Home Paul Ebeling Some Things Not to Do on a Flight

Some Things Not to Do on a Flight


In the name of safety and an enjoyable flight, there are some basic rules airplane passengers should follow.

Many are told to you at some point during your journey. Some rules, however, are unspoken.

Here are 8 things you should never do on a flight.

Stow Luggage Anywhere

Store your belongings close by instead of rows behind you when possible for efficient boarding and deboarding. If you’re in Row 20 and can see the bin is closed above your row, start looking for a space closer to the front of the aircraft. And if your bag fits under the seat in front of you, keep it there to free up room for larger items in the overhead compartment.

Stay Glued to Your Seat

Passengers stuck in confined spaces for extended periods of time on long flights are prone to DVT (deep vein thrombosis), a condition where blood clots form in veins deep in the body, generally in the legs. DVT can potentially lead to major health issues if the blood clots break free and travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Be proactive by taking a stroll through the cabin every hour or by completing simple in-seat exercises that encourage movement in the feet and legs to promote blood circulation.

Invade Your Neighbor’s Space

Know the boundaries of your seat and refrain from spilling over them by hogging armrests and taking up leg room. Because the window seat passenger has the wall to lean on as well as an armrest, and the aisle seat passenger possesses one armrest and marginally more leg room, the remaining 2 armrests belong to the middle seat flier. Space invasion offenses also include putting your feet up by wedging them onto the armrest of the person in front of you.

Take Your Socks Off

The floor of an aircraft is a silent witness to a number of food spills. Planes do not get a deep cleaning as often as you might think, so refrain from walking around barefoot, especially to the lavatory as they are only wiped down at the end of a flight, whether it is a quick 2-hr domestic or 15-hr international journey.

Eat Off or Sleep on the Tray Table

Quick turnarounds are performed between flights on all aircraft’s throughout the day, when pillows and blankets are fluffed and folded, and seat back pockets are cleared of candy wrappers and sick bags. But quick turnarounds do not include sterilization of tray tables or seats, and though it may feel comfy to rest your head on your tray table for a nap, or pick up food that’s fallen on it, it may have been used by the passenger before you as a baby changing table or to hold dirty tissues.

Forget to Stay Hydrated

Low humidity and cabin pressure creates dry air that circulates through the aircraft. While passengers look forward to enjoying some wine with their meal or some post dinner coffee or tea, it is best to stay hydrated with bottled water or juice, as alcohol and caffeine have dehydrating effects. Consuming alcohol in the air can also have you feeling the effects harder and stronger due to low cabin pressure, and carbonated drinks will leave you bloated and cramped.

Turn Off the Air Vent


The next time you feel chilly from the blasting air vent above your seat, consider throwing on a sweater rather than turning it off. The turbulent air from the vent is designed to create a germ barrier, preventing airborne particles from landing on your body by driving them to the ground instead. By keeping your vent on a low or medium setting, you minimize the risk of breathing in airborne germs for both yourself and passengers in your ventilation section.

Rush to Deplane

Passengers often jump up from their seats and rush into the aisles to retrieve their luggage as soon as the seat-belt sign is switched off. But proper plane etiquette dictates that passengers deplane from the front to the back of the aircraft, row by row. If you have a tight connection to catch, kindly inform a flight attendant prior to landing so the cabin crew can facilitate a speedy deboarding process. Otherwise, wait your turn to deplane. Take the time to gather your belongings from underneath the seat in front of you and be ready to move into the aisles to retrieve your bag from the overhead compartment when given the opportunity.

Enjoy your travels

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Economist at Knightsbridge holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Crypto, Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.