How to be the perfect passenger: Flying etiquette 101
Posted on Tuesday 22 January 2013
in Australia, Sydney, New Zealand, Auckland
By Dylan Thomas
We've all been there: Where your two-hour plane ride to an adventuresome city suddenly feels like the longest flight of your life due to the ill-behaving travellers aboard the plane with you. Your exciting Auckland holidays, plans to stay in Sydney hotels or even a major Euro trip to Paris is quickly transforming into a nightmare before your eyes, as babies start crying, your neighbour's snoring and the person in front of you has reclined his seat all the way back onto your knees. This is not what you signed up for.
While you can't necessarily control the passengers around you, you can exhibit model behaviour on your own and hope that karma plays its part to protect you from experiencing a horrible flight. Here are some personality types, mishaps and unpleasant situations to watch out for and keep in mind as you board flights in the near future:
Maybe that egg salad sandwich, sloppy cheeseburger or steamed broccoli wasn't the best snack to bring with you on the plane. One of passengers' biggest complaints about their fellow fliers is the type of food they choose to eat in such tight space. In virtually every situation, you'd be better off choosing a simple, basic meal that won't offend anyone around you - and won't lead to stomach problems for you, either. Frequent traveller James Vesper told The Wall Street Journal his typical behaviour when he sits beside a smelly or messy eater.
"If my clothing is endangered, I'd ask him or her if they have an extra napkin," he told the news source. "Otherwise I breathe through my mouth."
Lean on me
On a typical plane where there are three seats in a row, who gets the arm rests? Some people think that whoever claims them first is the lucky winner, but others think there are better forms of courtesy to follow in this situation.
"The folks in the aisle seat can lean toward the aisle, and the window-seat passenger has the window to lean on," Anne Loew, a seasoned flight attendant, told the news source. "The poor middle-seat passengers are suffering enough - they get both armrests."
Ultimately, the number one thing to remember when travelling is that everyone on the flight is in it together. Getting to the final destination safely and enjoying the ride as much as possible should be a shared goal, Scott McCartney, a travel blogger and columnist, told NPR.
"I think passengers can help each other more than they really do," McCartney told the news outlet.
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