The Dude Society

An Online Magazine for Guys.

Air Travel Etiquette

Some people travel rarely, others travel on a weekly or even daily basis. Just like many other situations in life, it is important to practice good manners, even when travel gets frustrating. If you’ve anything like me, almost every time you set foot in an airport, or on a plane, you can always spot the assholes. They might be yelling at the ticketing agent, pushing through the security line, causing a scene at the gate, or refusing to stop texting as the plane is taking off.

Arrive well in advance of your flight

Otherwise, you’ll be the asshole who is late and taking out your aggression on everyone around you. You might come across some grumpy airport workers, but try to remember how many, pain in the ass, people they must encounter on a daily basis. Cut them some slack.

Organize your stuff

Don’t carry or wear unnecessary crap through security. If you have a laptop bag or briefcase, do what I do. Put anything that could possibly cause a problem into your bag. I put my wallet, belt, phone, keys, and change into the front pocket of my laptop case before I even get to security. Then, once at the gate, you can get your stuff back in order.

Wait your turn

Don’t be the dick who knows he’s probably boarding last, but insists and standing right by the gate. If you want to board faster, pay for the upgraded seat or earn more miles, otherwise stay out of everyone’s way.

Don’t bring stinky food

Oh you like tuna? That’s nice; leave it at home. Nobody wants to smell your food on a plane. You can bring food on to a plane, just make it something mild and unoffensive.

Help short and old people

If you see an older lady trying to put her bag up, get off your ass a help out. She will thank you, and who knows, maybe she is traveling with her hot granddaughter.

Turn off your phone

One phone won’t make any difference, right? Maybe, but it still makes you a dick. Turn off your phone, you’re not that important. Off means off, not just putting it in airplane mode. If you really need to stay connected, fly on an airline with wifi, like Virgin America.

Keep your shoes on

This isn’t a rock hard rule, but we all know that many dude’s feet smell terrible. If this is you, keep your shoes on. Nobody wants to smell your feet. Plan ahead and wear shoes that will be easy to take on/off at security and be comfortable. I usually opt for John Varvatos Converse slip-on sneakers.

Don’t be a douche on a plane

Keep your voice down. You’re trapped in a metal tube, with a few hundred other people, for a couple hours or more. People will want to relax, sleep, read, eat, etc. So, if you’re having conversations, keep them at a low volume. If you’re wearing headphones, take them off before talking.

Pay attention to your surroundings

When standing up, moving around, or messing with your stuff in the overhead bin, just use some common courtesy. I don’t want you slamming me in the shoulder with your briefcase, and I definitely don’t want your nuts in my face while you try to pull down something from the overhead bin.

Baggage claim is not a wrestling match

This will never cease to amaze me. You’re standing at the baggage belt, politely waiting for your luggage, and person after person will push you over to grab their stuff. It’s like nobody has ever learned the phrase “excuse me.” You could be standing six inches from the conveyor belt and someone will try to push in front of you. My point is, don’t be that guy. Despite what other people do, you should act in a civilized way, using words like “excuse me,” “please,” and “thank you.”

About the author

Jamie is the Founder of The Dude Society and a New York City based web designer & developer. He really likes telling people how to think, act, and dress.

All articles by Jamie »

8 responses to “Air Travel Etiquette”

  1. Julie says:

    Any thoughts on how to handle initiating, or more importantly, ending conversation with the person(s) next to you?

    • Jamie says:

      The most common thing people do is probably pretend to sleep… or put on headphones, even if there is nothing playing in them. Luckily I have pretty good luck not sitting next to chatterboxes.

      • Dr Laila says:

        Also you could try saying something very straightforward like "I've enjoyed talking with you, but it's been a long week/weekend and I was looking forward to some quiet time." This is a great way to excuse yourself from the conversation and be honest without being rude.

  2. Heading to the airport now, God I hope that everyone on my flight has read this first. Maybe I should take copies and hand out to all of those around me. Great article!

  3. Norma Germain says:

    Love it. My favorite point: pay attention to your surroundings. "I definitely don't want your nuts in my face while you try to pull something down from the overhead bin." So true. So funny.

  4. Steve says:

    I am all about quick, efficient travel and I wish everyone followed the tips (or at least one or two of them) above, esp. through security, damn human beings can be so dumb!

    If you want to be a well oiled travel machine this website has some excellent products (I have nothing to do with them except enjoy their products as a customer) to assist you…

  5. alan says:

    jaimie so true i fly a lot for work and have experiemced everything you talk about thats why i now only fly first class on virgin america. thanks

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