Airport and Airplane Manners, Part 1

What do you do when the friendly skies aren’t so friendly.

Trent Armstrong
5-minute read
Episode #81

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Now, I fancy myself a semi-professional airplane passenger and, though my clothing line deal hasn't gone through yet, I feel like it's high-time I talked about the manners and etiquette of airports and airplanes. From taxi to takeoff and from crying to carry-ons, this set of encouraging tips should help you make those skies a little more friendly.

Know Your Itinerary

I think this conversation really has to start before you even get to the airport. There are a few things you can do to make sure you are knowledgeable about your trip which, in turn, will help you be a courteous airport pedestrian and flyer. Know your itinerary. Printing or writing down your flight and gate information will minimize your need to wander the terminal looking for your information. Not having a clear plan causes us to think only about taking care of ourselves and not watching out for others. Check in online or at an automated kiosk in the airport if you can. That will get you a step closer to your destination and will keep you out of more lines. If you happen to find yourself in the check-in line, pull out your audio player and refer back to Modern Manners Guy episode 70-Lines, Lines, and More Lines.

Security Sanity

The queue you cannot avoid is at the security check point. Just prepare yourself for the fact that you’ll have to wait in that line. There are ways, however, that you can minimize any issues. And I bring this up because the more people pay attention and make a conscious effort to be ready for the security gate, the less hassle everyone else endures. And that's why we practice good manners, right? (That was a rhetorical question.) First, be sure that your carry-ons will actually fit through the x-ray machine. Then have your laptop easily accessible; shoes untied; jewery, keys, etc. out of your pockets; boarding pass in hand; and a pleasant smile on your face. Those security officers deal with enough jerks. You can brighten their day with an easy grin and yourself at the ready. Just don't come across as suspicious.

And if you are traveling with small children, encourage them to help out by taking off their shoes and putting their things in the bin for the x-ray. Give little Janie her boarding pass and send her through the metal detector with instructions not to touch the structure. That can add time to your security station sprint. In any event stay calm and just let things happen if they do.