The plane lifts off the tarmac and launches up to begin its journey. Everyone is secured in their seats, trays up, seat belt fastened, seats in the upright position. All is in perfect symmetry. That is until the plane levels off and the seat in front starts to come towards you.
On a long haul flight, especially in economy class, there is not much between the seats as it is. Even less when the one in front suddenly comes towards you without warning. This is one of the many hiccups a traveller has to navigate in order to get to their holiday destination.
While we all wish we could travel like this……..
The majority of us mainly travel like this instead……..
However, there are a few simple unwritten rules to keep in mind to ensure everyone has a comfortable flight. Remember manners go a long way. You are all trapped on the same small aircraft for duration of the flight, so don’t annoy your neighbours too soon.
Respect the space
Many people travel with two pieces of carry-on baggage today as checked luggage fees on some flights has increased. This does not mean you should take up the cabin space of your fellow passenger. Place your bigger bag in the hold above you and your smaller bag under the seat.
Ask before you Recline
Reclining your seat without warning could cause the passenger behind you to spill their drink or knock items off of their tray table. To avoid this potential disaster, simply be polite and turn and ask the person behind you if it is okay to recline the seat first. They are more inclined to say “yes it’s fine” if you are polite. Of course, when you do recline, please don’t recline all the way. Respect the person behind you will have limited space when you do.
See the Light
There is a good and bad time to suddenly turn on your reading light during the flight. If you feel like diving into a good book, first sense the mood around you. If everyone has turned in for the night then suddenly turning on the light will not win you any points with your neighbours.
Some children travel better than others, but there is no magic formula to ensure children behave for the entire flight. You can make sure they are fed and have used the bathroom before the flight so they are more likely to be relaxed. During long flights children will get restless and start kicking the seat in front of them. Ensure that there are enough activities to keep their attention until they fall asleep after the meal.
Don’t press your knees into the back of the seat in front of you, there is not much fabric to cushion the person in front from your knees. Be mindful of this as you move around or cross your legs and even when you put your magazines and books in the seat pocket.
These are just a couple of small, polite gestures we can all practice on our next travel journey. It does not take much to be aware of how our behaviours and actions may affect others. The last thing you want is to be sitting next to an angry passenger during a 24 hour flight.
I have to congratulate the gentleman on my recent flight from Dubai to Australia. It was the first time I had experienced someone polite enough to ask if it was okay to recline the seat first. If the person is kind enough to show manners then we are more likely to be okay with the seat going down.
After all, there are worse things than flying in a compact aircraft, this guy could be your pilot……. does anybody remember this crazy movie?.
All images courtesy of Google Clip Art Gallery
Do you have any stories of bad behaviours on a recent flight? Please share them or other tips you have in the comments below.