Food Travel > Etiquette > Plane etiquette: the basics for in-flight manners Date posted: January 27, 2013

Plane etiquette: the basics for in-flight manners

What to do and not-to-do when you are on a plane? What are you entitled to and what should you give up when at your seat?

You’re about to board a plane, and you’re praying you end up sitting beside some one inoffensive. Or you really feel like reclining your seat but not sure how you should do it? Swide travel tips on how to survive a long-haul flight.

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Under no circumstance you should stall in the aisle. Board quickly.

Carry your bag in front of you. And don’t keep a backpack on. Do you know the irritating way in which teenagers move around on buses with their backpack on? Same results, with the difference that if you do hit someone and you’ll have to share your space with them, they are going to make you pay. Always stop to help any women with children, it’s the sign of real class, and they’ll be truly grateful.

During the flight

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If you are listening to music, don’t keep the volume too high: although you have headphones, it is still irritating for the passenger next to you to listen to your music.

Don’t recline your seat all the way. It is your right to do it, as you paid for it, but a little courtesy won’t hurt. Leaning into the person behind you and warning that you are about to recline your seat will allow them to adjust their laptop or tray before you do so.

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Don’t, please don’t, grab the seat in front of you when you get up: use your armrests to do so. If you are not able, think seriously to exercise more your leg muscles.

Be careful with foods and liquids as – since the space is so small – it’s very easy to spill them.

Consider getting a smaller bag inside your carry-on to keep under your front-seat so that you don’t have to constantly reach for your carry on in the overhead compartment, bothering your seatmate and yourself.

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If you need to get up and there are passengers between you and the aisle, don’t climb over them, just kindly ask them to stand up or you could end up to injuring them.

Don’t sleep on your seatmate’s shoulder, and try to take turns for the only available armrests in common, if you are in a two-seat line. In a three-seat line good manners should give both armrests to the person in the middle, but this can vary.

Don’t complain if there’s a young child crying, the parents will be stressed enough without having to hear your two cents worth. Offer a helping hand if they need it, sometimes taking the stress out of the situation can resolve it quickly.

Do engage your traveling companion in polite conversation, but don’t force the issue.

Heading Out

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Wait for your turn to exit. Everyone needs to do so, it’s only a matter of minutes your turn will come to. Unless you have a tight connection, in which case I suggest you warn the flight attendants that will probably make you move in the front row before landing.


Take care in opening the bins. It is dangerous sometimes and can cause accidents.


Don’t stall in the exit waiting for your family, friends or colleagues.

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