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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

More by this author

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 December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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