10 Etiquette Rules for Flying Economy Class [Infographic]

Posted on Jul 26 2016 - 10:46pm by Marilyn Vinch

10 Etiquette Rules for Flying Economy Class

They say there’s something special about flying first class, but most of us mere mortals would rather save the extra cash for our destination and put up with the struggle of economy class instead. A couple of hours of meaningless struggle are usually well compensated by the number of fancy dinners, beachside cocktails and museum entries that the difference will cover. But with planes filling up, tempers rising, and butts getting bigger (scientific fact!) the more refined 21st-century economy class traveler may be starting to feel the squeeze. The truth is, it’s a temporary community up there and if we want it to be bearable – enjoyable, even – we each have a responsibility to check our own behavior on board.

In fact, spreading good cheer among your esteemed co-passengers begins at the security gate, where there’s little that will crank up the rage of more seasoned travellers than watching you fumble with gadgets, coins and paperclips from the depths of your pockets when you should be well through the scanner. Think about how you pack so you can quickly empty your metallic objects into the tray and be on your way.

Throughout the arduous queuing process, be sure not to push, shove or rush. Folk has a funny need to beat others to each post of the boarding process, though most of the panic has little basis in reality. Stowing your hand luggage directly above your seat is really not as important as acknowledging and respecting the guy you were about to shove out of the way to do so. For extra points, place the luggage long-ways (not horizontally) in the locker to make more efficient use of the space.

Like any community, the secret to a successful plane ride is empathy. Acknowledging the needs and preferences of others, making kind gestures and addressing air stewards with gratitude are all ways to spread good will without compromising your own comfort. For further tips on how to do so, do check out this new guide to economy class etiquette – and may you, and those around you, have a good flight!



Marilyn Vinch
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Marilyn is a freelance writer and a digital nomad currently based in London, England. She enjoys reading (and writing!) about being a digital nomad, expat life, travel and work/life balance.