Who gets the airplane armrests? How to fly friendly

Here are some unspoken rules of airplane etiquette

Flying the friendly skies can try your patience, especially when your fellow passengers invade your space and make themselves a little too comfortable..

“I hate it when people don’t wear earphones or talk too loud,” said one frequent flyer.

“One time, I did see someone giving themselves a manicure, and that was a little too far for me,” said another.

Some behaviors do go too far. Clipping nails, shaving, even brushing teeth on the plane- definitely not cool, according to flight attendants and etiquette experts who weighed in on some unspoken rules.

As for those armrests, the person in the middle seat should have access to both, they say. Consider it a consolation prize.

Should you recline your seat? After all, the button is there for a reason. The experts say, you do have a right to recline, but before you do, be considerate.

“Make sure you’re not inconveniencing the person behind you who may be tall,” said Consumer Reports’ Margot Gilman. “You can also ask politely if they mind if you recline.”

Remember you’re sharing a tight space with a lot of other people, so don’t hog the overhead bins, do use earbuds or headphones, avoid opening smelly, pungent food and think twice about kicking off your shoes. And, definitely don’t remove your socks.

If somebody is kicking the back or your seat, they say it’s okay to politely ask them to stop.

And, if someone wants to switch seats?

“It’s okay to say ‘no’ to switching seats if there is a reason you chose that seat, like a window, so you can sleep,” Gilman said. “But, be flexible if it’s an equal trade.”

Bottom line, be nice and be patient.

The more relaxed you are, the better your flight is going to be. And, if there is a problem, let the airline attendants handle it.


Find more Consumer Reports stories on KSAT.com here


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