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In-Flight Etiquette

Tue, 12/06/2016
Flight Behaviour and Plane Politeness

I once woke up on a flight from New York to London and the middle-aged lady who had the window seat next to me was using my armrests as stepping stones to get to the toilet, I woke up with her crotch in my face and her feet either side of me. I would have preferred it if she just woke me up and asked to get by instead of trying to climb over.

A flight, particularly a long-haul or overnight flight, is a time when we inevitably have to be cramped up near to strangers and negotiate how best to get along with those next to us, as well as those in front and those behind us. We can all be easily irritated, especially when we’re tired and packed into a metal tube 30,000 feet in the air with people we don’t know and overpriced refreshments.

Lift your carry-on back yourself
If your hand luggage case is too heavy to lift above your head and pack into the overhead compartments, then you should rethink your packing. Don’t expect to rely on kind young men or cabin crew; you certainly don’t want to put somebody else’s back out and the poor cabin crew can’t help everyone lift their suitcases all day.

Seat recline
This one is always a hot topic of debate. There are those who say never recline as it’s rude, and there are those who argue "why have reclining seats if you’re not meant to recline them?". The best way to get around this is to simply speak up and ask the person behind you if it’s okay, check if they have a drink which might spill or if they are using their table. When a meal is being served you should try and keep your seat upright and take the person behind you into consideration.

The same goes for kicking and resting your knees on the chair in front. We’ve all experienced the seat kicker, so keep your limbs to yourself and consider the person in front of you. Equally, don’t be afraid to politely speak to the person behind you if they are bothering you with their kicking, you shouldn’t have to suffer for the sake of their comfort.

Choosing your seat and toilet breaks
If you like to drink during the flight and usually need the toilet, avoid the awkward seat climbing to get to out and choose an aisle seat. Try to pick the right time to go to the toilet, the aisle is small so make sure you don’t get stuck between trolley service when the cabin crew is serving.

Who gets which armrest? This is a particularly difficult one, so try not to let it bother you. If you’re by the window remember you have the best view, and those seated on the aisle have ease of access to the toilet, escape and deboarding. So if the middle seater takes the armrests, you should probably let it slide.

If you’ve been delayed, denied boarding or your flight has been cancelled; it’s likely there’ll be other passengers in the same boat. Perhaps they don’t know about EU Regulation 261/2004, so let them know that they could be entitled to up to €600 in compensation and that Get Paid When Delayed is here to help. We’re a free website aiding you to understand and start your claim. Unlike other online claims websites, we never charge a commission, so you get to keep 100% of your compensation.

Using the website you can generate a personalised claims letter quickly and easily, chat with one of our customer service representatives or start your claim for lost, delayed or damaged baggage on all international flights, using Lost & Found.