Flying etiquette should be common sense, but unfortunately there’s nothing common about it these days.

If you are looking for ways to be polite on a plane, or just need a safe place to rant about others who are not, then this is the post for you.

7 Essential Tips for Flying Etiquette

airline connections short connections tight connections

Prague, Czech Republic

See also:

Cut Yourself Off

Can you wear normal clothes to Oktoberfest Oktoberfest costumes Oktoberfest outfits Cheap Oktoberfest costumes

Getting boozy at Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany.

Dierks Bentley may have made it sound like a blast (after all, the 737 was rockin’ like a G6), but getting drunk on a plane is one one of the trashiest things you can do and a huge violation of flying etiquette.

I’ve been stuck in a tube of metal hurling through the sky at 500mph with drunk girls too many times.

Two of the most memorable experiences:

  • My 8:30AM flight from Chicago to Houston.

I was going home to Houston for spring break, but the three girls behind me were just connecting  for a week of debauchery on South Padre Island.

One of them drank three Bloody Marys of her own before downing her friend’s when she got up to use the bathroom. Rows 17-20 were then treated to a graphic story of her exploits from spring break last year. Don’t be that girl.

  • My 10-hour flight to Paris from Houston next to the lady who inspired this post.

This girl drank like, six mini-bottles of Chardonnay in the first two hours of the flight and then got so belligerent with the flight attendant that she got cut off.

And I say “like six” because that’s how many I counted after she spilled over half of the last one onto my lap. Who knows. The discarded bottles were clustered around her feet. I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple had rolled back a few rows.

See also:

Pack with the Plane in Mind

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

With my trusty travel backpack (and an angry mountain goat) at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

Put your headphones, medication, and snacks in the small bag that will go under the seat in front of you. If you only bring a rolling suitcase, or would prefer to have all the leg room you can, get the things you think you’ll want from your bag out and place them in the seatback pocket.

Don’t be that girl; the one who needs to get into the overhead storage (STORAGE being the key word here, y’all) bin 50 times during a two hour flight and has so much junk with her that it spills over into her neighbor’s lap (side eye at you, Houston to Paris rowmate. I didn’t really want to read your Spanish homework, but you put it open on my tray table soo??) Please plan ahead.

Sit Up during Meals

Whole30 Travel Whole30 While Traveling

The Dining Room at the Royal Opera House in Vienna, Austria.

I’m of two minds on whether or not reclining your seat on an airplane is rude. I mean, I definitly hate it when my forward neighbor comes careening into my lap, but I also definitly like to lean back when I’m trying to take a nap.

  • So, my general rule for flying etiquette is this:

Only recline your airplane seat when you are 100% going to take a nap and always sit it up during the meal service. Nobody wants to eat out of their laps.

And, if the person behind you asks you to put your seat up, work with them. It doesn’t mean you are required to sit straight as a board for the entirety of your flight, but don’t be like my Houston to Paris rowmate who actually got out of her seat and almost tried to fight the gentleman behind her (who was well over six feet tall) when he asked her if she would put her seat up for a little while.

See also:

Monitor Your Volume

Whole30 Travel Whole30 While Traveling

I can’t be quiet about my love for Selenas.

My lovely seatmate also played the entirety of Nicky Minaj’s Pink Friday on repeat while she took a snooze. I honestly love me some Nicki, but there’s only so many times you can listen to her jams blasting from your neighbor’s headphones before getting irritated.

Tbh “so many times” roughly translates to the first 30 seconds of the opening track. Seriously. There’s this amazing trick you can do where you take your earphones out, see if you can hear what you’re listening to when you hold them at your shoulders, and then adjust your volume accordingly.

This also goes for how loudly you speak. Please use your inside voice on airplanes. They are very small. We can all hear you.

Also (wow this post is getting a little bit ranty), flying etiquette 101: if you’re taking a flight before 8am, maybe don’t speak at volume level 10000000 to the person next to you, even if y’all are best pals, until we are AT LEAST all the way to 35,000 feet. Have some compassion on the sleepyheads who don’t want to hear about your next meeting.

Take the Lead of Your Rowmates

friends in Boston

My buds and frequent travel buddies (Rachael and Brittney) at the MFA in Boston, Massachusetts.

Have you ever sat down on a plane and felt immediately trapped by a chatty Cathy? Or maybe you feel disappointed the man in 14C isn’t more chipper?

People want different things on planes. Some (most?) prefer to just get to where they are going and not learn their neighbor’s life story. Others are looking for a talking buddy. However, no matter which camp you fall into, it’s a important part of flying etiquette to maintain your civility.

If you don’t want to chat, a quick “Hey, I’m going to get some rest. Nice to meet you.” Or “Enjoy the flight! I’ve got some work to do.” should be enough for most to get the picture. If you are out here trying to make friends, be sure to be alert for the these subtle brush offs.

See also:

Be Cool about Bathroom Breaks

Flixbus Budapest

At the baths in Budapest, Hungary. I definitly got OUT to pee because I’m not nasty AF.

As a lover of the window seat, I can promise you that I hold it as long as I can because I don’t want to bother you, but sometimes a girls gotta go.

If you sit on the aisle, even if you’re in a dead sleep, proper flying etiquette says that you don’t have the right to be irritated if one of your rowmates wakes you up because they need to use the restroom. People need to pee.

Unlike frequent access to the overhead bin, frequent trips to the bathroom are definitly something to accommodate.

Shower the Day of Your Flight

Azalea Trail Display Azalea Trail Houston River Oaks Garden ClubRiver Oaks Houston Ducks

Rubber Duckie, you’re the one. Houston, Texas.

I’ve started carrying peppermint essential oil to rub under my nose with me on flights because so many people seem to think it’s chill not to shower when they are about to embark on a hours-long journey in a metal tube with recycled air.

Please you guys. The day of your flight is not the day to skip your shower.

Pin it:

flying etiquette rules for flying

**This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase an item via these links (or in the same session) I get some cash money, at no extra cost to you. You can learn more in my Privacy Policy.

Follow:

Sometimes tight airline connections sneak up on you!

You thought you had two full hours to grab a bite to eat and wander to your next gate, but then your first flight has a mechanical delay and suddenly you have 30 minutes gate to gate.

Sometimes airline’s minimum connection times don’t take the reality of airport sizes into account, so even if your first flight is on time, you still have to channel your inner Usain Bolt to make it to your next gate.

We’ve all been there.

Flixbus Wifi limit

Munich, Germany

Here are my best tips for Tight Airline Connections

See also:

Change Your Flight

airline connections short connections tight connections

Vaduz, Liechtenstein

If the connection time the airline is offering you during booking makes you feel rushed, call the airline before completing your reservation and ask about booking a flight with a different connection.

There is usually a small fee for completing a reservation over the phone, but it’s always hundreds less than any potential change fees down the road.

See also:

Disembark First

airline connections short connections tight connections

Berlin, Germany

Speak to a flight attendant about mid-way through your flight about your options. If your first flight was significantly delayed, you can work with the onboard team to ensure a quick exit from the plane. I’ve been on flights before when they’ve asked us to remain seated so connecting passengers can bolt.

I’ve also seen people moved to the front of the plane during the final portion of the flight so they can hit the ground running to make one of their tight airline connections.

If your connection is on the same airline, the flight will sometimes wait for you if they know you’ve landed and are rushing over, but you have to speak up and check in with the cabin and ground crew as you go.

See also:

Be Vocal During Security

airline connections short connections tight connections

Vienna, Austria

This is especially important when traveling internationally, as you often need to go through security again, even if you are just a transit passenger. If the lines are long and slow-moving, you can approach agents at the beginning of the line to ask about your options, as some airports have “mercy” programs in which the security team will pull passengers from the line to help them make their tight airline connections.

But if you don’t speak up, they won’t know you need help!

If the officials aren’t interested in expediting the process for you, consider asking your fellow passengers if you can cut them in line. I’ve gladly let frantic travelers ahead of me at security when they have 20 minutes to take off and I have 90.

See also:

Pack with Checkpoints in Mind

airline connections short connections tight connections

Prague, Czech Republic

If you want to make your short connection, you need to prepare!

Don’t keep your ID in the darkest depths of your backpack. Make sure your toiletries are all under the limit and in a clear bag that’s accessible, preferably near your laptop so you can take them out at the same time. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.

It drives me crazy to be stuck behind travelers in the security line who don’t seem to know what is expected of them, even though there are signs and security agents everywhere explaining the procedure.

Some quick things to remember when packing for short airline connections:

  • Liquids, gels, and aerosels must be less than 100ml (3.4 oz) that fit into a 1 quart (or smaller!) clear bag.
  • Your laptop should be taken out of your bag and placed into a bin by itself.
  • Don’t put anything in your pockets while going through security.
  • You might not need to take your shoes off; it depends on the airport. Listen for instructions.

This way, you won’t be scrambling through security. You can progress through it quickly and be on your way to your gate in no time.

See also:

Study the Airport Map Before Hand

airline connections short connections tight connections

Vienna, Austria

This step is usually undertaken by travelers who know they have a short connection because it was assigned during booking. You can check the airport website for the campus layout and make note of which terminals their airline uses and how they are connected.

However, for surprise short connections born out of delays, you might not have this luxury. Luckily, most airlines have maps of the major airports they service in the seatback magazines. It might also be worth it to pay for in-flight wifi so you know what to expect when you land.

See also:

Use the Facilities during Your First Flight

airline connections short connections tight connections

Rome, Italy

Stopping for a bathroom break can cost you precious minutes when trying to make a tight connection! Instead of waiting in long lines for the airport bathroom, make sure to use the facilities on the plane.

A good time to go is when the captain announces your initial descent, this way, even if you have an active bladder, you can make it to your next aircraft before you need to go again.

I spent about 10 minutes waiting in line for the toilet at Charles de Gaulle in Paris last fall, and ended up arriving at my gate at 10:10…for my 10:10 flight because the passport control line was so long. 0/10 would not recommend.

See also:

Make a Note of your New Terminal and Gate

airline connections short connections tight connections

Bratislava, Slovakia

Take a picture of it on the screen, text it to yourself, write it on your hand, whatever you have to do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been running through an airport chanting “2A” to myself and have suddenly been like “Wait…what’s my gate?” Having to find the monitors, stop, and check again costs precious time.

See also:

Literally just Run

airline connections short connections tight connections

Bratislava, Slovakia

Sometimes you just gotta book it. I connected through Paris Charles de Gaulle both to and from my Grand Tour of Europe last fall and due to an apparent lack of staff, it was packed both ways.

On the way in, I was late getting off my flight from Houston because the jetty had an issue attaching to our plane, but luckily there was a man on my flight who was also going to Berlin. He was going there to run the marathon, so he sprinted ahead and let the ground grew know I was on my way.

On my way back, it was all up to me, so as I ran through the airport in flip flops and superman pajamas pants, I tried to concentrate on just not throwing up. I made my flight, coughing up a lung and probably with shin splints, but I made it.

See also:

Know Your Rights

airline connections short connections tight connections

Budapest, Hungary

Airlines usually have a minimum connection time, so if you miss a tight connection due to no fault of your own (like long lines at passport control, or delayed first flight for mechanical issues), you can work with gate agents to rebook your flight at no charge.

If the next flight to your destination isn’t until the next day, the airline should provide lodging and food vouchers, but you usually need to bargain for them.

Remember to be polite! In many places (including the USA!) there are no laws around passenger rights, so kindness will get you a long way.

If you miss one of your tight airline connections due to weather, airline employees are usually not willing to book you into a hotel, but they will work with you to rebook your flight.

Pin it:

airline connections short connections tight connections

 

Follow: