6 Rude Airplane Habits You Need to Stop ASAP
Being rude is not going to get you to your destination faster.
From rude comments to outright sexual harassment, flight attendants are frequently mistreated, said Scott Keyes from Scott’s Cheap Flights. Ironically, it’s by the people they’re charged with keeping safe as they fly around the globe, he said. “Everyone should be treated with kindness and generosity. For some reason, many people seem to think these societal mores don’t apply in airports or at 35,000 feet,” Keyes said. Other employees, like gate agents, are frequently verbally attacked because of factors outside their control—like airline bag fees or a blizzard in Chicago causing hours of delays, he noted.
Shoving the seat
On most accounts this is accidental, but fidgeting in your seat feels like a small earthquake to the person in front of you. In a 2018 Expedia study for global travel etiquette, the seat kicker ranked in the top five most annoying habits. Airplanes have to be as light as possible, so that means that every movement is amplified. For those leggy passengers, find out which airplane seat is the best suited for you.
Having a short temper
Seasoned travelers have become airport security screening pros, knowing exactly what to do with their shoes and laptop, Keyes said. Alternatively, most people are not. In 2017, the majority of Americans didn’t take a single flight, Keyes said. This lack of flying could be from fear of what happens to your body when you’re in an airplane.
“The process of going through airport security is not at all intuitive, and feels highly stressful for new flyers, especially with a line of people behind them,” Keyes said. “On my last flight, I witnessed a passenger in line yelling at an elderly couple, who clearly were not regular travelers, to ‘hurry it up’ as they struggled to take off their shoes and belt.”
Being a chatterbox
In the Expedia study, 77 percent of Americans dread sitting next to a chatty Kathy. Traveling can be anxiety-inducing for some, and the last thing some passengers want to do is strike up and maintain a conversation. Instead, pass the time by reading a book or gazing out into the clouds.
Queuing up in line
One of the most mocked behaviors on social media, according to Keyes, is when people line up well in advance to board a flight. Instead of blaming travelers, blame the airlines! This is simply the outcome of airlines charging for checked bags and allowing free carry-ons, he noted. There’s a reason why people line up early to ensure overhead space. “People respond to incentives; that’s nothing to blame them for,” Keyes said. Including queuing up in line, refrain from doing these 18 things in an airplane.
There’s a time and place for airing out your feet, and the airplane is not one of them. The Expedia study showed that 78 percent of Americans disdain this rude habit—and for good reason. Your feet house over 100 different bacteria species. Plus, takeoff and landing are the most dangerous parts of the flight and loose shoes would also pose a safety risk. Cultural context is important to consider, though. Travelers from cultures who go barefoot to show a sign of respect may just be doing what’s normal for them. Now that you know the rude habits you need to put a stop to on an airplane, extend that knowledge further with things you really shouldn’t do in the airport either.