Etiquette tips for airline passengers

I've been on the road a lot lately, which means a lot of time spent in airplanes. In a moment of deep reflection, prompted by the passenger next to me spilling over into my seat, the passenger in front of me putting his fingers on the back of his headrest (too near my face), and the passenger behind me resting his open newspaper on the top of my head, I realized why I'm often so grumpy at the end of my flight. 

There are many times when other passengers are literarlly assaulting our senses.

Something has to be done! 

I asked some of my friends to share some etiquette tips for airline passengers to follow. Thanks to John, Sally, Sardek, Grace, Nicole, Katherine, Amber, Paul, Michelle, Judy, Adriana, and David for sending me such a fantastic list!


  • Sweatpants - even the "fancy" ones are not appropriate attire. Especially because everyone knows you slept in them the night before and rolled out of bed to catch the flight.
  • Please cover up your really jacked up feet. It ruins peoples' appetite and is just all around uncool.


  • Bathe (sometime) before flying.
  • Bringing aboard stinky food is not very polite.
  • If your kid needs a diaper change then change it!!! No one wants to smell your kids crap the whole flight.
  • Don't take your shoes off if you feet smell.


  • Our team had a conversation about this exact topic just this morning. Top of list - loud mouths on phone. And, with internet now available on some flights, voice over calls while in flight. Keep conversation to people next to you, not the entire cabin.
  • No arguing with co-passengers; in your party or not.
  • If someone is sitting with their eyes closed like their trying to sleep, don't talk to them. 
  • If someone is wearing earphones then they are trying to tune out the world. Please don't tap them on the arm so you can share your story.


  • Keep your elbows INSIDE your seat boundaries. (And knees. Please.)
  • Keep carry-on stuff under the seat in front of you, not in front of the person sitting next to you.
  • If your hips are wide, please don't bump the heads of people who are sitting in the aisle seats with your wide bottom.
  • Along those same lines, when boarding, don't bump your wide bottom, carry-on, small child or anything else you might be carrying on the heads of each passenger as you go down the aisle -- some of those big purses hurt.
  • The person in the middle seat gets the arm rest! Just because the person is small does not mean you should wedge them in and take all arm rest space so they can't move.
  • Store your carry on above YOUR seat only, don't use up someone else's space because you carried on more than you should have.
  • (Don't bring) your entire bedding set with you. I don't want to touch your dirty pillowcase from your king sized pillow.


I didn't get any responses for this category. That's a good thing.

What etiquette tips would you add to the list?