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Hello, pandas! Welcome aboard today’s flight. If you could please take your seats quickly and place your bags in the overhead compartments, we’ll be starting our journey shortly. And remember, even if the flight attendants haven’t explicitly told you not to disturb your fellow passengers, you definitely shouldn’t!

Traveling can be an exciting yet exhausting experience. And one thing that can instantly make it worse is being stuck on a flight with rude passengers. So to improve everyone’s flying etiquette, Reddit users have been discussing some of the unspoken rules of air travel that we should all abide by. Below, you'll find some of their thoughts, as well as a conversation with Patrick Smith of Ask the Pilot, and be sure to upvote the rules that you would never break!

#1

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Unless it is an absolute emergency, do not cop an attitude when someone does not want to change seats with you.

CaptainObvious126 , Clique Images Report

#2

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Headphones or no audio. No one wants to hear that c**p.

Doranagon , simonapilolla Report

#3

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Know when you should buy two seats.

Had a guy a couple of years back during Covid who should have two seats and his solution was to just lift the arm rest and I’m like “nah” and called the FA.

I’m sorry. You know how big you are and it didn’t happen yesterday.

HolyCarbohydrates , Al Soot Report

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Winnie the Moo
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is not about fatshaming. You buy one seat, that means that you’ve bought the appointed SPACE that comes with the seat. See it as a box of space. You don’t fit inside that space? That is on you, not on the passenger next to you. Also, it’s on the airlines.

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To gain more insight on this topic, we reached out to airline pilot, bestselling author, and the host of Ask the Pilot, Patrick Smith. Patrick was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda and explain some of the most important unspoken rules of flying.

"When reclining your seat, please do it SLOWLY," the pilot says. "Remember that the person behind you may have items on his or her tray table, and that tray table is (in most cases) attached to YOUR seat. This a particular hazard for laptops, as the screen can become pinched between the table and the upper cushion of the seat-back as it reclines."

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"'Assault recliners' is my term for those passengers who come hauling back at full speed with no warning, leaving you but a split-second to save your computer from this deadly nutcracker, and/or upending your coffee," Patrick added.

#4

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes I can’t believe it hasn’t been said. But i am a woman with long legs. Regardless of size, my seat space is my seat space. And men often think it’s fine to spread their legs way over into my space. Really? I have a 6’2” arm span and 34” inseam. I keep my s**t inside my space, you can too. (Not commenting on large people that kinda spill over into my space. I am more accepting of that. But when someone sits down and already their legs over the line…. Get out.

Nerdso77 , Chalabala Report

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Guess Undheit
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Malespreading is unnecessary territorial infantilism. It's not about "comfort". If you invade my space by spreading, you get my pen stabbed into your leg. Or worse, an unseen foot into your shin.

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#5

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Dont put your feet up on anyone's seat or arm rest

Long_Analysis_8193 , Pew Nguyen Report

#6

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Do not grab the top of the seat in front of you to help you stand up. Fun Fact: Your seatback in front of you, it doubles as an actual seat, with a human sitting in it. That human could be me, who hates being flung back and forth like I’m on a carnival ride because of your lack of awareness

ksmodern , Gratisography Report

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Pix
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Every single time I fly I get stuck Infront of some Nosferatu fingered imbecile who ends up pulling on my hair! Let alone it rocks me back and then catapult forward! A very loud cry, grab at my head and a face that could turn milk usually puts a stop to another clawing.

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"If you want to make things slightly easier on your fellow travelers, here’s a simple recommendation: when boarding, please don't place your carry-on bags in the first empty bin that you come to," Patrick shared. "Use a bin as close to your seat as possible."

"It drives me crazy when I see a guy shoving his roll-aboard into a bin above row 5, then continuing on to his assigned seat in row 52. I know it’s tempting, but this causes the forward bins to fill up quickly," the pilot explained. "Those seated in the front must now travel backward to stow their belongings, then return upstream, against the flow of traffic, slowing everybody down. Then, after landing, these same people have to fight their way rearward again while everybody else is trying to exit."

#7

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Headphones = please don’t talk to me.

mnrainmaker , Chalabala Report

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Guess Undheit
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ask women about this, how males "think" they have a right to hit on women because they're a captive audience.

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#8

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes If I'm in the middle or window seat, and the person on the aisle seat gets up to use the restroom, even if I think I *might* have to go, I go use the restroom.

Funny-Berry-807 , Gerrie van der Walt Report

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David
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Also, if you think you might have to get up a lot, have the decency to try to get an aisle seat. At my age I have to pee more often than I used to so I try to avoid having to make others get up for me

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Patrick also shared that flying on planes used to be a special occasion. "Not all that long ago, only a fraction of the population could afford to fly on a regular basis," he told Bored Panda. "When I was in middle school, in the late ’70s, maybe a third of my classmates had ever been on an airplane. Even into high school I frequently met other kids who’d never flown. And for those who did fly, there was something special about it. You behaved well, and even dressed up for the occasion."

#10

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes No changing diapers on the tray table.

stayingintheknow , Oleksandr P Report

#11

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Don’t hand your coat to the flight attendant when you’re stepping on the plane.

Sincerely,

A flight attendant

blaqbourdain , Markus Winkler Report

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Guess Undheit
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hands you a coat? Wait until they're out of sight and in their seat. Then throw it out the door just before closing.

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#12

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes If you're traveling with kids, sit with your kids.

Jamieobda , Paul Hanaoka Report

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arthbach
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It should be a legal requirement for children and their adult to sit together.

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"Flying today is far cheaper than it used to be. As a result, almost everybody does it, and almost everybody takes it for granted," Patrick explained. "And as the demographics have changed, so have the levels of behavior. Which maybe shouldn’t be shocking. With over three million people flying every day of the week, across every strata of age, culture and class the world over, we should expect that standards of decorum will fall."

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#13

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Flight attendants are not waiters/waitresses in the sky. They are highly trained professional who keep us safe and alive in an emergency. Don’t treat them with disrespect. They deal with horrible people all day so be nice.

thesweetestberry , jamies.x. co Report

#14

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Your small purse and jacket do not need a dedicated overhead bin space.

Keep the perfume to a minimum please!

_AmeliaPond_ , Omar Prestwich Report

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AtMostTheFabulist
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Keep the perfume at home please!! I am allergic to most scents and a lot of people don't realize how far the scents travel. When traveling I bring a bandana to put over my nose and mouth if needed. A mask will trap the smell right against my face.

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#15

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Be as quiet as possible on a flight before 8am - even if people aren't trying to sleep we've all been up since o'dark thirty.

nikkitoast , doumacatherine Report

#16

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Don’t crowd the baggage carousels. If everyone took 3 steps back we could all fit around it and grab our bags when we see them.

canttouchdeez , ashishk75 Report

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AtMostTheFabulist
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But, I must be first to retrieve my luggage! Even if it's the last bag on the carousel

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#17

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Deplane one row at a time from front to back. You don't get to go until the people in front of you are all gone (unless they're swimming upstream to get their bags or are choosing to wait for whatever reason).

last_january , AZ-BLT Report

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#18

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Always be polite to the gate agent. Sometimes they can really help you out when they don’t necessarily
Have to.

sappslap , Pew Nguyen Report

#19

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes I’m surprised I haven’t seen this one yet;

PERSONAL HYGIENE

- Brush your teeth, or at the very least be considerate around others if you know you may have bad breath for any reason (long travel day or any other reason - please utilize gum or mints)

- Wear deodorant. For the love of everything please wear deodorant.

Especially when being packed in a smaller aircraft for a connection. If you can smell it, so can everyone else.

General rules when flying?

- Do NOT touch someone else’s window shade. If you wanted the ability to close or open it, you should have booked the seat.

- Don’t get upset when someone paid to select their seats and they refuse to switch with you or a party member.

- Stop taking your shoes off if you’re wearing closed-toed shoes. If you can smell it, so can everyone else.

- Do not clip your nails on a flight.

- Be considerate of the people behind you using their IFE. Don’t block it with your hair, coat or anything.

Traducement , Killian Pham Report

#20

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Sit your a*s down or at least stay out of the way until your zone is called.

Badgerst8 , Alex Suprun Report

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Agamemnon O'Neill
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's because they let people bring too much luggage on board and everyone is clamouring for overhead bin space.

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#21

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Just because we’re sitting next to each other doesn’t mean I want to be your best friend. Quite often, a flight is the only quiet time I will get in my busy day.

Swandive208 , Mpumelelo Macu Report

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DarkViolet
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Learn to read the body language. It's better to assume that the other passenger prefers quiet, than to receive a dirty look and/or a harsh reprimand in exchange for your hello.

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#22

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Keep your goddamn shoes on when going to the bathroom

mi_totino , Chalabala Report

#23

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Wear a seatbelt even if the light is off.

yhzyhz , DC_Studio Report

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AtMostTheFabulist
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Only remove the seat belt when you have to go to the bathroom, or the plane has stopped moving.

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#24

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Can’t touch the strippers, and you can’t touch the flight attendants.

Seriously don’t touch a flight attendant to get their attention ever unless you are choking or you are under 2 years old.

Tralalaladey , ismail mohamed - SoviLe Report

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Guess Undheit
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Tell that to the stewardesses. I've had multiple idiots shake me awake on overnight flights while I'm trying to sleep (i.e. AFTER the inflight meal). I. AM. SLEEPING. I am not interested in your f_cking "duty free catalogue".

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#25

Don't stick your bare or shoed feet on the walls, arm rests or any place other than the floor.

jerryberrydurham Report

#26

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Don’t bring fish on the plane to eat

running_hoagie , Chalabala Report

#27

Be mindful of your bags as you make your way to your seat.

Keep everything narrow and tight and don’t swing around to look behind you when your backpack is on one shoulder hanging off the side.

VizVizerson Report

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nomnomborkbork
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

People so often have whacked me with backpacks on any kind of public transportation. It's an extension of your body--be mindful of it.

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#28

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes If you recline, ease the seat back.

SirJohnCard , Man Wong Report

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Anony Mouse
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’ve never been on a plane, even long international flights, where the seat reclined more than maybe three inches.

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#29

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Don't touch my stuff in the overhead bin, especially if I'm in a row ahead of you.

I was in first class once with some expensive sporting gear in the overhead bin, and someone who was in coach actually *took it out* because he wanted to use the first class bins. Fortunately, he thought better of it and put it back before I used the language I was about to use.

jumper34017 , Pew Nguyen Report

#30

If you open the overhead bin mid-flight, make sure to promptly close it; don't just leave it open. If there's turbulence, items can and will fall out of there.

unintentionalty Report

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Guess Undheit
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Don't open the overhead bin until the plane is at the gate. I prefer the aisle seat, I've had plenty of idiots attempt to drop bags on me.

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#31

Board the airplane when it's your time to do so.

reggie321d Report

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CaptainSlapNTickle
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And don't scoff and/or roll your eye's at people allowed to board before you with disabilities. Not every wounded Vet has lost a limb and is still 100% disabled. 💪🫡🪖

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#32

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes Don't talk on your cellphone. We don't want to hear it. Even if the plane landed.

anon , KostiantynVoitenko Report

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David
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I disagree with this one I don't want to hear long conversations but if the plane is on the ground some folks are calling their waiting parties to inform them they just landed / see if they are at the airport yet. And if they are not talking loudly how is it different from other people on the plane having a conversation? EDIT for the people commenting about airports posting schedules--please see the part of my comment about finding out if your ride is waiting or got delayed. And again...people often talk when the plane lands What do you care if one of them is talking into phone?

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#33

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes If you’re a pilot, don’t tell the pilot you’re a pilot…

anon , Caleb Woods Report

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Gustav Gallifrey
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was a pilot. But, their job flying a large modern multi-engine plane loaded with maybe hundreds of passengers in and out of frantically busy airports, and my long-ago experiences flying a single-engine, single-seat jet on and off a small aircraft carrier probably don't have much in common. So, i'll keep my yap shut

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#34

34 Frequent Fliers Share Unwritten Rules That Passengers Should Follow On Airplanes If your bag has to go in a bin behind your row, you have to sit in your seat until THAT row leaves. Then, you can get your bag.

I-suck-at-golf , Chris Brignola Report

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Hey!
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate when that happens to someone. Not for the waiting or anything but I think it's stressful because you can't really control if someone takes it out. Someone didn't use the bins properly in the first place.

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