Airline Etiquette begins even before you leave home.
Be sure to shower, use a deodorant and don clean clothes. You will be sitting close to people and don’t want to smell offensive.
So, allow yourself plenty of time to perform this important function.
Now that you look, smell and feel clean don't undo it all by turning up reeking of alcohol.
Before you board the aircraft you will wait in several queues for the checking of tickets, boarding passes, passports, security and so on.
Have all your documents ready so that you can proceed quickly through the check point to avoid causing needless delays.
If you are wearing a backpack, watch your back. Do not swing around bashing those behind you at the terminal or in the confines of the aircraft.
Once you are on board don’t block the aisle. Find your seat quickly.
Immediately stow your carry-on baggage in the overhead locker (neatly) and sit down.
This will allow others to get past you to their own seats and not clog the aisle.
Look to see if someone near you needs help to stow their baggage. They may be too short or weak to reach the overhead lockers.
If you can help, please do so quickly and without a fuss so that disruption to the flow of people boarding is minimised.
Obey the instructions of the cabin crew. It could save your life.
Cooperate with them. They are trying to make the trip comfortable for all passengers.
So, do not hog their attention. Other people have needs too.
Don’t keep kicking the seat in front of you or pulling on its backrest when you need to get up.
Use your armrests to push yourself up.
Check behind you and excuse yourself before you recline your seat.
Someone may be leaning forward, working on their laptop computer or have a drink balanced precariously.
So, recline your seat slooooowly. Just use courtesy and common sense.
When the views get exciting don’t block the window with your head. Allow those without a window seat to share the view too.
One head can block the view of several people.
Don’t mess the toilet. Clean it up if you do. See our page on
Especially, do not wet the floor. Some people visit the toilet in their socks or barefoot.
It is good airline etiquette to be aware of the other passengers’ need for comfort and quiet.
Keep your kids from touching the seat in front of them, hold them in check and as quiet as possible. That goes for you too.
When the lights have been turned down for sleep, try to sleep.
Refrain from turning on your individual, overhead spotlight. It lights up considerably more than just your area and will disturb others.
The same goes for window shades. Just one open shade will light up the whole cabin.
Airline etiquette means having consideration for the rights and requirements of others.
Being inconsiderate and selfish is the antithesis of airline etiquette.
If you need to visit the toilet often or are restless and need to rise frequently, then a window seat is NOT for you.
Ask for an aisle seat instead.
Not all passengers want to engage in conversation.
If you do happen to strike up a conversation with someone, constantly look for signs that the recipient of your wit and wisdom may be trying to disengage for some rest and relaxation.
If so, give it a break.
Few passengers are interested in your conversation with your travel partner, so, keep your voice down.
At your destination, obey the flight crew. Remain seated and belted in until you are told otherwise.
If you are able to, help people around you that cannot reach the locker for their baggage.
When you disembark, keep moving. Don’t block doorways or create a bottleneck anywhere.
If you must stop, stop well out of the way of people traffic.
Airline Etiquette extends even to the Luggage Carousel.
Stand well back (at least two metres) from the contraption.
This will allow considerably more people to look out for their baggage and allow them to step forward to retrieve it and draw it off and out without bashing knees.
Airline authorities please note this and draw a yellow line around the carousel, two metres from it, with a prominent sign for passengers to stand behind it.
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