Posted by: Sue - GetAway Travel Service | September 29, 2011

Flight Etiquette

I’m feeling a little cynical and sarcastic today so as I sat down to write I couldn’t help but choose a title with such great opportunity for oxymoron-ism.  You may want to stop reading right now if you are looking for a serious endeavor from me today because I’m afraid it just isn’t going to happen.


You see, in the past three weeks I’ve had the opportunity (yeah right) to be on 8 different flights and if you’ve flown even once before you know the title and the experience often do not go hand in hand.


I mean seriously, what happens to people when they get on a flight?  Where do common sense, good manners and self awareness go?  This is today’s 60 million dollar question.  If I was one to believe in space invaders taking over peoples bodies, I’d venture it as a plausible explanation.  But alas, I’m not so I’m left with…hmm what shall I call it that could be printed in a public blog??  Stupidity, Rudeness, Massive prefrontal lobotomy victims!


Take for example some of my recent encounters with fellow flyers.  My location, 9A; man with severe, flight lasting intestinal upset, 8A.   Hello…has he not heard of gas X or Beano??  Or wait, how about the possibility of getting out of seat 8A and going to the bathroom?  Oh no, he’d rather convince himself that no one will know it’s him passing noxious fumes throughout the enclosed air space.

no farting

So readers, here are flight etiquette rules #1, 2 and 3 if you want to avoid signs being posted as seen above.

  • Always carry some type of antacid to help relief your indigestion.  And take it for God sakes!
  • When you have gas, please excuse yourself to the restroom.  All passengers around you would MUCH rather be interrupted out of their seats than sit in your peeeeeuuwwww!
  • Do not eat spicy foods or drink lots of beer the night before and/or in the airport.  Rather select a nice turkey sub and a mixed drink.  We’ll all feel better.

On another recent flight I encountered a row mate who insisted I had his seat belt on.  Hello, NO I did not.  You see a seat belt should not have to be twisted to snap together..common sense would dictate that I’m not making this up.  But this rocket scientist insists even though I kindly demonstrate that by switching BOTH our belts would be twisted.  Yet he is certain.  So earth to dufus….what’s the difference!  I’m in my seat and buckled in, the plane can’t take off until we are ALL buckled in.  So sit down, shut up and snap the dang thing together!  Who really cares as long as we each have one one.

Etiquette rule #4.

  • When entering your seat, smile, say hello, sit down, buckle up.  We all want to get where we are going and anything beyond that slows us all down!

And speaking of sitting down in your seat….each seat is allotted an equal amount of space for butt, arms, legs and head.  Your job is to see that you fit into that space and ONLY that space.  I find men are the worst at this and it’s possible that it has to do with their anatomical structures but HELLO…I really don’t care.  My space is my space and I would thank you to not encroach upon it.


Thus etiquette rules #5, & 6.

  • Legs should be tucked in under the seat in front of you with your knees together.  It is not acceptable to flail them out to shape a V.  This may require you wear pants that are not so tight or undies that allow for movement, I really don’t know but figure it out.  My leg space is for MY legs, not yours.
  • If you are going to fall asleep on the plane, please either use the head rest (it bends on both sides you know) or bring one of those cute C shaped pillows to hold your head within the confines of your seat.  I am not a pillow rest!

During the flight segment I just finished last night, I enjoyed (not) one of my most favorite passenger types.  I’ll call him (or her) big mouth.  Yes, big mouth is the person who believes the entire midsection of the plane would like to know all about his life, plans, political views…you name it.  He speaks in a volume that reminds you of an onstage speaker with a broken microphone.  And unfortunately this individual does not shut up from the moment he sits down until he’s out the plane door at the end of the flight.  Again folks, we really do not care if you are going to wear a beaver hat in the encampment events this coming weekend (this is the conversation I endured and he kinda looked like the guy in the photo too)!

beaver hat

Etiquette rules #7 & 8.

  • Please reread rule #4.
  • If you and your seat mate determine  you’d like to converse throughout the flight please remember…only the 2 of you have decided this, not rows 6 – 12! Speak in your quiet voice and on night flights, use the one you learned to use in a library.

Finally, there is my favorite traveler.  The rules don’t apply to me guy or gal.  You’ve likely seen one or more of these on each flight.  They are the folks that bring a carry on bag the size of a small casket and then wonder why it won’t fit into the overhead storage space.  Or the person who brings on 3 carry on pieces and puts all 3 in the overhead space because they don’t want to take up the space under the seat in front of them.  The rules don’t apply to me person is also the one who gets up when the seat beat sign is clearly illuminated, reclines their seat back for take off and landing no matter that the announcement has just requested the opposite and the person who won’t sit down in his assigned seat because he really doesn’t like it and wants to wait to see if there is a better one somewhere (thus clogging the aisle) or just takes another persons seat and expects they’ll live with it.

carry on bags

So I leave  you with etiquette rules # 9. 10, 11, and 12.

  • You are allowed 2 carry on bags of specific size.  One goes in the overhead, the other under the seat in front of you.  This applies to you, not just everyone but you!  Your inability to not follow this rule is slowing our departure and is going to lead to the airlines charging for carry on bags too if you are not careful.  Stop being an idiot!
  • Listen.  It’s as easy as that.  Return to your seat with your seat belt fastened means sit down and buckle up.  I for one do not want to be injured when your fat behind goes flying through the air as we hit that big pocket of turbulence, nor do I want to have to witness you face getting smashed into the floor and your teeth hanging out.  So sit down!
  • Listen.  It’s as easy as that!  Seat backs must remain up and in their locked position for take off and landing.  Hello, what do you not understand about upright and locked?  I mean really take off and landing takes what a few minutes each….take a pill and just follow instructions,  you’ll soon be able to encroach upon my already limited space for the duration of the flight!
  • Finally, you have been assigned a seat.  8B means 8B, not 8A or 8D.  You want a better seat assignment, book the flight earlier or pay for the upgrade.  And if you still really want to sit in 8A, then kindly ask the person in 8A if you could purchase the aisle or window seat from them….because HELLOOOOO they aren’t going to just give it to you because you decided they would.  For the right price they might just take you up on it…if they don’t then as it says in rule #4.  Smile, say hello and just sit in your seat!

Why do I care about flight etiquette?  Because I have clients on these flights and you’d be surprised at what becomes my fault!  I don’t want their vacation ruined so everyone…just use your heads and be polite!

Clipart Illustration of a Young White Couple Smiling And Standing With Their Luggage At An Airport

I promise my mood will be clearer next week.

Until then, happy flying, an oxymoron for sure!!



  1. Sue… Loved your blog post and I have witnessed every of these idiotic moves. I just need to add one more big no no. When your standing in line to go through security there usually is a recording that repeats itself over and over.. “please have your ID and boarding pass ready.” and after spending a half hour in line you STILL have those people that act surprised and have to dig through there 3 carry on bags to get the info needed!

  2. Amy, glad you enjoyed it. There were so many to pick from I almost couldn’t decide what to include.

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