Get your stuff ready! Have your liquids, laptop, belt and whatever else might buzz ready to place on the tray before you reach the front of the line. There are plenty of signs before you reach the front of the line (for international flights, laptops and liquids are standard things you need to scan separately).
After passing through the security check, take your things and move away from the exit. Repack your bag and redress away from the crowd.
Stay to one side, let those in a hurry pass.
Waiting Lounge and On Flight
If you are using a device put it on SILENT MODE or USE HEADPHONES. Make sure your children have headphones too.
Find your seat and sit down! No fussing with overhead compartments. No faffing with fellow family members. Get your bottom on your seat and let others pass.
Speak softly to the person next to you. Do not shout across multiple rows of seats.
Bathe before the flight. If you are on a series of multiple flights – please take a quick hygiene check in between. (Teeth cleaning, a bit of a wipe over in the sink, if available, take a shower.)
Don’t wear strong perfume or deodorants and absolutely do not spray them on on the plane.
If you have stinky feet, don’t take your shoes off! (If the nose of the passenger next to you is wrinkling even just a little, put your shoes back on.)
Don’t bring smelly food on the plane and please refrain from passing your snacks around across the bodies of other passengers.
Don’t drink excessively on the flight. I know it might be tempting to take advantage of all of that free alcohol but I don’t want to be the recipient of your pungent breath or misbehaviour because you’ve had “a few too many.”
Be kind to people with kids. Seriously, a little empathy, please. If that screaming baby is annoying you, just imagine how the poor parent must feel not only having to placate and comfort the child but also having to deal with you giving them nasty looks.
Actually, just being kind in general is not only good travel etiquette but sound advice in general. Think: Is my behaviour making a situation worse or better?
Be gentle getting in and out of your seat and softly return the tray table to the back of the seat. If you have children, ensure that they are not disturbing the seat in front of them by kicking, moving or noise making.
Help those in need.
Be polite to the aircrew. Follow their instructions and let them do their job.
Can’t believe I’m writing this but after recent flights, it clearly is not obvious to all. Stay seated when the seatbelt sign is on. Turn your phone off during take-off and landing. Despite your opinion as to whether or not your device affects safety – a rule is a rule and disrespecting the instructions of the crew makes you impolite and other passengers uncomfortable.
Don’t press the “attend to me” button when the crew are in the middle of service. Wait your turn.
Sit in your assigned seat. If you are so particular about where you to sit, book ahead and pay for it.
Allow the middle-seat passenger both of the elbow rests.
Don’t do push-ups in the aisle (or any other activity, and yes my recent flight had two men facing off with push-ups) during landing or take-off.
Stay behind the yellow line.
Keep your trolley behind you. Don’t take up space someone else could use by making a line with you and a trolley.
Step back when someone is trying to collect their luggage, or shock, horror, maybe you could even help someone who is struggling.
General Mind-Your-Manners Travel Etiquette
Treat all interactions as a possibility to make the world a better place. Why make an enemy when you can make a new friend?
Be courteous. Be kind. Have empathy.
What would like other passengers to know when travelling? Leave a comment below. I would love to read about your experiences.