Being crammed into a metal box with a few hundred strangers for the best part of your day is not always a delightful experience — and that's without even taking into account the trip to the airport, check-in and security line experiences that precede the flight itself. However, we think that, by following a few simple rules — which should be common sense, but are frequently broken — the whole scenario could be made a little more pleasant for everyone.
1. Sort Out Your Stuff Before You Get to the Belt
Courtesy begins on the ground, so be prepared. If you've made it to the security belt and are only just started to pull out your liquids and laptop, take your coat off, and spare change out of your pockets... you are almost certainly annoying the person behind you. Oh, and push your bins all the way through, please. Don't just leave it all sitting there for someone else to deal with.
2. Stack Your Empty Bin
While we're still here, how about stacking those bins you just pulled your belongings out of at the end so that everything behind you doesn't get stuck in security belt purgatory?
3. Don't Ask Strangers to Watch Your Stuff
At an airport, we're all held to the airline's schedule. Ask me to watch your stuff while you run to the bathroom and what am I supposed to do when my flight gets called or I'm summoned to the desk? Also, this one should be obvious but, in our era of severe bag restrictions, people still do it: Don't ask a traveling-light stranger to carry or check your extra bag. It may be an innocent request, but most of us have seen Midnight Express, and/or Brokedown Palace, and are taking no chances.
4. Step Away from the Perfume Counter
Duty Free is great as the place where you can buy massive bars of Toblerone and cheap(-ish) alcohol. You can also try out all those fancy perfumes you're unlikely to actually purchase. But before you get a little too spray happy in DFA, stop and think about the person you'll be squeezed up against for the next few hours and whether or not they will appreciate wafts of the Tom Ford Black Velvet you've liberally doused yourself in.
5. Don't Crowd the Gate
Why — but why — do people still do this?! If your group has not been called, why on earth are you hovering around the gate making people who should be boarding ask you if you are boarding?
6. Consider the Flight Attendants
Yes, the people who work on the airplane are real human beings who also have to share their time and space with a bunch of strangers. Please make a difficult job a little less unpleasant by simply being polite. And, hey, here's a handy guide of what not to do if you want to stay on their good sides.
7. Stop Hammering the Touch Screen
A gentle tap with your nail: That's really all it takes to press play on the Friends rerun, or whatever in-flight entertainment treats you're so keen to view. Hammering away at it with the full force of your hand does nothing but piss off the poor person seated in front. This goes double for overnight flights.
8. Don't Grab the Back of Someone's Seat
If getting up is really so difficult, try propelling yourself upwards by grabbing your armrests. It's not really cool to yank the person in front of you backwards every time you need to use the bathroom. And everyone already knows just how much seat kickers are loathed the world over.
9. Stand Back From the Baggage Carousel
We all want to know where our bags are, but we can't see anything if you're hovering over the carousel. Step bag behind the line, everyone gets a good view, and we all get out of there with our stuff. (Even if your "stuff" is just a single, baggage-tagged can of beer.)
10. And Finally: Don't Do Any of This
Or you will deservedly, be passenger shamed. None of it. Just don't.
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