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The Nine No-No’s of Flying

June 19, 2009 | Posted in: Airline News,Ask Rick,Flight Attendants,Passengers

Summer is here – okay, so this year is not a record-breaker, but there are a lot of people in the air these days, taking advantage of the great deals out there.

So I thought, maybe it’s time for a refresher course in airplane etiquette. Take a look, and please add your own “no-no’s” in the comments section below.

The Nine No-No’s of Flying

1. Annoying Aromatherapy: Doesn’t matter whether it’s you, your sandwich or your scent — if the five rows in front and back of you can pinpoint your seat – that stinks.

  • DON’T assume a liberal dousing with Old Spice is “just as good as a shower”
  • DON’T pack egg salad sandwiches or liver-and-onions in any form
  • DON’T use a 6am flight to acquaint seatmates with your new Britney Spears perfume

2. Bin Beast: There’s not enough space for everyone’s carryon anyway – take more than your share and behold the wrath of your seatmates.

  • DO put your bag in wheels first, never sideways
  • DON’T use an oversized bag or did you miss that square peg/round hole lecture?
  • DON’T put your laptop in the bin, unless you don’t mind 50 people slamming it around as they desperately seek room for their oversized bags

3. Boozification: While it may seem like a great idea to kill time waiting for that delayed flight with a glass or two, you may regret it.

  • DON’T argue with flight attendants if they cut you off – you may find yourself continuing your argument with the police
  • DON’T look for other sources of alcohol; one woman tried liquid soap, and the resulting mayhem led to 22 days in jail

4. First Class Fever: One who sits in coach, but feels entitled to all the perks of the next class – to the great displeasure of the flight attendants.

  • DON’T constantly buzz for crew members – they really do have better things to do
  • DON’T treat crew members like servants; honestly, who would you rather help, Dr. Heckle or Mr. Nice?

5. Puppy Love: You may be shocked to learn some of your fellow passengers do not consider dogs (or cats or rodents) “man’s best friend”

  • DON’T take your pet out of its carrying case; I can assure you this will not bring a smile to the face of that grumpy road warrior beside you
  • DO consider a pet-only airline; perhaps your dog doesn’t want to fly with all those annoying humans

Coming up, “Lavatory Hijinks” and more – so keep reading.

6. Cell Phone Sneaking: No, the plane probably won’t blow up – but why take a chance? Besides, cell phone usage on commercial jetliners is against the law on U.S. flights (for now).

  • DON’T call or text once the flight attendant says “turn ‘em off” or you could find yourself thrown off the plane
  • DO fly an overseas carrier that allows cells and yak away to your heart’s content, until strangled

7. Pre-Flight Coma: Don’t nod off as the flight attendant begins the safety spiel – what would Capt. Sully say?

  • DO pay attention – you only have seconds to escape when a plane ditches and knowing exactly where the exits are could save your life (check out the post that “no one wants to read”)
  • DON’T carry your belongings with you in an emergency situation; you will delay others – and look foolish during the national coverage of your rescue

8. Lavatory Hijinks: Use it for its intended purpose.

  • DON’T take forever and keep everyone waiting – but don’t skip washing your hands, either
  • DO leave it as clean as you found it, which maybe wasn’t very clean – but quit complaining, you could be on Ryanair, getting charged for this privilege

9. Rants of Rudeness: You weren’t born in a hangar, were you? Then don’t act like it.

  • DO be polite – it makes the flight more endurable for everyone, and remember — no matter how loudly you yell it, we don’t know who you are
  • DON’T be a jerk, because everyone from flight attendants to gate agents to security personnel could make your life a little more miserable – frisking, anyone?

12 Responses to “The Nine No-No’s of Flying”

  1. Hahaha…good tips….here’s # 10…don’t forget your earplugs: )

  2. Ellen says:

    LOL!! All good and so true, had to give you a RT on Twitter, thanks for the laughs.

  3. Sharon says:

    I could add several more, but one would be try not to recline your seat all the way back into the lap of the passenger behind you. Why torture someone else for hours?

  4. Johanna says:

    As a ticket/gate agent this is great information! I especially love the one about not being a jerk! NO we don’t care who you are OR who you supposely know. We WILL however be laughing at you when you leave in handcuffs lol!

  5. Vince says:

    I have to disagree some of the sentiment behind #4. Although it’s right not to expect first class frills and amenities, it’s a *service* industry and it takes a service-oriented approach to make a good flight attendant. Customers are well within their rights to ring that call button and who cares about how the flight attendant feels about it? It’s their *job* and it should also be their *job* to make sure the customers are happy no matter which class they are flying.

    Too often, these days, I’ve seen rude flight attendants, rather than rude customers. Sure, you should have known to put your seat back upright, but tone of voice and “please” go a long way.

    Fly any Asian airline on a transpacific flight and compare the service level to that of the U.S. Carriers and you’ll quickly realize how bad service is in the US. Although, I would prefer to support U.S. companies, I have no sympathy if they are losing business (including mine) on these routes. Time to compete, guys.

  6. okasan says:

    number 11

    Don’t let your children constantly play with the tray tables or kick the seat in front of them.

  7. sydney says:

    please … turn down the volume … on all personal entertainment … i’m not a big fan of rap or heavy metal … and if i can hear yours loud enough to hum along … it is too loud! … the fact that peter pan has rules re: volume of personal entertainment on it’s shuttles … but … air carriers don’t is confusing …

  8. Marie says:

    My suggestion for the person who has a problem with the person in front reclining their seat all the way back is to do the same with hers, then she won’t feel so cramped. After all they are made to recline so peaople can sleep if they so desire.

  9. Rick Seaney says:

    Hi, Everbody,
    These suggestions are great (not to mention, in some cases, very amusing).
    Keep them coming!
    Best,
    Rick

  10. Joseph Blazewicz says:

    I try to avoid flying if I could. I don’t enjoy flying anymore. This is how to be polite, don’t fly.

  11. concerned says:

    Don’t let your little rugrats cry the whole flight. We don’t want to hear them. Also, don’t be angry when someone tells you to teach some manners to them.

  12. ann says:

    Overhead bin space – put your bag in the space above your assigned row! Most airlines board from the rear of the plane. If you’re seated in row 32, take your bag to row 32! It is so rude to put your bag in the first overhead bin you see! Say you are seated in row 32, and you put your bag in the bin space above row 7. By the time row 7 is allowed to board the aircraft, they have no place for their bag because YOU took it! Half the time, there is still room for row 7′s bag – probably above row 32! So now the poor schmuck in row 7 has to wait for the entire aircraft to deplane before they can make their way to row 32! Don’t be a ‘bin hog!’ Next time it could be you in row 7 – verging on heart failure because the plane is late and you already have a tight connection:-)

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