I once spent 5 hours of a trans-Atlantic flight stuck beside a child who spilt food over me, repeatedly asked how the TV worked and screamed because the cabin crew wouldn’t bring him the ‘big’ earphones.
He was supposed to be sitting in the row across from me with his family but his mum moved him to the empty seat beside me ‘as punishment’! Not sure what I did to deserve it but at least the parents had a nice quiet flight.
Having repeated the story to a few friends, it appears that passengers from hell are becoming more and more frequent on flights with no one really sure what’s acceptable anymore.
Despite being around for over 100 years, it appears no one has come up with any hard and fast rules for flight etiquette.
How many of us have had to climb over a passenger because they don’t feel like getting up? Is it okay to bring a screaming baby on a long haul flight? And who is the rightful owner of the middle armrest?
More often than not, airline staff are left to bear the brunt of passengers who clash horns when it comes to the rights and wrongs of flying.
While I don’t pretend to know all the answers for well behaved travel, here are some guidelines for (relatively) stress free travel which everyone should consider:
Ultimately, it’s always going to be hard to keep everyone happy when you have so many people in a confined space. But basic manners and consideration is not beyond anyone’s reach and shouldn’t be impossible to ensure a smooth flight. If you treat others as you yourself would want to be treated, flying would be a much happier experience. But if you see me on an airplane; please don’t put your child beside me as punishment – I really don’t deserve it.