A Flight Attendant’s 12 Etiquette Rules for Summer Travel



After 21 years as a flight attendant, I’ve seen all of it. The pandemic heightened tensions on board, with essentially the most excessive incidents of dangerous passenger habits escalating to violence. Extra generally, although, I see discourteous habits result in verbal disagreements, or a common unpleasantness.

As we enter the busy summer season season, it’s price discussing a number of the frequent courtesies that would make flying, dare I say, nice.

Listed here are my airline etiquette guidelines, which goal to strike a steadiness between your individual cheap comforts and thoughtfulness to these round you.

The mistaken method is slamming again the seat as exhausting and quick as you possibly can. That has damaged laptops, spilled drinks and brought on fistfights which have brought on flights to be diverted. Pay attention to your environment. Earlier than reclining, peek behind you and see what the state of affairs is, and properly ask if that individual minds.

We’re not maids. Flight attendants do not need entry to vacuums, brooms or cleansing provides that transcend hand cleaning soap, moist wipes and air freshener. You aren’t required to scrub up, nevertheless it’s courteous. There are knock-on results, too: Messes within the aisle could be a security hazard, and a giant cleansing job may even delay the following flight. Proactive pondering helps. Can a small youngster deal with a big bag of snacks? If not, put them in a smaller, extra manageable container forward of time.

The bins are first-come, first-serve in financial system class. You don’t personal the spot instantly above your seat, and it’s not acceptable to take out another person’s bag to make yours match. Sliding baggage to maximise area is ok, however save the complicated puzzle fixing for the flight attendant. And keep in mind, small baggage belong at your ft, maintaining room for big baggage within the overhead bins.

We don’t want to listen to each side of that dialog; plus, boarding an airplane isn’t the time on your goodbyes. It’s time so that you can think about discovering your seat and stowing your baggage as quick as doable so the individuals behind you are able to do the identical factor. Whereas we’re on the subject, nobody desires to listen to your films, video video games or TikToks, so carry headphones. Even for youngsters.

It’s the comfort prize for being squished between two individuals with nowhere to lean. Case closed.

Overly chatty seatmate? Headphones are an effective way to maintain from being the sounding board on your neighbor who can’t take a touch. It’s my go-to transfer: After an extended day of being a flight attendant, my noise-canceling headphones are my haven. I need peace on my commute residence.

If it’s an extended flight, by all means calm down and take off your footwear, however there’s by no means a purpose to take off your socks. Foot scent is inescapable. Additionally, preserve your ft to your self. It’s not acceptable to relaxation your ft on the armrest of the individual in entrance. And I extremely suggest placing your footwear again on to make use of the bathroom.

In case you want one thing — a espresso refill, help with a medical concern or assist with a disruptive passenger — please use it. It’s preferable to poking or tapping the flight attendant, which isn’t OK. Earlier than you press it, although, be sure that we aren’t already within the aisle with a beverage cart or a trash bag — which means we’re already coming! In case you are having a real emergency, please hit it a number of instances so we all know it’s vital.

Nothing makes a flight extra depressing than the again of your seat changing into a punching bag. Nonetheless, if a toddler behind you is being disruptive, deal with the dad and mom. You don’t have the correct to yell at another person’s youngster. A pleasant method to method that is to ask the dad and mom calmly, and with a smile, in the event that they notice their youngster is kicking your seat. Then say it’s bothersome; is there any method you possibly can you make the kid cease? This fashion you aren’t accusing in your tone, and are asking as a substitute of being bossy.

If your loved ones is cut up up on the flight, the chaotic rush of boarding isn’t when flight attendants can clear up it for you. The gate brokers have entry to the seating chart and household reservations, so please ask them first whether it is doable to vary your seats. Some airways also have a coverage that households with kids below 13 should sit collectively, so the gate agent is one of the best place. And even higher: Name the airline earlier than coming to the airport.

I’m going to be unpopular right here. No, you do not need to change with somebody who asks you. When you have paid further on your seat, and even whether it is simply an inconvenience, you possibly can kindly say no. Whether it is advantageous, like buying and selling a center seat for a window seat, or you’re completely happy to assist, please go forward and swap.

This needs to be frequent sense, however in some way it isn’t. I take care of this all day, day by day. I don’t wish to flush your deposit, and neither does the passenger after you. In case you can’t discover the button, please search for it: I assure it’s there. On each airplane.