Fribble Air Travel Etiquette

By (Brian Brigham)
August 24, 2000

Whether for work or a summer vacation, many of us end up relying on the airlines to get where we need to go. Enduring this means of travel is often a horrendous experience. Everyone likes to blame the airlines, but a lot of frustration could be alleviated if we all just exercised some common courtesy. Let me present a few rules of etiquette that I believe would make our time on these winged school buses a little better:

  1. Don't recline your seat if there is an adult in the seat behind you. The small increase in comfort you get from reclining your seat results in major sardine-factor discomfort for that unfortunate soul -- not to mention smashed laptop computers and bruised knees.

  2. For crying out loud, don't spend 10 minutes trying to stuff your suitcase into the overhead bin. Check it. Believe it or not, losing your luggage very rarely happens, and waiting for it after the flight isn't going to kill you. Besides, I want to leave on time and that can't happen if people are trying to shove two weeks' worth of dirty clothes into the bin.

  3. Speaking of luggage, if it says you can carry on one item, that doesn't mean two or three. There are other people on the plane who need some of this precious room.

  4. Chew food with your mouth closed.

  5. When waiting at the gate, please refrain from using the chair next to you for your junk. That should go on the floor. I want to sit down, too!

  6. You are not that cool: Phone conversations are meant to be private, therefore you don't need to yell into your phone.

  7. Share the armrest.

These are but a few minor things to keep in mind while we all go about our business. They seem minor, but think how enjoyable it would be to take off on time, sit next to someone who is polite, and get off the plane without missing dinner.