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Flight plan

By Nicole Dyer Griffith MA Thursday, January 5 2017

Air travel has become as commonplace as ground travel for many of us. This includes travel for both business and leisure. I recall many years ago, when air travel was not as everyday, and the sporadic journey abroad meant putting that extra effort in ensuring you looked the part. This has since changed, as even the youngest lad garners an extensive travel portfolio before they hit their teenage years, as is the case with my son, who at 14, has already traversed the globe, perhaps twice.

Because of the commonplace nature of air travel, the etiquette expected for such travel is often taken for granted, causing undue discomfort for other passengers in each travel class. One of the simple rules of travel, in similar vein to the rule of life, is to treat others with respect, and do onto others as you would have them do onto you. With these guides in mind, here are a few tips I have pulled together to support your air travel etiquette;

• Be mindful of the space allocation. We have all experienced the over stuffing of the suitcase, with that passenger who comes aboard with the carry-on, and a number of other overstuffed bags and packages, taking up much more space than that assigned. While it is appreciated that shopping is a very important part of the travel experience, remember space is assigned to each passenger, and it would help to be mindful of others. You are afforded space in the overhead locker as well as at your feet. Be thoughtful when packing your bags with this allocation in mind.

• Comfort should be coupled with Care. Recently, one airline introduced a dress code for their business and first class customers, particularly for the airport lounge. Though this introduction was met with resistance, the airline remained steadfast in ensuring the standards they required for the dress codes. It is understandable that travel for leisure means exactly that, and for many, donning very casual and comfortable attire is perfectly acceptable – however, there are those who do push the boundaries of acceptable. Even though many airlines do not have stated policies on passenger dress codes, some do act based on if they believe the passenger’s dress may be offensive to the other guests. Simply put, be mindful of your choices. This includes the exhibiting of your undressed feet. Removing your shoes for a long flight is understandable. However, be mindful that other passengers may not be interested in viewing your undressed toes, and perhaps using a travel sock is an option

• Monitor your volumes, and alcohol intake. I recall on a late flight to New York some time ago, after the meal service, the lights were dimmed as is customary to allow passengers the opportunity to nap. Two passengers took that opportunity to engage in loud discussion, laughter, and the more alcohol they requested and consumed, the louder they became, causing all the other passengers in the cabin to protest. While it is your right to enjoy your flight as best as you could, it is respectful to recognise certain basic principles of decency and respect for and of others as well. Do not over do.

• Respect your flight staff. The flight staff is there to ensure both your comfort and safety while on board. They are not there to be used as your personal wait staff. I have seen some passengers verbally abuse flight staff which is completely unacceptable. Remember respect is earned, not worn.

• Deplaning, it is not a race. How many times have you arrived at the runway awaiting to deplane, and everyone in front of you and behind you are all standing, grabbing their luggage from the overhead lockers, and almost tripping over you to get out? I have never quite understood the logic of attempting to trip over each other to deplane. There are rows, and if we allow each row to deplane I am certain we would all exit in quick order. Enjoy your flight

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