Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Airplane Etiquette

If you've flown at all in the recent past, you will have experienced some closed-in "sardine" like feelings. According tho the Wall Street Journal, to make a profit, the seats have gotten smaller, the legroom has gotten shorter in recent years.

We all know people who travel can get a little cranky.  Perhaps they are under stress on this business trip, maybe traveling under tough personal conditions, they are tired, or they are afraid of flying.  Whatever the reason, adopt this mantra "We are on a crowded flight today. Please be kind to your neighbor."

The experts give ideas on how to cope and just what airplane etiquette is:
1. If you're in the middle seat, who gets the armrest? 
    The person by the window should lean toward the window. The aisle seat person should lean toward the aisle (without losing an appendage when the beverage cart goes by.) The middle seat person is suffering enough and should get both armrests as compensation for getting such a crummy seat.

2. A tall person sits down and his knees are encroaching in your space.
    You are entitled to any space from your armrests down.  You can reclaim your leg space by pushing back or having a discussion with that passenger. Remember, there is not much they can do about having long legs.

3. You are in the window seat and the two other passengers (in the middle seat and aisle seat) are asleep. You have to go to the bathroom.
If you really can't wait, you must gently wake them and go to the bathroom.  Be kind and tap them on the shoulder, a safer place than the leg.

4. Kids are out of control.
   Turn up your headset. Just like a parent should plan for the kids, a traveler should never travel without a headset/earphones of some kind.  Speak to the Mother/Father. If that doesn't work, speak to the flight attendant. Look over the seat top at both the parent and child and ask politely for the parent to control the screaming, kicking your chair seat, whatever the infraction might be.  Parents-travel prepared for emergencies. Bring extra diapers, pacifiers, formula, snack foods, games, toys, change of clothes and DVD player and movies.

5. Your seatmate brings a smelly meal and starts eating.
Not much you can do about this. Just remember not to buy that tuna sandwich when you get on your next flight.

6. Should you recline your seat?
You have the right to recline, but if you are an empathetic passenger, look back and check, is the person behind you large? If so, having your chair seat in their lap is not being very considerate. Will your reclining seat spill their beverage or prevent them from reading or using their computer? Bottom line, the recline space is also space you paid for, just remember the golden rule "Be nice to others as you would want them to be nice to you."
Have a safe and happy flight!

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