Thursday 18 July 2019

Airplane Etiquette: The 10 most annoying things you can do on a flight

Seriously. Don't do this stuff.

Oh, just some feet under my chair. Photo: Passenger Shaming.
Oh, just some feet under my chair. Photo: Passenger Shaming.
Dear God, no! Source:
Seriously? Source:
So this happened. Photo:
Awful. Or awesome? Photo: Passenger Shaming
Please stop doing this. Photo:
Knee defender
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Let’s face it, a cramped cabin at 35,000 feet is nobody’s favourite place. But we can still keep it civilised. Erm, can't we?

1. Take your shirt off

Dear God, no! Source:


You wouldn't do it in a McDonald's (right? RIGHT?). So why would you do it on an airplane? Passenger Shaming, the Facebook and Instagram site, was started by former flight attendant Shawn Kathleen to shame gentlemen like this.

Keep your tops on, or prepare to be shamed.

2. Suddenly recline your seat


Knee defender


The hot coffee. The crushed laptop. The unsuspecting child. Why would you do this?

Then there's the space issue. 2014 saw several in-flight fights spurred by legroom wars, including one involving the 'Knee Defender' (pictured), a mail-order device that attaches to the tray table in front, stopping the seat from reclining.

In a recent Expedia survey of airline etiquette, however, 10pc of respondents reported that they would recline their seat even if the passenger behind them was noticeably pregnant. No, seriously.

Read more: €16 gadget sparks 'right to recline' row among airline passengers

3) This.

Source: Vine/RodrigoFabregas

4. Kick seats

passenger shaming 7.png
Seriously? Source:


A recent Expedia study of airline etiquette found "Rear Seat Kickers" to have surpassed "Inattentive Parents" as America's least-favourite airplane passenger.

Fully 67pc of respondents cited these dastardly travellers.

5. Make a 'joke' about Ebola

There may be a time and place for Ebola jokes, but it is not an airplane cabin.

A full-scale alert was sparked in 2015 when a man on a flight from the US to the Dominican Republic joked, “I have Ebola! You are all screwed.” Watch and learn.

6. And while we're at it...

passenger shaming 3.png
So this happened. Photo:


As one poster replied, 'I can't unsee that'.

7. Be like Nadia

Ryan Case, a director and editor on the popular sitcom Modern Family, was stuck behind a woman she called "the worst person in the world" on a flight in 2015.

Did she suffer in silence? She did not.

Instead, Case live-tweeted her ordeal (above), allowing her 15k+ followers to join in the condemnation of "Nadia", a woman she claimed behaved so poorly that police were called.

8) Let your kids run wild

passenger shaming 6.jpg
Yes, that is a baby in the aisle. Photo: Passenger Shaming.


'Inattentive Parents' ranked just behind 'Seat-kickers' on's survey of the worst etiquette violators in air travel... just above 'The Aromatic Guy' and 'Chatty Cathy'.         

The key word here is 'inattentive'. Most people understand that tin tubes are not natural habitats for children; that toddlers scream and babies cry. That's natural.

What's not natural, however, is parents ignoring the above, turning a blind eye, or raising their eyes to heaven as if to suggest they have no control over the situation. You absolutely do have control over the situation. That's why they call you 'Mum' or 'Dad'.

And no, it's not ok to leave 'em in the aisle either.

Read more: 'Shut the baby up' - Fight breaks out on flight over crying baby

9. Remove your socks

passenger shaming 8.jpg
Please stop doing this. Photo:


Scientists have shown there is a basic line of decency that separates humans from animals, and that line is taking your socks off on an airplane.

Seriously, though. Taking your shoes off is fine – but not the socks.

10. Hog the armrests. Or overhead bins.

After making an effort to cram your belongings into a 10kg bag, the least you might hope for is space to stow it on the plane. Then along comes an oaf who takes up half the bin with an over-sized bag or extra shopping, and yours ends up being stowed below deck. FAIL!

NB: Passenger Shaming has been there, done that, and is now offering the t-shirts... and luggage tags. You can browse and buy the goodies here.

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