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10 Ways To Be a Lady/Gentleman On A Plane

10 Ways To Be a Lady/Gentleman On A Plane

You know the problem. People in airplanes behave as if they were sitting at home in their comfortable lounge rooms! The reality is that there is extremely limited space. That’s where the aggro starts. As the airlines squash more people in, people’s manners plummet to unbelievable depths. It would help if airlines could make an announcement such as, “We have a very crowded flight today folks. Please be kind to your neighbor.”

Here are 10 tips to make sure that you follow basic in-flight etiquette. Just keep your fingers crossed that your fellow passengers have also read this post!

“To do nothing that can either annoy or offend the sensibilities of others, sums up the principal rules for conduct under all circumstances—whether staying at home or traveling.” Emily Post, Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home, 1922

1. Use the bin space properly

Everyone nowadays tries to carry as much as possible on board. The problem arises when the overhead bin is chock full of luggage. One of the reasons may be that a person has stored their bag horizontally, rather than vertically. If you are actually carrying two bags, the smaller one might be able to fit under your feet.

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2.  Kids can be a pain

Children may misbehave because they get bored and restless since there is simply no space to play. The best thing to do is to avoid reprimanding the child and quietly ask the parents to keep their kids in check. Kicking the back of a seat is a big problem. It’s like children are drawn magnetically to it. Try to catch the parents’ and kid’s eyes by looking back. If that does not work, ask the parents politely to keep the kicking in check. Failing that, you may have to ask the flight attendant to do something.

It is also best to avoid playing the parenting police role. Resist giving advice on how you would bring up kids. Nobody is really interested.

3. To recline or not to recline…

The vexed question of reclining seats, and the trouble they cause, is a major headache for everybody – including the airlines. Ryanair decided to block all their seats so the reclining issue is no longer a problem. One survey showed that 90% of travellers want them blocked. Until this happens, here are three golden rules to follow

  • Keep it upright during mealtimes.
  • Warn the passenger behind you that you are about to recline.
  • Ease the seat into the reclining position, gradually and gently.

If you are on an overnight flight, it is usual practice and normally accepted that seats can be reclined as people attempt to get some shut eye. Just try and wait until the lights are switched off.

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4. Who gets the armrest when in the middle seat?

This is a tricky one. One survey, carried out by the Wall Street Journal, asked a panel of six experts what was the correct etiquette in this delicate situation. The majority of them (5 out of 6) agreed that the passenger in the middle seat should have access to both armrests. The reason is that they have no extra space to stretch their legs, or even rest their heads. Let’s stay positive here – at least their arms will be reasonably comfortable. Be kind, remember your cramped neighbor.

5. Try to program toilet breaks on a long flight

You may be in the window or middle seat and need a bathroom break urgently. The only problem is that the aisle passenger is sound asleep. Normal etiquette would be to wake them gently and ask if they can move their slumbering frame to help you get past.

If you are in the aisle seat on a long haul flight, it is a good idea to politely tell your fellow row passengers that you are going to sleep. Ask if they would like to get out before you settle down. They’ll appreciate the gesture.

6. Don’t blame the flight attendants for everything

No, they did not decide the menu, the distance between seats, the rules about electronics, and all the other things they are forced to tell you. They took no part in deciding schedules, prices or the foul weather; so there is no need to vent your anger and frustration at them.

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Normal etiquette means that you should not talk loudly while they have to go through the safety drill. Respect their job, and maybe they’ll be more likely to meet your request for a fluffier pillow.

7. Keep your odors under control

Strange as it may seem, body odors do cause discomfort. Not just natural body odor,  but also strong perfumes and colognes. These smells can make life miserable for some passengers. The same goes for carrying on board some rather smelly food, such as: onions, fish, garlic, egg salad, (tasty) ethnic dishes, and bacon (because… hungry). If everyone ate before boarding, this would not be a problem. Ah, wishful thinking!

8. What’s the rush?

Ever notice the stampede when you have to board? No one enjoys that uncomfortable edging and nudging when you have to get off the plane. Why the mad rush to get off? I know the flight was not that comfortable, but is a few minutes going to change your life? Leave the plane in a courteous and orderly fashion. You might even let that senior pass in front of you… for once. Doing good deeds in planes also counts towards getting into Paradise!

9. Use your body sensors

Bering aware of the size of your body, and the way you swing around your luggage helps enormously in avoiding nasty accidents. I once watched a close call, as a woman whipped past an unfortunate passenger, unaware of how close her shoulder bag was to hurting the man in the aisle seat. The man’s glasses fell into the aisle. Luckily, they were not broken!

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10. Silence is golden

Do not assume that everyone wants to chat. Some people want to sleep or listen to their favorite music. Etiquette demands that you listen to your movies or music with your headphones at a reasonable volume. Being next to a passenger is not the same as being in the same room at home!

Do you have you any in-flight horror stories to tell about passengers’ bad manners which made your journey a living Hell?

Let us hear about them in the comments.

Featured photo credit: Flight attendants are pretty cute too/Tom Purves via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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