Who gets the armrest? Should you recline your seat? How much to tip? All travelers know what it’s like to experience the scrum once your gate has opened, or what it’s like to board a plane – only to realize you’re seated next to a dreaded armrest hog.
Here's a few travel guide to handling those less-than-desirable travel dilemmas!
They call forward seats in groups first for a reason – it avoids a scramble to get through the gate.
If your seat hasn’t been called, sit back, relax and dip back into your book.
You know it’ll take a minimum of 15 minutes to board the families with children first anyway...
Or are you the one travelling with the kids?
Everyone boarding the flight knows that they will need to show their passport and boarding pass at some point during the boarding process, whether it’s at check-in or at the gate.
So be prepared and have them ready before boarding.
There’s no excuse for fumbling around and wasting others' time, especially when you’re at the front of the queue.
Pro tip: keep your travel documents organized and in easy reach with a travel wallet!
Some travelers will always take a bag that doesn’t quite fit into the overhead compartment.
There’s no getting around this: smile politely, and offer to help if they’re struggling.
If you’re the person that takes that oversized bag, consider buying a new one, or use the space under the seat in front of you.
Who gets to use the armrest on a flight is a common quandary.
There’s no advantage to having the middle seat you don’t get the sky views of the window seat, and you don’t get the easy access of the aisle seat either.
So let these unlucky folks in the middle have the armrests.
You will be seated next to these people for at least a few hours, and a little interaction makes the journey much more pleasant.
On that note, if you’re not in the mood for talking, pop on your earphones (you don’t have to listen to anything, but these act as a social ‘quiet time’ signal).
Whether you should recline your seat frequents many travel etiquette debates.
No one enjoys being stuck in a confined space for any amount of time, and it becomes much more unpleasant when you take away even more of their seat space.
Your seat should never be reclined during food or drinks service either.
If you do fancy napping, ask your neighbor if they would mind first – they will be much more likely to say yes, especially if you've followed our tip #5 too.
This is a public space, albeit a small one. If you’d like to stretch, don’t invade on a fellow passenger's space head to the front of the aircraft and walk it out.
Leave personal hygiene regimes in the bathroom, and if you do like listening to music make sure you’re the only one that can hear it.
Everyone has their own way of relaxing during travel time: just don’t let your way affect someone else’s.
This is the unspoken rule of public transport, but it also applies on airport escalators and walkways.
Observe the signs in the airport and see whether you're in the right 'lane' or not.
Likewise, your suitcase can’t walk; so make sure that’s on the same side as you.
Tipping etiquette varies across the world and this is where things can get muddled, as some cultures do not expect you to tip at all.
In Asian countries, check your restaurant bill as sometimes 10% service charge has already been included.
As always, when someone has gone above and beyond, it’s worth recognizing with an extra tip!
It’s natural to get things wrong when you’re travelling especially when travelling internationally and experiencing new cultures and travel expectations, but what matters is how you handle it.
Apologize, and try to reconcile the situation, whether there’s a language barrier or not.
You can avoid some situations with research, but for the rest – let it go. Even the well-travelled globetrotters get it wrong sometimes and the best know how to handle it.