November 20th, 2013

Airplane Etiquette 101

by Jacqueline Whitmore

I love to travel but I oftentimes dislike the behavior I see on airplanes and in airports. Why can’t people just be a little more courteous to each other? Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you fly. 

Dress well. You never know whom you will run into while standing in line at the airport. You represent your business and your wardrobe should be as put together as your business plan. While traveling, don’t sacrifice comfort for style. Look your best, even if you opt to dress casual.

Be aware of your surroundings. Wear headphones while listening to music or watching a movie. Don’t crowd your seatmates. Keep your belongings neatly stowed away in your immediate vicinity. Be careful not to kick or tug on the seat in front of you.

Demonstrate courteous behavior. Travel can be stressful. Be as well mannered as you can and if you see someone struggling with luggage, help him or her out. When speaking to others, keep your voice low (especially when speaking on your cell phone). Be gracious to flight attendants and airport personnel and they will be kind to you. It’s amazing how nice others will be to you if you give them a compliment or a smile.

Show respect to your fellow passengers. If you would like to eat a snack, it is best to simply ask your neighbor if it would be all right. When you must scoot around someone to get to the bathroom, excuse yourself and say thank you. If you’re in the window seat, be sure the sun’s reflection isn’t blinding your seatmate as you enjoy the view. The last thing you want on a long flight is a passive-aggressive feud with a fellow passenger.

Don’t miss opportunities to meet new clients. The person in the seat next to you could be your next investor or client. If it’s appropriate, take the time to introduce yourself. On the other hand, if you really must work and you are seated next to a Chatty Cathy, don’t be rude or blatantly ignore your neighbor. Instead thank them for their friendliness and explain that you’re on a deadline and must work during the remainder of the flight. That’s why it’s a good idea to carry a pair of headphones!

 

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