10 Commandments Of Air Travel Etiquette For All Iowans In 2023
Before any of us take to the skies this year, let's discuss how you should and should not act when you're flying.
I did a lot of flying in 2022 and I love air travel. The airport is a uniquely, socially lawless place. I never want a shoe shine and a drink at 8:15 a.m. like I do when I'm at an airport. $17 for a tamale? Only at an airport bar.
There's etiquette that goes along with flying and I've rallied some of the worst and most frequent offenders. The biggest piece of advice is to be patient. You still need to be efficient but be patient with the airport workers, with those who are traveling with kids, and just patient with people in general. So let's talk about the biggest and most frequent offenders and what to do/what not to do in an air travel situation this year.
1. Thou Shalt Be Ready At Security
You know what you must do well before getting to the TSA agent. Get your boarding pass and ID out, take your shoes off if you don't have TSA PreCheck, and when it's your turn, plop your purse and carry-on into the trays and move merrily along.
2. Thou Shalt Move Aside At The End Of The Security Belt
It's unavoidable- you have to take a second to put on your shoes, grab all of your stuff, and get ready to walk to your gate after security. But kindly move aside and don't stand in the middle of the walkway or in front of the security bin receptacles to do it.
3. Thou Shalt Not Stand At The Gate Until Thy Boarding Zone Is Called
This is one of my biggest ones. Why is it that as soon as the gate attendant says "we're gonna start preboarding", everyone stands up at the gate? We're in Main Cabin 2, sit down. We're not getting on the plane for another 15 minutes and the plane isn't going anywhere.
4. Thou Shalt Know The Size Of Thine "Carry-On"
Airlines are doing good about checking bags for free at the gate so if you have a bit bigger of a roller bag and the TSA-approved liquids ratio, that's the way to go. Don't try to smush it into the overhead bins and stall the line to get on the plane.
5. Thou Shalt Remain In Thine Bubble
I know airplane seat bubbles are small, even by my short-person standards. But if I don't know you, please don't fall asleep on my shoulder and please don't butterfly your legs out if you don't have an aisle seat.
6. Be Kind To Thine Flight Attendants, Crew, And Passengers
There isn't any need for you to get sassy off the bat. Think with empathy. You know the mom of that screaming baby must be super tired. Federal law allows flight attendants to work up to 14 hours a day, according to USA Today. That's a long day, especially if you add in dealing with mean passengers. If you're just in a bitter mood, put on some noise-canceling headphones and take a nap.
7. Thou Shalt Not Stand As Soon As The Plane Has Landed
They haven't even connected the jetbridge yet. You're in the middle/back of the plane. Sit down.
8. Thou Shalt Familiarize Thine Self With The Destination Airport
The best way I've figured out to do this is to have the airline apps on your phone. They have airport maps and up-to-the-minute gate change updates. If you don't want the apps and you haven't flown into an airport before, take a second before you land to look up their layout. Big airports that the QC airport flies into, like Atlanta and Chicago, have trams. This is especially important if you have a connecting flight and a tight layover window.
8. Thou Shalt Remember Airport Restaurants Will Have A Long Wait
Another rule for big airports. This doesn't matter if you have a really long layover but if you want a good meal and you don't have that kind of time before your next flight, skip it and find your gate. Don't get testy in line at whatever fast food inset.
9. Thou Shalt Leave Room Between Yourself And The Baggage Claim Belt
This is just kind of a habit I've developed but I recommend it. I stand far enough away from the belt that someone can easily get in front of me to get their luggage if it comes out of the chute before mine. But I'm still close enough to take a big step forward to get my own. Don't stand right by the belt and block it.
10. Thou Shalt Be Patient And Efficient In Traffic
When I flew into Atlanta, I had to literally jump in the back of my uncle's still-moving car in one of the six pickup lines. Someone also had 3 big suitcases to put in another car in the same line, which required popping the trunk and opening both back doors. They can't help it that they had so much luggage but once they got it in the car, they were ready to go.
What are some of your biggest air travel tips? Let me know in the app chat! Happy traveling in 2023!