Fribble More Air Travel Etiquette

By (Dennis Jensen)
September 7, 2000

We all know that the airlines are responsible for most of our travel woes. They are full of phrases that make our ears burn. The best are those from the pilots: "We are just waiting for the final paper work" (you will be late); "We should be underway in about 10 minutes" (you will be late); "We will push back momentarily" (you will be late).

We have come to accept most of the airlines shortcomings, but we shouldn't have to put up with each other's. Hear are some simple rules on how not to annoy those around you:

1) Unless you haven't been in an airport before, you know how the metal detectors work. Be ready. Don't wait until you are in the front of the line to start untying your bags and removing objects from your pockets. (P.S. You don't have to remove every coin -- learn what you can leave in your pocket!)

2) There is a line at the ticket desk. Use it. No matter how "quick" your question is, you make everyone in line wait longer.

3) Airlines board the back of the plane first for a reason. If your ticket says 12A, don't get up when they call rows 40-50. It is hard enough to get everyone on the plane quickly without you blocking the door.

4) If you are in the back of the plane, keep your luggage with you until you get back there. There are other people who get on after you.

5) You have every right to lean your seat back, just do it slowly. Give the person behind you a chance to move their knees before you crush them.

6) The seat in front of you is not a handle. Do not use it to get up or sit down.

7) Try not to wait until the person on the aisle is asleep to decide to go to the bathroom.

8) If you are using a computer or handheld game, turn the volume off. It really is that annoying for everyone else.

9) If your feet don't make it under the seat in front of you, try putting your bag there. You'd understand if you were over 6' tall.

10) When leaving the plane, be ready to grab your bag and get off. Don't stay seated until everyone in front of you has left unless you are in the last seat.

Follow these simple rules and those around you will be much happier. Enjoy your flight!

[For more, see last month's Air Travel Etiquette Fribble.]