You're on a crowded flight, and in the middle seat no less. The woman in the window seat is out cold, snoring and steadily collapsing onto your shoulder. The kid in the aisle seat is wearing big headphones and blaring music so loudly that everyone in rows eight through 15 can hear. But at least it's drowning out the squawks of the unruly toddler across the aisle. You figure you'll try to nap. You try stretch back in your seat, but you soon realize the passenger behind you is using a new gadget that prevents your seat from reclining. Now what?
Studies show that flying can actually bring out the worst in people, but if you follow these 13 steps, flying will only bring out the second worst in you.
Especially if you're traveling with two carryons, you should be mindful of how much space you're taking up in the overhead compartment. If you have two carryons, store one by your feet.
We're sure your feet are beautiful and do not smell like old popcorn. But still, keep your shoes on — no one wants to deal with bare feet in addition to that crying baby in 9C.
Really, you shouldn't be rude to anyone. But especially don't be rude to your flight attendant. If it's a long flight, becoming quick friends with your flight attendant can mean quick and special service, and possible seat changes if you're lucky.
Similar to the shoes thing, you should wear pants — ESPECIALLY if it's a budget flight that's cramped. If you have to rub knees with someone, you'll want a thin layer of fabric separating the two of you. Trust us.
Passengers are crammed together like cattle on planes. So if you want to carry on (get it?) a conversation, do so quietly so others don't have to listen to the whole thing. We're sure your recent trip to Chicago was superlatively interesting, but not everyone will be so interested.
It can be tempting to start up a lengthy conversation on your two-hour flight. But the truth is some people just want to nap, read or sit quietly in peace. Try to gauge the person next to you to see if they're interested in your conversation, or are simply being polite.
The person in the window seat gets a view and some space. The person in the aisle gets some elbow room (even if he does get hit by the beverage cart once or twice). But the person in the middle is screwed, and it's him who should get two arm rests. They justly deserve them.
We get it, sometimes keeping a kid quiet is nothing short of a miracle. But if you're traveling with children, please bring SOMETHING to keep them occupied so they have a lesser chance of yapping up a storm, or sobbing for hours. Toys, (quiet) video games and small snacks are all great ideas.
If you're going to listen to music while you fly, that's fine. Just make sure you do so at a reasonable volume so that everyone from rows F through K doesn't hear the TSS TSS TSS of the snare drum for two hours.
We know you're one of those people who showers. But still, it's considerate to remember to wear deodorant before you fly. A plane is a melting pot of strange scents — don't add your salty B.O. to the mix.
When the flight attendants begin collecting trash, try not to thrust your garbage over the neighbor next to you. He doesn't want to get his pants stained with the mustard from your sandwich — which, by the way, wasn't that great of a sandwich anyway. The Cincinnati airport deli needs to step it up.
Every passenger has the right to recline their seat and get some shuteye. But before you kick back and pass out, make sure the person behind you has enough leg room. Consider at least warning them that you're about to recline.
Treat exiting the plane like waiting in line. The first rows depart first. Don't try to cut in line, even if the person in front of you isn't moving at the speed of light. This is the fastest way for everyone to get off the plane. That said, if you want to wait for everyone to get off before you do, make it clear you're not in line by staying seated.