Don’t kick the seat and more in-flight etiquette

News that Delta Air Lines has banned a belligerent, pro-Trump supporter for life serves as a gentle reminder that boorish in-flight behaviour bears consequences – often stricter consequences than on the ground.

In a memo to staff and the public, Delta called for civility, describing the passenger’s behaviour as “rude and disrespectful to his fellow customers” and said the man has been banned for life. Likewise, all passengers aboard the domestic flight will be issued refunds.

Here are a few gentle reminders on acceptable, and unacceptable in-flight etiquette:

If you can’t lift it, don’t pack it

Flight attendants, and seatmates for that matter, should not be relied upon to lift your carry-on suitcase in the overhead bin for you. If flight attendants had to help every passenger lift their suitcase in the overhead storage unit, they’d be the ones requiring a wheelchair offload. Pack within reason.


Seat recline

The right to recline remains a hot button issue. But at the risk of angering the pro-recliners, it’s (probably) not unreasonable to suggest keeping your seatbacks upright at a minimum during mealtimes. Likewise, a polite check to see if reclining your seat will spill a beverage or knock over a laptop would likely also be appreciated.


Keep your knees and feet to yourselves

This may be tricky for the long-legged fliers out there. But according to a wide-sweeping Expedia in-flight etiquette survey, “rear seat kicking” was cited as the most offensive behaviour by respondents. Those with shorter legs have no good excuse, meanwhile, and may want to be mindful of kneeing the backs of their fellow passengers.


Choose your seating carefully

If you know you’re an in-flight water chugger or wine imbiber, and by extension frequent bathroom visitor, best avoid the window seat where you risk having to climb over your seatmates five times during the flight. Choose instead the aisle seat. Same goes for getting up during meal service. Best to stay seated until the aisle beside you is clear of the meal carts. Otherwise you risk being stuck between two trolleys and disrupting the meal service.


Attention parents

After seat kickers, an Expedia survey found that inattentive parents was the second biggest pet peeve among fliers. We all know that kids will be kids. But there is a limit. If fellow passengers feel like you’re not doing enough to control your screaming, jumping, pretzel-throwing child, expect (deservedly) to feel the wrath.


Armrest wrestle

Here’s a generally accepted truth: The unfortunate middle seater get rights to the armrest. Why? Because window seaters are considered to have the best view, while the aisle seaters have the privilege of getting off the plane first. – AFP Relaxnews


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