Opinionated, Travel
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The passengers guide to proper airplane etiquette

Last October while traveling to New Zealand from Los Angeles I had an interesting run in with a fellow passenger on my flight who was, lets just say, less than becoming…
Which inspired me to gather some information from fellow travelers and friends, about their experiences with the less than becoming airplane neighbor.

I’ve been putting it off for awhile now, then low and behold my late night comedian crush Jimmy Kimmel releases a mini skit re-enacting many of these moments we all agree are the absolute worst, taken from a poll Expedia created on “the most annoying types of airline passengers”
(See video below article)

Without going into further detail about the video, I have listed my findings on what proper airplane etiquette is to being a good neighbor during your flight.

  • Personal hygiene
    You’re sharing personal quarters with 100+ other passengers, make sure you’ve showered, taken your activated charcoal (natural way to reduce gas) and not over sprayed the perfume/cologne.
    When I was young, I flew alone as an unaccompanied minor, constantly. My first time remembering how uncomfortable I was to be sitting next to a stranger was when the woman next to me started ripping apart her napkin, balling up pieces, and proceeding to clean out her ear wax, and boogers. I was horrified, even at the age of eight
  • When it’s time to power off, power off.
    Pretty simple and self explanatory but your phone call isn’t any more important than the plans some of us have to get to when we finally get to our destination. I watched a man sitting across from me, get politely asked to power off his laptop 3x before pretending to turn it off and just shut the screen while letting out a loud sigh and roll of the eyes. This set our departure back 5 mins… sure it may not seem like a lot of time to you, but that 5 mins in turn, makes everything else delayed for the rest of the day, whether that’s for the airline and future flights this plane needs to take, or for the passengers who have places to be, traffic to beat, sick family members to visit etc.
  • Shoes off, wear socks
    I personally, cannot travel with my shoes on during long haul flights. I do how ever make sure I am wearing a clean pair of socks, or I have a clean pair with me in my bag to pop on as soon as I take off my shoes. (I will always put my shoes on when up and about)
  • Lights off before you fall asleep please
    Nothing worse than trying to fall asleep while the whole cabin is dark except one row, your row, where your neighbor has passed out cold but has their light shining bright. While it is a bit intrusive of us (as a courteous neighbor) to lean in and turn it off, take a moment when you are really tired and flick it off so that this feeling of awkwardness may be avoided. This goes for checking if it’s sunny in the middle of a lights out, during a long haul period while literally everyone is out cold. (If the blind is warm, or you can see it light through the crack, lifting it and letting the sun in will awaken your neighbor)
  • Be food courteous: Neutral/Non scented foods are best and be aware of common allergies
    If you choose/need to bring your own food onto the plane, go for it! Just be aware of common airborne allergies many people have, common ones for example are peanuts and oranges. Also remember, strong scented foods may make your fellow weak stomached neighbor feel even more ill than they already do.
  • Please don’t grab, tug or pull on the seat in front of you
  • Discard all used Kleenexes during your bathroom visit, or wait till the garbage bin comes around and throw it in.
    Accidentally touching your slimy balls of paper is super gross, it’s already super easy to catch a cold while sucking in the same air, lets lesson the chances.
  • Do get up when your neighbor has to use the restroom (unless you’re sleeping)
    It’s weird when I have my boobs or butt in your face because you couldn’t be bothered to slide up, or out for two seconds. Reminds me of being in a movie theater with A LOT less space


  • Try to join the mile high club on a public plane
    I guarantee you, if you are caught, you will be arrested when you land
  • Choose the window seat if you have a small bladder
    I always request an aisle seat for this very reason
  • Comment loudly on the crying/fussy baby
    Most of the time, the parents are equally as horrified/embarrassed of the situation, and all the baby knows is that something painful is happening inside their ears.
  • Keep talking to your neighbor who is a stranger once the headphones go in
  • Complain about there not being free food on a short haul flight
    I think free sandwiches ended about 10 years ago
  • Force your seat back without looking behind you first
    Hot coffee soaked jeans are the worst to sit in for 2 hours straight.

If you have any more points to add, feel free to comment below. From my findings, pretty much all the same things annoyed airplane passengers about each other. Why do we keep doing it then? Ignorance is bliss for some, then for others like me, it’s just a headache.

Check out the Jimmy Kimmel clip here

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