Unwritten rules of flying that you may have broken


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Proper etiquette is important to keep travel safe, efficient, and comfortable.

Flying on airplanes has become the normal way of traveling over the past years. However, there is nothing worse than sitting next to that slobbish passenger on a plane for hours. In the following, I will discuss the different unwritten rules of flying that you may have broken.

Boarding the plane

The airplane officials limit your time to board, so here are some common sense and courteous plane boarding etiquette rules that everyone should follow to ensure punctuality.

Don’t crowd the gate:

When the time to board becomes near most people tend to crowd the gate so nobody can get through. However, depending on their class, they have to consider the other passengers that have to board before them. Therefore, by standing off to the side enables an easy passageway for people to get through. This rule especially applies to those passengers that are in a wheelchair and families with small children.

Save your questions for later:

If you want to inquire about upgrading or changing your seat, boarding is not the time to do it. This should have been done days in advance or before boarding time. Therefore when your class is called up to board don’t stop traffic so you can alter your seat, this annoys people and creates tension. Boarding is about being efficient and effective in a timely manner, therefore, scan your ticket and move into the gateway.

Don’t clog the aisle:

Once you have found your seat row, don’t stand in the aisle doing unnecessary things such as; fixing your clothes, taking things out of your suitcase, and organizing your carry-on. This creates a roadblock in the way of passengers that need to get around you. Stay in your seat while you take off your coat and organize your belongings. Once you are ready, then step into the aisle and store your luggage in the overhead compartment.

During the flight

During a flight, many people are unsure of what is acceptable to do and what is not? In the following, I will explain some rules of thumb when traveling in the air for a long period of time.

Wait to recline, and don’t use seat tables

After settling in your seat, you probably will have the urge to make yourself comfortable for the next couple of hours, but don’t recline just yet. All seats have to upright and seat tables closed in order for the plane to take off. Therefore if you have to wait for the flight crew to tell you, this just adds on unnecessary time towards takeoff. Also if you are sitting at the back of the plane and those who are behind you can’t recline be courteous and don’t recline for personal space purposes. However, if somebody in front of you is invading your area, ask them politely to sit up or figure out some solution.


The armrest situation is very tricky and it can be hard to tell which one you get when you are in the middle seat. Obviously the end person gets the one to themselves but then does the middle seat get two? Well according to CTV News, 47% claim that the middle person should get both armrests however, 53% claim that they should only get one. Some say it’s first come first serve and others say that there should be no middle seat. Therefore, I think if you are in the middle look to see which one is being used or which one would be more comfortable in the situation.

Flying with children

Flying with little children can be very stressful and difficult however, there are some things that you should keep in mind for the sake of the other passengers. Don’t let your kids kick the seat in front of them. Don’t give them messy foods that can create crumbs or a mess. If your child is not potty trained, consider asking to switch seats so you are closer to the aisle and can maneuver in an effective manner. Try to keep them occupied the entire time to eliminate tantrums and tension for other travelers.


The next time you are taking a plane somewhere, consider the different unwritten rules of flying that you may have broken that are listed above. Safe travels!

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