A Flight Attendant's Etiquette Guide to Holiday Airplane Travel

It is the time of year when everyone is traveling.  The stress is outrageous. Airports and in-laws do not make it easy on you.  The only thing we can do for each other is be kind and try and help and respect your fellow traveler.  It starts with you.  Here is my guide to proper etiquette on the airplane so we can all try and travel with smiles on our faces.  

1.  Always use earbuds/earphones.

This should be a no-brainer, but alas not everyone realized that we cannot have 150 different ipads playing movies at the same time.  Kids.  Sorry, learn to use them.  There are even hats with them build in to make things easy on you.  

2.  Put small bags under the seat in front of you.

The overheads are meant to only have the large suitcases inside them.  Small items screw up the system.  They get pushed to the back of the bin and take up an entire space.  People end up having to check their carry-ons if they board after you.  This space is alotted for 1 large bag per person on the aircraft. Be kind.  Use that little space by your feet, or check your bag.  This is true for coats, too.  Hold the coats until the end of boarding, then you can push it in the overhead bin in between large suitcases if you want.  Your coat is not a large suitcase.  Do not make someone lost his/her place for your coat. 

3. Recline...if there is not a baby behind you and while dinner is not being served on international flights.

You deserve to be comfortable.  But, let's be honest.  If there is a baby behind you, you will be kicked if you're too close.  And, out of respect to a new mother/father just give them the extra inch.  It is probably the first trip they're taking with a baby/toddler and they'll appreciate it.  Also, if you're headed internationally, don't recline during dinner.  But, any other time, recline away.  

4.  Check your bag without complaint if asked to do so.

The flights are very full.  Bags and overheads are stuffed like Thanksgiving turkeys.  Someone is inevitably going to have to check his/her bag.  It is just the way it is.  When you check your bag at the gate, it is free.  So, don't argue.  Everyone knows it sucks.  Just do it with a smile and move on.  

5.  The middle seat gets the armrests.

Enough said.  It doesn't matter if you're bigger/stronger/faster/fatter/man/pregnant woman/just had surgery....this is non-negotiable. 

Happy travels, y'all.  Be safe.  Be kind.  Eat turkey.