Airport Etiquette

There’s an unwritten code of commandments you’re supposed to follow when you travel by plane. Why? Because airports are busy places with people passing through from all over the world and they shouldn’t have to be subjected to things like your facetime breakup call or your stinky feet. Sadly though, it seems less and less people are getting the memo about how to behave in airports. Honestly, sometimes it feels as though airports are the place where manners go to die.

Turn off the ringer on your phone. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to hear the exact same iphone ringtone on the highest volume over and over and over in the various nooks and crannys of the airport. Every phone has a vibrate function in 2019. You need not have your phone volume to it’s loudest in order to be able to answer it.

If you’re going to have a loud phone conversation, move away from crowded areas. I think that it’s part of the human condition to feel a need to speak louder into your phone when you’re in a crowded area. I’m not exactly sure why humans do this, but I wish they’d learn that they could just stand up and walk twenty or thirty feet away and not need to yell into their phone anymore. Furthermore, moving twenty or thirty feet away means that those around you need not hear your conversation breaking up with your girlfriend. Because… why do you need to subject strangers to that?

DO NOT take off your shoes. I’m not quite sure what it is about airport lobbies and lounges that makes people think it’s a great place to take off their shoes but this is gross. It really is. Firstly, the majority of time people have been travelling already that day and thus, they have smelly feet. Subjecting other travellers to your stinky feet is downright cruel. Furthermore, it’s not your living room and the furniture does not belong to you. Why are you smothering the chairs in your stinky foot sweat? The next person who has to sit there is not thankful, trust me.

Remember that you’re a parent. Yes, you may be on vacation, but the airport is no place to be taking a break from being a parent. People aren’t paying hundreds of dollars to listen to your children scream incessantly… just because. As much as I understand that kids are kids, I am also aware of what is a child screaming because of an issue and what is a child screaming because they want your attention. Pay attention to your kids. If they do something wrong, kick a stranger, throw their food on the floor, steal someone’s food, don’t just let them get away with this behaviour because you’re on a trip. The rest of us aren’t in a place where we can say much of anything about it, so with them being your kids, you damn well better.

Don’t jump the line. There’s no bonus to being the first person on the plane. It’s not as if they hand out medals to those who get on first. Honestly, we’re all just trying to squish into a sky-tin with you, so please wait your turn. You need not shove in front, you need not load out of the order the flight crew is asking for. You need not stand so close to me in line you’re breathing down my neck. We’ll all get on. I promise you! They’re not going to fill half a plane and then leave with you still standing at the gate.

Do not leave your suitcase in the middle of the hall, the aisle, the escalatator, etc… Also, do not stop with your crowd to converse in the middle of the hall, the aisle, the escalator, etc… Why? As I’m sure you’re all aware, airports are busy places. People from all over the world need to get through the airport, some in a massive hurry and the last thing they want is your complete lack of self-awareness slowing them down. Sometimes, the difference from two minutes means making or missing a flight. And if you’re stopping in the middle of ANYWHERE, you’re running the possibility of slowing someone down.

Don’t yell at the gate attendant. Firstly, the person working your gate at the airport is not responsible for your flight, they’re only responsible for ensuring that you get on it. So blaming them for any frustrations that you have is useless and quite rude. Secondly, holding up the boarding process so you can let out your grievances pisses off everyone else who’s trying to board behind you. There’s nothing you’re yelling at the gate attendant that cannot be explained calmly and professionally in a finely worded email to customer service after you get off the flight. And if you don’t want to wait that long to write the email… your problems really aren’t that bad.

Whatever adventure you’re on, wherever you’re headed next, I hope that you have an incredible time. And for everyone’s sake, I really hope that travellers around you are aware of airport etiquette. When they are, let me speak from experience, it makes travelling so much easier.

Bon voyage!

24 thoughts on “Airport Etiquette

  1. When ii was a flight attendant we used to joke that the security thingy sucks out all of your functioning grey matter which would explain why people become so weird in airports.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. HAHA! I love that joke. I might start that joke amongst my friends. Glad to hear that flight attendants have a sense of humour. I bet you guys had to put up with a lot of shit!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I could not agree with you more! I don’t know what it is about airports that makes common sense and decency fly out the window! I would add another which is when people put purses or jackets in the overhead bin space, it’s for carry on bags folks! And make sure you put in wheels out to maximize space!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yes! There was a man on my flight the other day who brought his full sized suitcase through security and was trying to fit in the overhead bin. The flight attendant was like ‘That bag is too large, it’s not a carry on and needs to be checked’. He looked at the flight attendant and was like ‘Well maybe if your stupid plane’s overhead bins weren’t so small’. It was quite the stupid argument that could have been avoided if he wasn’t such a dumbass.

      Anyways, I’m ranting again and I just wanted to say I totally understand!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadly simple courtesy spirals down the drain when some people feel pressured and, let’s face it, airports are nobody’s favourite place to be. Anyway, there is no excuse for bad manners in my book. Totally agree with Jeremy: treat others as you would be treated etc. And develop a strong belief in karma…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When people are being rude or gross or annoying in the lobby I find myself wishing they’re either in the middle seat for the long-haul fight, or that they get stuck right next to the bathroom. That seems like fair Karma, right? lol

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great tips! I can’t stand when people suddenly stop in the middle of a busy corridor to have a conversation. Or take pictures. And I hate having to take off my shoes in order to get through security.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes! The whole standing in the middle of the aisle and corridor, etc… is more so just a good rule for life – like at the grocery store or the mall, or a tourist destination, etc.. People just seem to lack self-awareness when out in public.

      I only ever wearing running shoes through security. In all the 10,000 flights I’ve been on, the only time I’ve ever been asked to take them off was in Germany, and that was only because I went through Germany right after a terrorist attack so EVERYONE had to take their shoes off. I’ve been very lucky over the years.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Funnily enough, when I was going through the airport last night the woman who came and sat down next to me took off her shoes and put them up on the chair. I politely asked her to put her shoes back on and she looked at me with a dumbfounded look on her face and said “Why?” When I said ‘Because I don’t want to smell your stinky feet’ she was like ‘Well aren’t you rude!’ and put her shoes on and stomped away.

      The human race baffles me sometimes!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I wonder if those of us who keep it polite should carry “don’t forget to pack your manners” on one of those notes people carry when they’re waiting for someone, just in case. Great post!


    1. Oh my god, that would be hilarious. I’d love that if I came through the arrivals gate and saw that. I’d probably take a picture with and want to celebrate that person.

      Liked by 1 person

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