Travel etiquette: are you doing it right?

Travelling can be enjoyable, but it also has its fair share of stresses. Who, for example, gets the armrest when you’re flying? Should you talk to your fellow travellers?

The following do’s and don’ts, recently released by Skyscanner, can help takes some of the confusion out of travelling. Are you obeying these rules? Or have you found yourself accidentally crossing the line on others?

Number 1 is to board when called forward. If your seat hasn’t been called, sit back and relax. There’s a reason airlines call you by seat and it’s to do with making boarding as smooth as possible. Don’t fight it.

Number 2 is to be prepared. If  you know you are going to have to produce your boarding pass and passport have it handy. Don’t wait until you are at the checkpoint to fumble in your handbag.

Number 3, is to have patience. Some people are just slow doing things but huffing and puffing and trying to push past won’t solve the problem.

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Number 4 is the old chestnut about who gets the armrests on the plane. Skyscanner says there is no debate on this one, the middle seat gets the armrests because the poor person in the middle seat misses out on the sky view from the window seat and the convenience of the aisle seat.

Number 5 is talk to your neighbours. Especially if you will be seated next to them for a few hours, exchanging a few pleasantries breaks the ice and makes things a little more relaxed. If you don’t want to chat further, just pop your earphones on because these are a social “quiet time” signal.

Number 6 is ask before you recline, or at least ask your immediate neighbour. Your seat should also never be reclined during a food or drinks service either. When you do put your seat back, do it gently so the person behind doesn’t get a sudden shock.

Number 7 is to respect personal space. Stay within the boundaries of your own seat area and leave your personal hygiene routine to the bathroom.

Number 8 is walk in the ‘fast’ lane. This applies to all public transport, but also on airport escalaators and walkways.

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Number 9 is tip according to the country you are in. This is one of the areas Australians fall down the most in because tipping is not commonplace here. However, in many other countries it is, and workers rely on it for a sizeable part of their income.

Number 10 is get things wrong. If you stuff up, apologise. A polite smile and wave of “sorry” can go a long way.

What do you think? Do you agree with everything on the list, or is there anything you would add?