Air Travel Etiquette What Not To Do

air travel etiquette what not to do

Air Travel Etiquette What Not To Do

I know, I know, you’re dying to know what grinds my gears when traveling. Well fear not this post details all of my air travel etiquette what not to do!

Disclaimer: I may have written this post after an especially *long* flight, so I apologize in advance for the undertones of sass.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand not everyone is used to flying, and sometimes it may be their first time. Maybe you scored an awesome deal on a flight, and or traveling for business, or you’re hopping over to another country on Ryanair. Whatever the reason I think there are a few ‘logical’ rules that any mindful and considerate person should employ while traveling. Let me tell you, as someone that travels often for work, it’s very easy to spot the person in the crowd that’s not used to traveling. If you are unsure if you’re that person, I suggest reading on to see if you violate these basic air etiquette rules!

Air Etiquette Offenses


  • Be prepared to go through security. There are tons of signs, and announcements prior to reaching the security line that you must remove your coat, shoes, belt, toiletries and electronics. Please, be ready to do this when you get to the conveyor belt.
  • Removing everything on a TSA PreCheck line. Unless you’re directed to do so by a TSA Agent, don’t remove your electronics, belts, toiletries etc. That’s kinda the point of TSA PreCheck.
  • Collect your belongings and move away from the belt. There is always a designated area mere feet away from the conveyor belt to get yourself together after you’ve collected your belongings. Putting everything back in your bag while at the belt delays the agents from scanning more bags, and delays others from collecting their belongings.
  • Please, do us all a favor and put your tray away. It becomes difficult for bags to go through the scanner because the belt is cluttered with trays. Yes there are TSA agents that help put them away, but there almost always quite busy.


  • Board in your zone. Some people pay higher fares for the ability to be in first class and for priority boarding. Please don’t be rude and try to cut the line. Don’t be the person that delays the boarding process because the gate agent has to ask you to board in your zone.
  • Look at your boarding pass. No need to hold up the boarding process because you settled into the wrong seat. It takes 2 seconds friend.
  • Deplaning. Let the row in front of you deplane. Jumping ahead two rows isn’t going to make that big of a difference, and you often end up getting in the middle of a family that’s traveling together.
  • Deplaning when the flight attendants ask you to remain seated. Sometimes people have connections to catch and flights get delayed. If the flight attendants ask for everyone to remain seated upon landing so these passengers can make their connection, please stay seated.
  • Retrieving your baggage stowed in rows behind you. Sometimes you’re forced to stow your carry ons 5 or 10 rows behind you. Don’t try to fight the flow of people deplaning in order to collect your bag. Those aisles are tiny enough, we really don’t need two people going in opposite directions during the deplaning process.

The Flight

  • Early morning or late night flight. For you early risers and night owls – I applaud you for managing to stay awake on these flights. However, if its 6 am or 11 pm flight chances are other people are trying to sleep. Show some consideration and speak at an appropriate volume, put your headphones in, and don’t flash your phone’s flashlight.
  • Don’t yell. Nancy I get it, you’re excited for your vacation with the girls. But I really don’t need to hear every detail of your conversation, especially when I’m sitting in 12E with headphones in and you’re in 20B. Tone it down a notch Nance, thanks.
  • Don’t sing. I think let’s just go with no singing on planes. Unless you’re Beyonce, then definitely sing.
  • Headphones for the love of God headphones. I get it, you forgot your headphones and really want to watch your show. How about asking the steward/stewardess for a pair of headphones, or watch your movie with subtitles on?
  • Keep your feet to yourself. We’re all on the same cramped flight bud. My armrest in front of you may look tempting, I definitely don’t want your smelly feet touching my elbow.

Flying with Kids

  • Kids kicking the back of seats. I completely have sympathy for you if you’re traveling with a child. It’s probably an entirely new and possibly frightening experience. With that said I do think you should tell your child not to kick the seat in front of them. Especially if they’ve been doing it for over an hour.
  • Tantrums. For the love of God please get of your iPhone and pay attention to your kid. I don’t care if you’re child is crying, I do care if you do nothing and ignore them.

Are you guilty of committing any of these air travel etiquette violations? If so, now you know what not to do on your next trip! Do you have any grievances to add to the list? Comment below!


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