Tuesday, October 23, 2007

9 Rules of Airline Etiquette

Flying in today's world of hyper-stringent security can wreak havoc for even the most unflappable of souls. Frequent flyer Virginia Flores, who happens to be a human resources and technical consultant to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, offers nine rules of airline etiquette that have been expanded upon by travel writer Barbara Correa. If we all just followed these, flying might be fun again!

The nine rules of airline etiquette:

1. Learn how to share armrest space.
Two armrests for three seats is one too few, so we have to share. Just because you get stuck with the middle seat does not mean you have the right to use both armrests.

2. Don't rearrange other people's luggage in the overhead space.
There are only two people who should touch anything in the overhead bin: the owner of the object in question and the flight attendant. Do not move someone else's suitcase or coat so you can fit yours in.

3. Go to the bathroom before getting on the plane.
If you follow Mom's time-honored advice, you might not have to pop up to use the onboard bathroom, making life more pleasant for you and your seatmates.

4. Don't intrude on airline seat space.
The seat next to you, especially when it is occupied, is not yours. You may not use it as an armrest, leg rest or pillow. And never wedge your head between the two seats.

5. Using your cell phone? Keep your voice down.
If you must use your cell phone after boarding and immediately upon landing, use your indoor voice.

6. If you can't lift it into the overhead bins, check it.
Don't expect other passengers to do your heavy lifting for you. If your suitcase is too heavy for you to lift into the overhead bin, don't bring it onboard.

7. Don't drink and fly.
Even if you can handle your liquor without disturbing those around you, will you be in any shape to drive once you land?

8. Use only the space underneath your seat.
Your laptop computer bag takes up most of the room under your seat, but that doesn't mean you can put your oversized purse under the seat next to you or behind you. Even if you ask nicely.

9. If you're flying with kids, be prepared.
Do understand that the cabin pressure during takeoff and landing could hurt children's ears, making them cry. Do what you can in advance to make them comfortable. Do be prepared with quiet toys, books, puzzles and even portable DVD players to keep them occupied so they don't bother other passengers.

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