In the name of safety and an enjoyable flight, there are some basic rules airplane passengers should follow. Many of these are told to you at some point during your journey. Some rules, however, are unspoken. Here are eight things you should never do on a flight.
Stow Luggage Anywhere
Store your belongings close by instead of rows behind you when possible for efficient boarding and deboarding. If you're in row 20 and can see the bin is closed above your row, start looking for a space closer to the front of the aircraft. And if your bag fits under the seat in front of you, keep it there to free up room for larger items in the overhead compartment.
Stay Glued to Your Seat
Passengers stuck in confined spaces for extended periods of time on long flights are prone to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition where blood clots form in veins deep in the body, generally in the legs. DVT can potentially lead to major health issues if the blood clots break free and travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Be proactive by taking a stroll through the cabin every hour or by completing simple in-seat exercises that encourage movement in the feet and legs to promote blood circulation. Or, at the very least, wear a pair of compression socks which can help ward off DVT.
Invade Your Neighbor's Space
Know the boundaries of your seat and refrain from spilling over them by hogging armrests and taking up leg room. Because the window seat passenger has the wall to lean on as well as an armrest, and the aisle seat passenger possesses one armrest and marginally more leg room, the remaining two armrests belong to the middle seat flier. Space invasion offenses also include putting your feet up by wedging them onto the armrest of the person in front of you, and flicking your ponytail over the back of your seat and covering the screen of the person behind you.
Take Your Socks Off
The floor of an aircraft is a silent witness to a number of food spills. Planes don't get a deep cleaning as often as you might think, so refrain from walking around barefoot, especially to the lavatory as they're only wiped down at the end of a flight, whether it’s a quick two-hour domestic or 14-hour international journey. And if you enjoy relaxing in your seat but know you’re prone to stinky feet, keep your socks on for the good of those around you.
Eat Off or Sleep on the Tray Table
Quick turnarounds are performed between flights on all aircrafts throughout the day, when pillows and blankets are fluffed and folded, and seatback pockets are cleared of candy wrappers and sick bags. But quick turnarounds don’t include sterilization of tray tables or seats, and though it may feel comfy to rest your head on your tray table for a nap, or pick up food that’s fallen on it, it may have been used by the passenger before you as a baby changing table or to hold dirty tissues. If you don't have a choice, at least pack some travel-friendly anti-bacterial wipes to disinfect the table yourself.
Forget to Stay Hydrated
Low humidity and cabin pressure creates dry air that circulates through the aircraft. While passengers look forward to enjoying some wine with their meal or some post dinner coffee or tea, it's best to stay hydrated with bottled water or juice, as alcohol and caffeine have dehydrating effects. Consuming alcohol in the air can also have you feeling the effects harder and stronger due to low cabin pressure, and carbonated drinks will leave you bloated and cramped. Consider investing in a collapsible water bottle that you can bring through security, and fill up for free at a water fountain.
Turn Off the Air Vent
The next time you feel chilly from the blasting air vent above your seat, consider throwing on a sweater rather than turning it off. The turbulent air from the vent is designed to create a germ barrier, preventing airborne particles from landing on your body by driving them to the ground instead. By keeping your vent on a low or medium setting, you minimize the risk of breathing in airborne germs for both yourself and passengers in your ventilation section.
Rush to Deplane
Passengers often jump up from their seats and rush into the aisles to retrieve their luggage as soon as the seatbelt sign is switched off. But proper plane etiquette dictates that passengers deplane from the front to the back of the aircraft, row by row. If you have a tight connection to catch, kindly inform a flight attendant prior to landing so the cabin crew can facilitate a speedy deboarding process. Otherwise, wait your turn to deplane. Take the time to gather your belongings from underneath the seat in front of you and be ready to move into the aisles to retrieve your bag from the overhead compartment when given the opportunity.