Air Travel Etiquette: 7 Things to Never Do on a Plane

To make your flight experience pleasant, apart from the usual safety norms, there are certain general ‘commonsensical’ things one needs to observe.

A pleasurable journey depends heavily on how you treat your flight attendants. Of course, they are trained to be at your service throughout your flight but at times our little actions can be irritating for them.

Here we have compiled a list of 7 things you should never ever do on an aeroplane as per flight attendants all around the world.

1. Too Much Cabin Baggage Can Be Too Much A Headache For Flight Attendants

1 Things You Should Never Do In An Aeroplane Etiquette Too Much Cabin Baggage luggage

When you carry 2 backpacks, 3 handbags and an extra vanity bag, where do you think you will fit all these in the flight?

If your plan is to stuff one bag or 2 bags to the space allotted for you and the remaining bags into the other passengers’ space, then just STAHP! 

The overhead storage cabins are limited in size, and you will be sharing it with other passengers. Now when they arrive and try to fit their luggage in the cabin, they will just glower at you for acquiring their space. 

You can be assured that this is an unpleasant situation for your fellow passengers.

Now comes the role of the flight attendants. They will have a hard time sorting out this issue. This can even delay the flight which will put these attendants in trouble. So what can you do? 

Check the airline’s policy before packing your check-in as well as cabin baggage. Most passengers take in more cabin baggage to avoid paying that extra penny at the check-in counter. If you think the items you take in are very essential, then go ahead and pay extra charges or just prioritize items.

2. Bringing In Items On Board That Cannot Fit Into The Cabin Space

2 Things You Should Never Do In An Aeroplane Etiquette Bringing Items On Board Cannot Fit Cabin Space

Are you a guitarist who travels around with your guitar?
Or do you take your precious surfboard wherever you go? 

Anything from a cricket bat to tennis rackets etc could be the culprit here. 

Your flight attendants, though you will find them pleasant throughout will definitely not be happy about you bringing in items that cannot fit in the overhead cabin. 

To have a journey that’s equally peaceful for you, your fellow passengers and flight attendants, kindly confirm with your airlines regarding their policy. 

Some airlines are very friendly in accommodating these oversized items but some are not. Some airlines charge extra fees for bringing in such items.  You can also bubble wrap and mark these items fragile and put in check-in baggage.

If these are not your solutions, just don’t bring it, as simple as that.

3. Sources Of Strong Smell Is A Big No On Flights!

3 Things You Should Never Do In An Aeroplane Etiquette Strong Smell Is A Big No On Flights!

The plane’s cabin is airtight and this is a problem when there is something smelly in the air.

Imagine a fellow passenger unwrapping food items like boiled fish. The whole flight will soon know something ‘fishy’ is going on in the flight. Also, imagine a fellow passenger with smelly socks! It’ll be sure to bring back memories of Hydrogen Sulfide in your higher secondary chemistry.

Taking off your shoes can be very relaxing but it can stink the whole place up.

If you think only bad odours can turn out to be troublesome then you are wrong! Even the pleasant aroma of a concentrated perfume or oil or even perfumed piece of a handmade soap can also get on your nerves!

Flight attendants are the most affected people in the flight. At this point, they would probably wish they had the power to become invisible and chuck the person creating this menace. But all they can do is to be polite and ask the passengers to stash away whatever smelly items they have brought along

It’s always best to stay away from seafood on flight as it has a very strong odour that can make fellow passengers nauseated. Light meals which are fairly odour free are best to avoid such an unpleasant situation. Also, keep on your shoes to stop stinking the entire cabin. Walking around in your socks can be very unhygienic so just don’t do it as we have no clue how clean the cabins are. Avoid using strong scented perfumes or oils that can create headaches for self and for others.

4. Switching Seats can Switch your Flight Attendant’s Mood

4 Things You Should Never Do In An Aeroplane Etiquette Switching Seats without permission from owner flight attendant

One of the most frustrating things for a flight attendant is when passengers try to switch their seats.

Every passenger will be assigned with a seat number and this will be specifically printed on the boarding pass. If anyone tries to switch the seat then it can create a mess.

Flight attendants will have to go around explaining how the idea of switching seats could create trouble for fellow passengers (and to themselves, of course!). Once again flight attendants would wish for a genie to get rid of such passengers so that they can be at peace.

The wisest and most commonsensical thing to do is to sit in your allocated seat. If you have a seat you prefer (window seat, aisle seat etc) then pre-book it when booking your flight ticket and avoid trouble for others and have a great journey yourself.

5. ‘Fasten Your Seatbelt’ Sign Is Not For Decoration!

5 Things You Should Never Do In An Aeroplane Etiquette ‘Fasten Your Seatbelt’ Sign Is Not For Decoration!

This flashing light you see above your seat isn’t something to prettify the flight but to safeguard you!

This sign appears when the flight takes-off, taxiing, landing and as well as during any turbulence. It’s an imperative indication that demands you to sit down and fasten your seatbelt.

But many passengers run to use washrooms, decide to do some stretching or plan to take out food during this time! This can create a dangerous situation for all on board! Trust us when we say, it’s not cool to lose our footing during turbulence and land on the floor or hit another passenger.

For those legends who are planning to have their dinner in the middle of a turbulent storm, be warned, the whole flight might end up getting a piece of your dinner. So just don’t!

So when you see this sign, stop everything you are doing at the moment and fasten your seat belts pronto!

6. Stashing Your Trash in The Magazine Pocket Is Not So Cool!

6 Things You Should Never Do In An Aeroplane Etiquette Stashing Trash Magazine Pocket Is bad

Most passengers have a very weird behaviour of not responding on time to the instructions of the flight attendants.

All the services in flight are served at their fingertips and yet they act carelessly.

One such thing is not giving the trash to flight attendants when they come to collect it.

Instead, people just stuff everything in the magazine pocket right in front of them which is gross!

It’s the attendants that clean the flight afterwards and they do not get anything extra for clearing the mess created by unruly flyers.

So don’t be that person. Instead, be a responsible traveller and hand over trash to flight attendants when they come asking for it. Pay attention to their instructions.

7. Touching Flight Attendants to Get Their Attention Is Annoying!

7 Things You Should Never Do In An Aeroplane Etiquette Dont Touch Flight Attendants to Get Their Attention Annoying!

Do we touch a stranger in public to talk to us? Or do we grab a waiter to listen to us in a restaurant?

No, we do not because we know it is totally wrong to do so. But people tend to forget these basic manners when on a flight.

They just poke or grab the flight attendants when they want them to listen.

Some attendants tolerate it but many just loathe this behaviour and it is absolutely exasperating.

Being this person can result in unpleasant situations and at worst a harassment complaint.

Flight attendants are there to make your journey comfortable but remember they are not your servants! If you genuinely need any assistance go forward and push that call button over your head. If you have earbuds or earphones or anything of that sort, kindly take that off when flight attendants speak to you, because that’s basic manners rather than making them repeat.

Also Read: A-Z Guide to Airport Procedures for First Time International Flyers

So to wrap it up, by being a normal civilized person, not only will you earn the goodwill of the flight attendants but also make their job easier by 100 fold.

What other behaviours do you think passengers should not exhibit in flights?
Let us know in the comments below!


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