I have been flying for A LONG time. It began when I served as a consultant for my sorority, and now it is a part of my every day life. I am always on airplanes. Here are a few pieces of advice that I have heard from frequent travelers across the country!
#1 – The arm rest: If you are in a three person row, the middle person gets both of the arm rests. Every time, no matter what.
#2 – The bathroom breaks: Never expect someone to crawl across you when they have to get up unless they are your child, your partner, your best friend or if you are in a serious position where it is impossible for you to get up. I crawled across a lap last week. It was a precious older woman on an oxygen tank who needed assistance to get up herself. No problem. I am young and flexible. But these are the only circumstances.
#3 – The exit: Always let the rows ahead of you go first. Do not rush through the line like it will actually get you somewhere. I have learned (through intense KJ research) it takes exactly seven minutes to empty a plane. You can wait an extra 7.4 seconds, trust me. There will be circumstances where the individuals in the rows ahead of you will be obviously taking their time and have no issue with you passing ahead. If that is the case, do so quickly… with all of your luggage.
#4 – Help people: Always stop to help a person pick up their bag. Ask them if they need help. Fiddle with their wheels or pockets so their bag actually fits in. We are all stressed and irritated. You can create a huge smile just by providing a solution. Like whoopsie, I see you dropped your ear buds. Let me help you… Here you go.
#5 – Sleepers: If you have to go to the bathroom so bad you could cry, it is appropriate to stare at the sleeper sitting next to you, wait for their eyes to drift open and then immediately nudge them and ask them to get up. If they are showing no signs of waking up from their slumber, you can wake them but only after you wait. You can do this. When it hurts, then you can wake them.
#6 – Snorers: I have read that it is appropriate to nudge snorers on airplanes if they are being too disruptive. They are in public for Pete’s sake. I have never done it and I have been by some loud snorers!
#7 – Trash: If you bring food onto the plane, try to throw away your containers when the flight attendants come by. Do not leave it on the plane for the cleaning crew. Leaving it in the seat area is never a great idea because the cleaning crews only have five minutes to turn those puppies around and if everyone did it… every plane would be delayed.
#8 – Volume: Now, you must have headphones. For everything. Do not even watch a quick Snapchat video without headphones. This goes for children too. If you just got off a red eye and only have one hour of sleep left before your meeting in Cleveland… you do not want to be interrupted by your someone else’s Snap story.
#9 – Personal Volume: I know people get FURIOUS when people talk on planes the entire trip. With that being said, I have totally sat on a plane and chatted away with someone for an entire hour. My personal motto is if the sun is up you can talk. Just remember you are in a confined tin can so keep it down. If the sun is not up… whisper.
#10 – Language: Be really nice to people. You being 30 minutes delayed will not ruin your life. You saying something you regret to a perfect stranger will potentially ruin your life… No one wants to live with regret. When nudging someone so you can get out say, “Excuse me… would you mind if I got up?” not, “Hey I have to go to the bathroom”. When speaking to the flight attendants say “May I please have?” & “Thank you”… don’t bark “Cran-apple” at them and leave it at that. Finally, smile at the gate agents. For the most part they will not even see you, but 10% of the time they will say, “Thank you for being so nice to me.” Because no one is… Airports are jungles.
I hope you had fun reading this! I had fun writing it! Message me with questions… and let me know any other rules you follow!
PS – I am NOT going to speak to the “stand up the minute the seatbelt light is off”… I am a stander, I need to stretch and move and mostly I need to see what is going on… if you hate people like me… sorry! My legs hurt!