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Airplane etiquette

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AAE-etiquette_sized American With frequent delays, oversold flights, and crowded conditions, travel can lead to heightened tempers and shortened fuses. It’s not always easy to keep etiquette top-of-mind on long trips, but showing kindness to your fellow travelers can drastically improve someone’s frustrating experience. We spoke with business travel expert Road Warriorette to get insight into the most important etiquette rules for air travel.

What is the best way to handle my bags?

There are a few things travelers can  do to make sure the most bags will fit in the overhead bin  space. First of all, make sure you are familiar with your airline’s guidelines and that your suitcase will actually fit. When you are putting your bag in the overhead bin place it as close to your row as you can. If you are sitting in row 25, don’t put your bag over row 8 if at all possible.

Also, only put one bag in the overhead bins. Your personal item goes under the seat in front of you. If you aren’t traveling with a suitcase, it’s fine to put your smaller item overhead. During the winter, wait to put your coat up until all suitcases are up. It should fit over your suitcase or in the space between bags.
When you are going down the aisle, be aware of how much space your backpack or purse takes up. It’s not uncommon for seated passengers to be hit in the arm or face by bags as others pass. One way to make sure you aren’t hitting anyone is to carry your personal item in your hand in front of you, and  your suitcase turned sideways in your other hand behind you.

Who gets the armrest?

The person in the middle has the least amount of room, so the polite thing to do is allow them to use both armrests. If there isn’t a middle seat then do your best to share, or allow the person sitting against  the window to have it. The reasoning behind this is that the aisle seat has the most room out of anyone, and can afford to be generous with space inside the row.

Do I need to stand up to let people in my row?

Always, always stand up to allow easier  access for people getting into and out of your row. It is incredibly awkward to have to climb over someone to get to your seat. If you are sitting in the window or middle seat, once you arrive at your row politely alert the person sitting in the aisle that you need by, then give them space to stand up and move. Most people would rather stand than have someone climb over them!

What is the best way to get out of my seat?

If you need to stand for any reason, don’t use the seat in front of you for leverage. It causes that seat to yank backward, ricocheting into that passenger’s head. Use your own seatback if you need assistance. If you are physically unable to get up without using the seat in front of you then grasp it as gently as possible.

If everyone flying tries to be a little kinder to their fellow passengers then travel would be a much different experience! It’s not always easy, but it can make a world of difference

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