High-flying etiquette: Rules for a good flying experience

Monday, 3 March 2014 - 6:00am IST Updated: Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 6:51pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

I was on a flight recently when the person across the isle from me took out a carton of noodles – uncooked. Then asked the attendant to fill it with hot water, after which he covered it with a towel so it could cook in the heat. He then yelled across the cabin, to his wife, to try the ‘amazing noodles’. All this was happening while he was being served a four-course Indian meal on board.

Was that ill mannered? It certainly ruined my flying experience. I was on a three-day trip to Europe and needed all the sleep and rest I could get enroute. But this loud, hungry person, who added to my discomfort by being unkempt, then proceeded to let out satisfied gasses with abandonment.  While it is wonderful to see how accessible travel has become to all, honestly, people — even the wealthiest people ­­— should go through a quick etiquette lesson before getting on board. Here’s my list of dos and don’ts:

Dress appropriately. Just because you’re very rich, you do not have the right to look like a total slob. Nowadays, there’s no need to ‘dress up’ for a flight, so don’t pull out all your jewellery and wear your best jacket, but be neat. Be fresh, do not come on board smelling and unkempt. Yuck!

Put your cabin luggage on top of your own seat. It is annoying when you get to your seat and your overhead cabin is full.

Keep your hand luggage low down and not on your shoulder when walking through the isles. It will bang into people and especially in local flights, one should be extra careful.

In flights or seats where you recline onto someone else, if you are a large person and the recliner really reclines, do so by all means, but do so gently. There’s no need to shock the person behind. And please do stay upright during food service.

Children – this is the tough one. In India, we don’t believe in giving our children pacifiers. Pacifiers keep the ears unblocked due to the constant sucking. They also keep infants occupied. While you may think your child is adorable, everyone on your flight may not. Unbelievable, I know, but true. Of course, sometimes children cry and people understand, but as a parent, try to minimize that.

Also, older children running up and down the plane. I think this is okay for a few minutes, but not when passengers are sleeping or being served. Children should be well behaved wherever they are, and especially on a flight, where others can not walk away.

Control your bodily gasses on a flight, and be neat. Harsh as this may sound, it is sound advice, please take it.

Enjoy your overseas travel, or local haunts, but while it’s easy to buy a first class ticket, what’s important, is knowing the way to travel right!




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