News13 Travel Etiquette Tips
13 Travel Etiquette Tips

13 Travel Etiquette Tips

Summer is wrapping up, and many of us are gearing up to get out of here for a few weeks during the cooler months.

If you’re like me, you might have noticed there’s almost always one person who think they’re the only one using the airline.

Whether you’re lucky enough to be an experienced traveller, or you’re leaving the country for the first time, I put together 13 travel etiquette tips to ensure that person isn’t you.

If reclining your seat was a crime, they wouldn’t have invented the button to let you do it

First up, here is something you CAN do. If seats weren’t meant to recline, they wouldn’t recline! Put your seat back as you please, but be respectful. There shouldn’t be any need to put it up or down more than a few times per flight. You could also consider putting the chair upright when food is being served, but you are not obliged. Think of it this way - you don’t own the space in front of you, but you own the space behind you.

The plane isn’t your loungeroom

Remember the golden rule - there are other people on the plane! Don’t put your feet up on the back of chairs, or put them in other people’s space. If you’re going to take your shoes off, make sure your feet don’t smell, and don’t walk into the toilet with bare feet ?

The armrest rule

Getting a middle seat is the worst case scenario for almost any traveller. If you’re in the window seat, you have the plane wall to lean on. The aisle seat gets a bit of extra leg room, and the outside armrest. Let the middle person have both armrests. It’s the least you can do.

Have a sense of urgency in the departure area

There are over 9,700 commercial planes in the air at any given time, carrying over 1.2 million people. It’s safe to say the world of airline travel moves fast, and if you haven’t adjusted to the pace of an airport, it’s time. Unpack your bag at security with a little bit of pace, stick to the left (or right in some countries) if you know you’re going to walk slow, and don’t stop in the middle of walkways.

You won’t miss the plane if you’re at the boarding gate

If you’ve made it to the boarding call in time, there is no rush to get on the plane. Passengers are always in a rush to be the first in line, but there is truly no need to rush. Further to this, once the plane lands, unless you’re in a hurry to get to your connecting flight, there is no need to be the first person to stand up and get in the aisle. Enjoy the ride, it’s not a race!

No need to stand in groups

If you’re waiting for luggage while travelling in a group, have one or two of you collect every bag while the others wait out of everyone’s way. There is no need for a group of people to be taking up people’s space because they’re loitering at the baggage carousel.

Pay attention in the check in line

If the desk attendant has to call out ‘next please!’ more than once, you’re probably not paying enough attention. Sometimes it can take hours to get through the check in line, so don’t be the person who holds it up any longer. Take your headphones out as you approach the front of the line!

Some people may be in a rush

We all make mistakes. Someone might have got stuck in traffic, or they really did just leave it to the last minute. Give people a bit of leeway if they’re in a rush.

Some people truly may not be able to keep up

Contrary to this, if someone is legitimately struggling to move swiftly through an airport that is ok too. Consider this before getting flustered, or trying to hurry them.

Some people don’t travel often, if someone looks confused you can help them

There are people who may not have been lucky enough to travel around the world like you have. Airports can be confusing places. If you see someone struggling, and you have the time, why not give them a hand?

Clapping when the plane lands

This isn’t going to inconvenience anyone or make their trip unbearable, but it will make them shake their head when they touch down in a new destination.

Overhead storage respect

Be respectful of people’s space. On a commercial airliner the overhead storage can usually fit three or four people’s bags, so don’t hog the space. Further to that, if there isn’t enough room, you shouldn’t crush everyone else’s belongings.

Remember, travel is fun!

Travel is fun. People might annoy you on the flight or in the airport, but you’re either on your way to having a great holiday, or on your way back from the trip of a lifetime!

Any advice contained in this article is general in nature and does not take account of your particular objectives, personal circumstances or needs. If in doubt about your own situation you should seek appropriate advice.


What's your favourite travel etiqutte tip? Leave a comment below

Originally posted on .

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Peter from NSW commented:

Suzanne, You don't need to know if passengers ONLY have carry on baggage. The flight attendants could ask people who have checked baggage to remain seated & kindly let carry on to exit the plane & indeed the airport in a brisk manner.It Dosn't take many brains to figure this out. 

Robert from NSW commented:

Another important suggestion. If you have a backpack, try putting it on in front, i.e. on your chest, rather than your back. Why? Because there is nothing more annoying than dodging a wildly swinging backpack as the idiot in front moves around, especially if you are patiently waiting in an aisle seat. A further advantage, with you pack at the front, it is easy to access it and take out/ put in items you use during the flight. Of course, once you are in the terminal you can easily stop and put on your back if that is more convenient, but not, of course while walking along the concourse to/from the plane door. 

michael from QLD commented:

When the plane arrives & comes to a stand still ,if you are on the isle stand up , allow the passengers opposite get out and you don't let others behind push past , retrieve your bag & the other passengers next to you , let them out first .let the passengers in front move out ahead .in turn , No rush to get off you still have to wait for your luggage to arrive at the carousel 

Someone from QLD commented:

Most of the tips were just advice to show common courtesy. 

Someone from VIC commented:

Unfortunately, common courtesy is not so common any more. 

michael from NSW commented:

For heavens sake do not stand hard against the baggage carousel and obstruct others from at least - eyeing - their baggage as it arrives as well as completely blocking them in being able approach and collect their baggage. Also leave trolleys well away from the carousel. The system works for all if everybody stands back and allows all to see their baggage and comfortable walk up and collect it. 

Errol from SA commented:

I've been overseas on many occasions when I was younger(20years ago). Only time I raninto problem passengers, was on united airlines from Sydney to LAX. How times have changed. Those days stewies didn't have to do a thing. Passengers would have a quiet chat with the offender. Gone are the good old days. 

Robert from NSW commented:

when you board the plane and the person in front gets to their seat allow them time to get their bag in the overhead locker do not try to push past them till they are clear the plane will not leave till every one is seated and lockers are closed. 

Tony E
Tony E from NSW commented:

This guy's 4yr old kid kicked the back of my seat from Sydney to Vanuatu,and when we landed,I said to the Father.," Boy, I hope you're sitting in front of me on the way back"!!! 

Robert from NSW replied to Tony E:

Actually, just turn around and tell the kid to stop hitting your seat, said so the parent hears, this is usually enough that they control their little anklebiter 

Sandra from VIC commented:

Stephen NSW is spot-on. As long as airlines insist on leaving seats reclinable, it is up to people to show manners, courtesy and respect and simply refrain from reclining. It is an awful thing to do to the passenger behind you. As for Worthington's statement "You don't don't own the space in front of you but you own the space behind you" ... that is just stupid Douglas Vic 

Robert from NSW replied to Sandra:

Again, most seats can be reclined to varying degrees. I am uncomfortable in a perpendicular seat but by reclining just a little bit, I travel more comfortably. If I am reclined too far and asleep at meal times, the hostie can simply reach over and vertical my seat if necessary. Worst case, I then wake up and have to eat some airline food! Any passenger who gets their knickers in a knot about that can be chucked out the emergency hatch. 

Robert from NSW replied to Robert:

Robert, if you recline your seat without my approval and more than I allow you to intrude into my personal space, I can assure you that you will be out the emergency hatch quicksmart. 

Someone from NSW replied to Robert:

Passengers are well within their right to recline their seats without your approval!!! Of course it is courteous to put it upright at meal times. 

Robert from NSW commented:

Next time I meet you, I will invade your personal space front on, up close, and watch your reaction. I'll bet you back off, real quick !!! 

stephen from NSW commented:

you are kidding re reclining seats. The reclined seat is intrusive and make the person seated behind the reclined seat have a very uncomfortable trip. it is difficult to read the screen - it is awkward when eating meals - it is horrible having a seat in your face for 14 hours. it is most disrespectful of a fellow traveller. the writer obviously travels first class 

Someone from NSW replied to stephen:

Don’t be so’s a reclinable seat for a reason and passengers are well within their right to recline them! What do you think the recline button is for???? 

Robert from NSW commented:

The recline button is not there for you to annoy the **** out of the person behind you. 

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