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5 things you shouldn't do on an aircraft... from a flight attendant!

Monday, September 12, 2022

Whether you enjoy or you despise travelling, it's a good idea to adhere to certain fundamental rules of air travel etiquette. There are many dos and don'ts when it comes to flying, and today we're going to list the top five things that you should never do while flying — all based on the expert advice of a flight attendant!

1. Do not go barefoot

  • Since you are oblivious to how dirty the floors are, keep your shoes on while flying.

  • Bare feet are also a hazard during an emergency for a couple reasons:

    • During the rare case where you would have to escape the aircraft, the floor could be very hot or very cold, which puts you at a big risk of hurting yourself.

    • If you are in an aisle seat and your foot is hanging off the side, you might not be aware of the beverage cart coming down the aisle ready to roll right over your bare toes... Ouch! It’s even possible that anyone walking down the aisle could accidentally step on your feet or something could be dropped on you too.

  • We can’t really smell our own body odour, so you might not be aware of how uncomfortable you might be making your seat neighbour.

If you're going on a long-distance, overnight flight and want to maximize your comfort by taking off your shoes, at least keep your socks on! Perhaps the best course of action in this situation would be to include a small pair of slippers in your carry-on luggage. 

2. Don’t get up during turbulence

  • The cabin crew and pilot do their best to inform their passengers each time that there might be turbulence.

  • Turbulence can be seen as a simple readjustment and levelling off a pre-set route – you can compare it to the plane riding the “waves” similar to a boat on a choppy lake.

  • Turbulence occurs when there is a sudden change in airflow. This could be caused by wind change, flying near storms, or jet streams.

  • While turbulence can be uncomfortable to sit through, it is not dangerous because if it was so unsafe then we would hear about accidents on the news every day.

  • If you need to get something from the overhead luggage, wait until it is safe to do so because you do not want to put other passengers at risk if an item falls out accidentally.

  • The best thing to do is put your seatbelt on when the sign is activated and try to relax because the whole thing will be over sooner than you realize!

3. Don’t ignore safety procedure demonstrations or videos.

  • In the unlikely event that there is an emergency during your flight, it is crucial that you know and understand the ways to protect yourself.

  • While the cabin crew is highly trained to react and direct such situations, it helps them out if you know that the situation is likely not dire and simply requires some readjustments like putting on your seatbelt or an oxygen mask.

  • Panicking won’t help you or your neighbours and if you are able to stay calm, it will lessen the stress of the overall situation.

4. Don’t snap at flight attendants for their attention

  • A simple “excuse me” is enough to grab someone’s attention in a totally acceptable way. Flight attendants are responsible for many passengers as well as themselves.

  • At times, they might have some important tasks to tend to or might be busy helping other customers.

  • In this scenario, be kind as we are all human beings and appreciate basic respect.

  • Snapping at a flight attendant comes off as entitled and rude even if you mean it in a friendly way – it's perceived as the former and it might make the flight attendant and even other passengers mad at you.

  • In another way of interpretation, snapping your fingers to get attention is commonly associated with what you do with your pets – sure, this works for dogs and even cats, but not so much for human beings.

  • Sometimes on flights, there is a button that allows you to call a flight attendant to your seat – all you have to do is sit pretty and patiently wait for someone to come over and help you out.

5. Don’t stand up immediately when the plane lands

  • Don’t immediately stand up when the plane lands because it goes against the safety regulations of the plane.

  • Although it may seem that the plane is going very slow when it’s landed and en route to its designated parking spot, it could be going up to 60 km/hr on a fast taxiway.

  • This means that individuals standing up when they shouldn't might go flying in the event that a pilot has to make a very abrupt stop and slam on the brakes.

  • Standing up immediately will not help you to get off the plane faster than everyone else, especially when you aren’t seated near an exit.

  • If you want to simply stand up so you can stretch your legs, wait until the seatbelt sign is turned off