It’s 11:00PM on a Thursday night. You’re sitting in your room, staring at your suitcase as it should have been packed the day before. You know that you should have prepared sooner, but work has been so busy that you didn’t have time to set things aside as the week progressed. Your flight is at 7:00AM and within the next 12 hours you’re travelling to the waters of Montego Bay in Jamaica. Although excited for your vacation, you find yourself thinking that packing is a drag. Then you realize, flying will also be a drag. Flying can be a very tiring or exciting experience, depending on your perspective.
Fast forward to plane boarding – you’re waiting in line to check your bag, have gone through security, and are anxiously looking around the plane to see where your seat is. Moving inch by inch down the aisle you spot your row letter. Your seat is in the middle of the economy class, in the middle row… in the middle seat. You groan to yourself, hoping that this flight will go by as quick as possible.
You’ve made yourself as comfortable as you can in your seat and are waiting to see who your neighbours will be for the next few hours. The influx of passengers in the aisles prevents you from finding the compartment to put your carry-on in right away. You wait patiently in your seat and brainstorm ways to maximize the comfort over the course of your flight.
1. Handling Luggage Carefully
The last thing you want to do is knock someone out while you’re placing your carry on in the overhead compartments. Be sure to look at your surroundings before bending back or leaning forward. It is best to make sure your belongings are stored directly above you for the convenience of grabbing something right away when you need it. However, there are times where you may need to place your things a bit farther away, as some families with small children need a bit extra space to store around their seats.
Luckily you’ve secured some free space to put your carry on in at the end of your row. You proceed back to your seat.
2. Neighbour Awareness
Your neighbours have arrived. One is a gentleman in a t-shirt and khakis, while the other is a middle-aged woman carrying a book. You introduce yourselves and get ready for take-off. Sometimes it may be best to keep the conversation short, unless you’re getting an indication from the other person that they would like to engage in conversation as well. Some passengers like to sleep right away, while others may just want to do some work, or read a book to pass the flight time. It is important to respect the other person’s space. This includes sharing the arm rest. As you’ve been granted with the middle seat, it’ll be ideal if you use one, and leave the other one to your neighbour. Sharing is caring!
3. The Perfect Angle for Reclining
You’ve taken off and have listened to all the safety procedures provided by the attendants and pilot. It’s 7:05AM, and you’re still pretty tired from staying up late to finish packing. You want to kick back and have a nap. As it is not every passenger’s plan to sleep during the flight, there are a few things to consider before clicking that sweet button of relief. Look behind you to see if the passenger is enjoying a beverage. If so, recline back slowly to let them know that you will be resting. At designated meal times, it is better to have your seat upright, so that the passenger behind you can enjoy their meal with ample space.
4. Behaviour of Children
This may not apply to you if you are travelling alone, however it is still a rule to consider for future flights. Most passengers usually understand when it comes to having children on flights. There’s only so much you can do before they become upset and start crying. Some parents are unaware that their children are causing a disturbance when they are yelling or crying, as they are used to this in their every day life. However, it is a good idea to bring things to occupy your children, such as games or toys that they can play with or hold onto.
It’s hard to relate to those who have children if you’ve never interacted with them or don’t have one of your own. Try to keep things positive by thinking to yourself that it’s only for a few hours. The best solutions to this are playing a movie, listening to some music, or having a nap if the noise from a child’s cry is bothering you.
5. Pre-vacation Party
It doesn’t hurt to have a drink or two if you’re in a good mood and want to start taking advantage of your vacation time; just don’t have one too many. If you’re the type of person who becomes really social when you’ve had a few drinks – hold off on the deep conversations you might not remember in a few hours. You definitely don’t want to start your vacation with a headache either.
Finally, you start to see the waters of Montego Bay and the excitement is growing within you. The sun is shining and the projected average temperature for the week is 29 degrees Celsius with no chance of rain. Now, it’s time indulge in a week of paradise!
Flight Centre: Flight Etiquette: The Golden Rules of Flying
Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in this blog post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Aversan Inc.