Airplane Etiquette: The 6 Unwritten Rules of Air Travel


Being boxed in at 30,000 feet above the Earth in close quarters with strangers requires a different kind of patience. We compiled an easy to read infographic to help you navigate the world of airplane etiquette:


Seats are shrinking and getting closer together. In the 1970s seats were 18 inches wide, today they are 16.5".1.7+ million Americans fly everyday, and according to the International Air Transport Association,(IATA) the rate of unruly passengers is increasing. Meanwhile, the average man weights 30 pounds more than the average man did in the 1970s. These changes are creating more obstacles to air travel. So, we compiled any easy to read list to help you navigate the world of air travel etiquette:

Reclining: Nobody likes the drink on their tray table spilling when the person in front of them slams their seat back as fast as they can. Be mindful of the person behind you and recline like a sloth.

Feet: Your feet should never be this angle on an airplane. Don't rest them on the armrest in the seat in front of you and please keep your shoes on for the entire flight!

Armrests: The middle seat gets the armrests. The aisle or window seats already have more space to move around. When using the armrest, don't let your elbow wander into the seat next to you.

Hygiene: Before flying take a shower, use deodorant, and wear clean clothes! This can't be stressed enough. Sitting next to someone that smells, for hours, should be a crime. Practice good hygiene.

Noise: Keep noise to a minimum, especially during overnight flights. Some passengers may not be in the talking mood. Putting headphones on is the universal 'do not disturb' sign.

Children: These little people should follow airplane etiquette, but it's ultimately the parents who should ensure that their children are behaving.

For tips and advice, check out Go the Travel Podcast.