For the past few months, I’ve been doing plenty of air travel to speaking engagements and workshops. I absolutely love to explore the cities and towns across the country and meet locals from wherever I go. In the past two weeks, I’ve been to Columbia, S.C.; Sacramento and Napa Valley, Calif.; Kansas, Mo. and Sabetha, Kan. All were wonderful, very different locations.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, 2,587,000 passengers fly in and out of U.S. airports every day. Those passengers fill up an average daily 26,527 flights. That is many different people with different levels of experience in air travel and etiquette.
For the sake of all of us who take to the skies once or 300 times a year, let’s review a few rules you should consider while sitting in an airport or when you’re up in the clouds.
- It’s never OK to play the audio on your device without headphones.
- If you must speak on your phone, find a quiet corner.
- Get up and give your seat in the airport should someone need it.
- Avoid the airport seats near power outlets if you’re not going to use them. Be sure to unplug and share that power once you are all juiced up.
- Delays aren’t worth complaining about. Your complaint won’t make it depart any sooner. I’d rather have a safe flight.
- The middle seat gets the armrests. It’s only fair, nobody wants to sit in a stranger sandwich.
- If the person you strike up a conversation with doesn’t ask you questions, it’s time to be quiet.
- Upset babies are upset babies. C’est la vie. Don’t blame the parents. You were once a screaming baby, too.
- Only jerks recline their seats on domestic flights. Passengers are already packed like sardines up there.
- Give eye contact and listen to the flight attendants as they go through the emergency procedures. During a recent emergency, a photo circulated on social media of passengers wearing their oxygen masks upside down.
- Clean up your garbage and recycle. Seriously, make your mother proud.
- Consider the people around you when watching your videos. The child sitting behind you may not sleep soundly again after “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
- Leave your shoes on at all times. Nobody wants to see your feet.
According to the FAA, there are 5,000 aircraft in the sky at any given time. So the next time you plan to join them, be sure to keep my friendly rules in mind to make the experience much better for you and your fellow travelers.
Just for fun, would you like to know how many planes are traveling above you right now? Ask your smartphone. While I wrote this article, there were five flights up there. I hope those passengers are following my rules, too. Safe travels.
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