• Excuse me? The etiquette of crowded flying

    We often discuss business and dinner etiquette, but how about flying etiquette? With airlines packing in more and more passengers on their planes, they’re not only increasing the amount of overbooked flights and potential pay-outs for travelers, but the frustrations of the passengers themselves.

    In a recent CNN News article, one flight attendant is quoted comparing flying to an episode of the reality TV show “Survivor.”

    “You have to be tough,” said Heather Poole, a flight attendant for a major U.S. airline for 16 years and author of the upcoming book “Cruising Attitude.”

    To ensure your next flight is more comparable to an episode of “Glee” than an episode of “Survivor,” follow these basic tips:

    • Know lines: Whether you’re going through security or boarding the plane, allow the person in front of you enough space to place their items on the conveyer belt or enough space to navigate through the center aisle. We’re all adults, so no nudging is allowed.
    • Baggage battle: Airlines earn millions of dollars each year in checked baggage fees, driving passengers to a carry-on only mentality that makes overhead storage a free-for-all. Try to keep your roll-aboard bag as close to you as possible and avoid moving other people’s items. Keep your laptop or coat with you in your seat so that others can use the free overhead space for larger items.
    • Crowded planeRespect your space: Personal space is limited on crowded flights, so be mindful when reclining your seat or taking over an armrest. You have the right to be comfortable, but remember that everyone else does too.
    • Remember the little things: Don’t blare music from your headphones or a movie from your laptop. Be careful when removing your luggage from the overhead compartment, and be patient as you file off the plane. The little things are even more important on crowded flights!


    It all comes down to common courtesy, and the sooner we all come to accept this, the sooner crowded flying can become more bearable for each of us. What has been your experience on crowded flights? Are most travelers courteous or inattentive?

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