To say flying has become a little less glamourous in the 21st century than it was in the “Golden Days” of flying in the 1950s and 1960s, would be an understatement.
Not only are airlines cutting back on basic inclusions such as amenity kits, if you’re flying economy, you may find the width of your seat, and the space between you and the seat in front of you, has become progressively smaller. You can always head to the newly installed premium economy, but you’ll have to fork out some additional cash.
It’s unlikely we’ll ever go back to the ‘good old days’, but there are some ways that flying can become a more pleasant experience.
We just all need to cooperate and respect each-others’ space a little more. So yes, that means no more clapping when a plane lands, keeping your shoes on and keeping your personal grooming to the bathroom.
Inside Travel looks at some basic etiquette rules to follow:
While this rule isn’t set in stone – please don’t clap onboard a plane.
Whether you are flying on a new route for the first time, it your birthday or you had a bit of a bumpy landing, clapping is a no-no.
In a Quora thread posted in 2017, someone asked the question: “What do airline pilots think of passengers who applaud after a landing?”
While multiple pilots stepped up to answer the question, the answer was unanimous – just don’t do it.
Scott Kinder, a 737 Captain at a Major US Airline said: “Don’t even think about it.”
“Passengers really have no idea what’s going on up front with the landing, so how do they know what to clap for and what not to clap for?”
“If a pilot floats a landing and lands half way down the runway, that’s horrible and dangerous. But if it’s smooth, he still gets claps from the back?”
Not wearing shoes to the bathroom
This should be common sense, but some people still do it.
An article published by the Huffington Post says it best: “That’s not water your standing in”. Besides that, if you think about the amount of traffic one airplane bathroom accommodates on a single flight, it is safe to say it is not the most hygienic place to even consider walking barefoot or even just with your socks on.
The ‘gross’ factor aside, flight attendants warn that it is actually really dangerous.
Flight attendants in a separate Quora thread explain that footwear is essential during an aeroplane emergency, even though it is not part of the flight safety information.
One flight attendant said: “During an emergency, all sorts of debris and unpleasant ground surfaces will block your way towards the exit, as well as outside the aircraft.”
“If your feet are not properly covered, you’ll have a hard time making your way to safety. Imagine destroying your bare feet as your run down the aisle covered with broken glass, fires and metal shards.”
Watch what you eat
It is only on rare occasions that you will hear people say they actually enjoyed their airplane meal. We understand that for many, it is tempting to stock up on treats to enjoy on your journey.
But take note – not all foods are fair game for the open skies.
A survey conducted by Chicago-based airport shuttle service, GO Airport Express, revealed that 48% of airplane passengers said they considered it rude to bring food with strong odours onto planes. Interestingly, more women (52%) than men (43%) disapproved of the behaviour. Meanwhile, 12% of those surveyed thought the practice should be banned by airlines altogether.
Some of those surveyed said passengers seated near someone enjoying stinky food should be given the option to switch seats, but that might not be a terribly workable solution on a full flight.
A scant 9% of those surveyed said they believed people should be able to bring any food they wanted — smelly or not — onto a plane.
So, keeping everyone’s noses in check, these are some of the foods you should avoid brining on to an airplane for the greater good of mankind: Fish or seafood (including tuna salad), bananas, spicy foods, egg salad and onion rings. Also, while a packet of chips is generally OK, be careful not crunch away for most of the flight. It is much the same as watching a movie at the cinema and not being able to hear a word because your neighbour is audibly enjoying their in-flight snack.
Grooming, nail polish and nail polish remover
It may also not be the best idea to work on your refreshed holiday look while you’re seated on an airplane.
Ensure you’ve had your mani-pedi done before you boarded the plane. Not only is the smell of both nail polish and nail polish remover almost unbearable in a confined space, if you are flying to or from the US, it is actually forbidden by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The reason? The fumes are toxic, and with a recycled air system in place onboard the aircraft, the system cannot filter the toxins from the recycled air. Thus, not only will you be doing your fellow air passengers, and the cabin crew a favour, it will be for your own wellbeing as well.
Whoever thought it a good idea to clip finger and toenails onboard a flight or to pull out an electric razor to trim the overnight plane stubble, you won’t be breaking any laws, but eeeuuuww gross!