Forgot your password?

Airline Behavior: Passenger Etiquette

By Edited Dec 20, 2013 1 2



Not only do some airline passengers lack passenger etiquette, but, over the last decade, air traveler behavior has become unruly. The problem has become severe enough that the airline industry has established task forces to determine strategies to deal with the increasing problem.

One such task force, established by the American Organization of Flight Attendants, emphasizes the development of enforceable standards and tougher penalties for unruly and abusive passengers.

Unruly and abusive air commuter manners must be curtailed for the safety of all airplane travelers and crew. In addition, if all airline passengers practice appropriate,etiquette, air travel will be a more pleasant experience for all.

Possible Causes

Because a broader spectrum of the population is flying now, the potential for airlines carrying people who don’t practice appropriate manners is even greater. A greater variety of  personalities on board a plane can increase the likelihood of a more varied assortment of behaviors both appropriate and inappropriate.

Additional security regulations enacted at airports contribute to long lines and exhausting waiting periods. People can become tired and irritated, making them less likely to be concerned about such things as etiquette.

Another cause for lack of manners from trekkers on planes, and even unruly behavior, is cost-saving cutbacks made by the industry making air commuting less comfortable. Cutbacks in previously offered service, fewer flight attendants, and decreased legroom are additional sources of stress for people who may have already endured overcrowding and canceled flights. According to flight attendants, hot breakfasts were once served on flights that were as brief as 45 minutes. Now airline travelers are fortunate if they even get a cup of coffee on such shorter flights.                            

Proper Conduct

People on board should try to avoid blocking the aisles as much as possible. Upon boarding the plane, they should stow their carry-on bag as quickly and efficiently as possible, being very careful not to bump or hit anyone with it in the process. They should follow this same policy when preparing to deplane.

Some people enjoy the few hours of alone time on the plane. Travelers should avoid being a persistent talker. Travelers can introduce themselves when they first sit down. However, if the introduction is met with a grab for a magazine, a laptop or headphones, that should be interpreted as a signal that a conversation is not welcomed. Air communters who do engage in conversation should keep their voices at low volume so as not to disturb others.

Travelers should always be mindful of others' space. They should keep their arms within the confines of their own seat space and avoid being an armrest hog. Those reading a newspaper should fold the newspaper for reading. A completely opened -up newspaper will invade the space of others.

Air commuters should not recline their seats without checking first with the person seated behind to ensure that the reclined seat isn’t impeding on his or her space. People, when getting out of their seats, should avoid grabbing the seat in front of them. People who frequent the bathroom during flights should book aisle seats.

Those who like to listen to their Ipod should be careful that the volume is kept down so as not to disturb others. Those who enjoy a cocktail along with their in-flight music should keep in mind that the altitude makes alcohol hit harder and faster than it would ordinarily. It's  important that people control alcohol consumption with that in mind.



May 19, 2013 9:46am
This is a good etiquette. I had a bad experience once, when I was traveling not on a plane but a Coach bus. A woman who had children couldn't control them. They kept disturbing and pulling the dress of another woman sitting at her front. Eventually a fight broke out and it was difficult to travel. I think the airlines should have passenger's code of conduct pasted near the seat.

May 19, 2013 10:27am
Thanks for your response. Public transportation, be it plane, train, or bus can become unpleasant experiences if people are not polite and considerate.
Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.


  1. Kathleen Crislip "Polite Passenger Behavior on Airplanes Makes the World Go 'Round Much Better." About.com. 15/1/2013. 15/5/2013 <Web >
  2. BENJAMIN J. SADOCK, M.D. "Airlines Share Blame for Passengers' Behavior." The New York Times. 4/5/1997. 15/5/2013 <Web >
  3. "The do's and don'ts of air travel." CheapFlights.com. 5/1/2013. 15/5/2013 <Web >

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Travel & Places