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Spaced Out

Make your next plane trip more comfortable by minding your manners.

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Entrepreneur magazine, June 1998

These days, airplanes seem to be packed tighter than ever. All that uncomfortable togetherness requires a new set of manners. Keep these tips in mind the next time you board a plane:

  • Obey rear-to-front boarding instructions, especially if you have any unwieldy carry-on bags.
  • Use the space above your seat for your carry-on bag; if that area is full, stow your bag above the rows ahead of you. This prevents you from going against traffic when retrieving your bag when the plane has landed.
  • Do your best to avoid blocking the aisle when stowing your bag in the overhead bin. If you're having a problem, let other passengers get by.
  • When stowing a large or heavy bag in the overhead bin, remove any soft items, such as coats or jackets, already placed there. Then replace them, neatly folded, on top or alongside your bag.
  • Place heavy, breakable or possibly leaky items under the seat in front of you, not in the overhead bin.
  • Help short or weak passengers stow their bags.
  • If you need assistance, politely ask the flight attendant and be patient, especially during boarding.
  • Remember, under-seat storage means under the seat in front of you--not under your own seat. Bulkhead seats (facing the wall) don't have any under-seat storage space.
  • If you've been dragging a wheeled bag over dirty or wet floors, try not to place it near pillows, blankets or oats stored in overhead bins.

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