Flight Decorum

Who says your manners have to go up in the air, too?


Flying for business has become a necessity today, with professionals clocking up thousands of miles a month. Here are some tips to avoid unruly passenger behavior and faux pas.


It’s important that you board quickly to avoid traffic backing up; it’s equally important that you refrain from using your early entry into the plane to monopolise the overhead lockers.

Carry carry-on baggage in front of you while walking down the aisle, instead of over-the-shoulder, to prevent hurting the seated fellow passengers.

Make it easy for the cabin crew to issue take-off instructions by sitting in your assigned seat and switching seats only after take off.


Keep your chair upright, reclining it (if you must) only between meals or take off/ landing. Recline it slowly,to avoid bumping the head/ knees of the unsuspecting passenger seated behind you. When you try and make yourself comfortable, it is at someone else's expense, space being at a premium for everyone.

Keep conversation to low tones and resist the urge to hold last minute business meetings or networking in the aisles, while the flight attendants are explaining the safety rules or serving the meals.

This is not your home or your office—spreading newspapers, laptops and jackets, imprisoning fellow passenger is not acceptable.

Chatting with fellow passengers is entertaining and a great way to meet new people, pay attention to their body language to ascertain their desire to conduct conversation with you—monosyllabic answers, reading, no eye contact are nonverbal signals that show a lack of interest.

There is a space crunch for everyone. Be considerate—allow the person in the middle-seat to use both the armrests.Those at the window and aisle can use the extra space on their sides.

Be swift while using the aisle to visit the washroom or to access the overhead lockers. The lavatory is not your personal toilet—be quick and leave it in a usable condition. Wipe the rim with tissue paper before you exit.


Napkins with buttonholes prevent accidents when there is air turbulence. Use the cutlery provided and end the meal by organising the remains neatly. Ask for extra portions/ special diet in an emergency only.

In-flight attendants are trained professionals who have been entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of you, even saving your life in an emergency. Treat them with respect.

On international flights, keep the consumption of alcohol to one or two drinks only—as the saying goes “loose lips sink ships”!


Keep the cell phone turned off until the plane has come to a complete halt. Avoid making calls to your chauffeur or your office to announce your arrival, as soon as the plane has touched down.

Wait until the seat belt sign has been switched off before reaching for your luggage from the overhead bins.

After retrieving your luggage, move quickly and thank the crew on your way out.

At the baggage belt, stand away from the carousel to avoid crowding until you can spot your bag approaching. 


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