5 tips for rude airline passengers

After flying for a number of years, I’ve observed many rude airline passengers and bad behavior.

Sure, airline travel isn’t always fun. Thankfully we have an airline passenger bill of rights to protect us against bad airline behavior. When travel goes wrong and it takes 27 hours to fly from Dublin to California or have your worst travel day ever, you can either laugh or cry.

You can even have an entire airline grounded by a computer glitch and make a long travel day even longer. And let’s be honest – flying on the airlines themselves isn’t always fun. I’ve got quite a list of airline complaints.

However, we can’t always do anything about travel delays, bad airlines, or bad travel experiences. Each of us has our own pet peeves when it comes to bad airline behavior from fellow passengers.

Here are a few tips for those rude airline passengers.

5 tips for rude airline passengers

From boarding to landing and everything in between, follow these tips to avoid becoming that airline passenger everyone hates.

If you’re sitting in the back of the plane, take your bags with you

You’ve seen this passenger!
They board the plane, stick their bags in one of the overhead bins near the front of the plane, and then walk to their seat in the back. This is rude, selfish, and actually holds up the entire flight.

If you’re sitting in the back of the plane, take your bags with you. When you put your bags in the front of the plane, the passengers in those seats don’t have anywhere to put their bags. Flight attendants and passengers have to scramble to find a place for luggage at the back of the plane – where you’re already sitting. The flight is delayed taking off and passengers are delayed getting off the plane because they can’t get their bags.

For me, this is my biggest pet peeve with rude airline passengers. Don’t be so selfish. Flight attendants, the airlines, and other passengers would appreciate it if you would sit with your own bags.

Keep your feet to yourself

I understand that flying can be uncomfortable. Cramped seats with little legroom mean an uncomfortable flight. However, this isn’t your home either.

I don’t like feet and I don’t want to see your feet on the flight. If you need to take your shoes off, put socks on or make sure your feet don’t smell.

I know many people wear sandals, flip flops, jandals, and thongs (or various other open-toed shoe options) when it’s hot. I’d prefer it if you covered your feet but at least be considerate of others who may not want to see or smell your feet.

Watch your kids

I am sensitive to kids who travel. Flying isn’t easy for adults, much less for those young kids, with shorter attention spans, and lots of energy. However, parents who completely ignore their kids the entire flight and let them do whatever they want are not being considerate of other passengers.

If your kids are kicking the seat in front of them and screaming non-stop, at least make an attempt to comfort them and stop them from kicking the seat.

To be fair, airlines aren’t always kind or fair to families (especially with this idea of a family airline fee) but at least be mindful of your kids and their behavior. I understand you can’t always keep kids happy but don’t let them be a complete nuisance on the flight. At least make an effort to entertain them and stop out-of-control behavior.

Know how to store your luggage in the overhead bin

Tip #1 – Put your carry-on suitcase in the overhead bin vertically.

That’s how the bags were designed. By putting them vertically, rather than horizontally, you can fit 3 bags in there instead of two. Also, flight attendants and other passengers don’t have to take the time to re-arrange their luggage to accommodate everyone else’s carry-on.

Tip #2 – If you have two carry-on items, place one underneath your seat.

This is normal airline policy. However, it’s also a courtesy to other passengers. If you have a jacket or coat, place it in the overhead bin (after all other luggage is stored first).

I always carry a backpack plus my carry-on luggage (a bigger backpack with my clothes). The smaller backpack always goes underneath my seat. Sure, I would love to have a lot more room for my feet but I also like keeping my bag close and considering the limited space requirements on an airplane.

I know airline fees are ridiculous at times. However, if you are going to bring your luggage on board please know how to store it properly. It saves space for other passengers and cuts down onboarding time.

Beware of your reclining seat

OK, I get it. I have a lot of sympathy for really tall people that have to sit in coach. Legroom is constantly shrinking and you need more space.

However, just because you reach 10,000 feet doesn’t mean you can recline your seat into the lap of the person behind you.

Be courteous. We are all cramped. By all means, recline. However, only recline as far as you need.

  • If you want to sleep, recline.
  • If you need a little more legroom, recline a little.

If it’s time to eat, put your seat up. The passenger behind you doesn’t want your hair in their food or to smell your shampoo while eating their chicken or pasta.

As for those people running out on the tarmac to either catch or stop or plane? Sure, I’ve only seen that in Hollywood movies but don’t do that either. Great to watch on film but really annoying if you’re on that flight when someone tries that.

This airspace is your space, this airspace is my space

Airline mergers, fewer flights, rising costs of flights, travel delays, and cancellations – we all understand the frustrations of flying. However, let’s make the actual flying experience as painless as possible.

I’m a big fan of connecting with people when you travel and have talked about conversations with strangers on a plane. However, be respectful of other people’s space when flying.

We can’t prevent all the other travel frustrations that come with air travel. However, we can show respect to one another.

So remember the next time you fly, please don’t be one of those rude airline passengers. Fly respectfully, travel passionately, and enjoy the views out of your airplane window.

Fewer rude airline passengers mean shorter boarding times, more pleasant flights, and less stress for all of us.

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