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Air travel has made exploring different parts of the world a lot easier and more convenient. However, there are still a few things that can make the experience less enjoyable for your fellow passengers. From keeping your volume down to tackling personal hygiene in the air, here are five things you should avoid doing while on a plane.
1. Reclining your seat without checking with the passenger behind you
Reclining your seat can be a comfortable way to relax during a long flight. However, it can frustrate the person behind you if they are trying to work or eat. Avoid suddenly reclining and try to give the person behind you a heads up that you will be leaning back and taking up some of the scarce space they may have in flight. While you have every right to be able to relax and recline, a little courtesy goes a long way.
2. Bringing strong-smelling foods on the plane
Carrying your own snacks or meals on a plane can be a good idea, especially for long flights. Airlines have cut back the quantity and quality of what is served and even in premium cabins (see my take on United’s Polaris food here). However, it’s important to be mindful of the smell of the food you bring. Strong-smelling foods can be unpleasant for other passengers, and it is best to avoid them. Instead, bring snacks that are easy to eat and do not have a strong odor.
3. Watching movies or listening to music without headphones
Air travel can be tedious and many people like to listen to music or watch movies to pass the time. However, it’s essential to be mindful of other passengers who might want to sleep, read, or work. Use headphones when using your phone or laptop to entertain your kids or yourself. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to say something to a rude passenger who decided to play a game or listen to music sans headphones.
4. Trimming your fingernails or toenails
I’ve witnessed this firsthand and in first class to boot. You should never clip your fingernails or toenails in public, let alone on a cramped plane. This is just gross and not something that other passengers should have to bear witness. Using nail polish also is a no-no as the strong odor is offensive in an enclosed space. Keep the grooming to home or the very least the lavatory.
5. Putting your bare feet on the bulkhead wall or the seat in front of you
Flights are long. Space is limited. You want to get comfortable and slip off your shoes. That’s fine if you’re wearing clean socks and your feet do not smell. If you insist on wearing flip flops or sandals, keep your bare feet on the floor. They should not be on the walls, seats, or armrests. No one wants to see or smell that.
Anthony’s Take: It’s important to remember that we’re all in it together at 35,000 feet. Certain behavior becomes amplified when contained in a flying metal tube. Be courteous and remember that there are others around you. This can go a long way towards a pleasant journey for everyone.
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