I’m going to try not to sound over the top with this, so forgive me if I do.  I’m really interested in the opinions of others and hope to get some comments going.  I recently traveled on a United 757 transcon in First Class.  It’s always better being in First than Coach, but the pitch on those 757’s isn’t exactly excessive, especially if the person in front of you reclines all the way.  I know it isn’t my fellow passengers’ fault that the seats are tight, but is it really necessary to lie down in the lap of the person behind you?  Does reclining make you that much more comfortable in a standard domestic First Class seat?

I’m very fortunate that I did not have my laptop open when the gentleman on my recent flight decided it was nappy time.  I really didn’t know a seat would recline that fast.  If my laptop had been open, there is a definite risk that I would be looking at a broken screen right now.  Not cool.  Of course, my friend in 1C remained fully reclined throughout the flight.  The person next to me and I glanced at each other a couple of times as the gentleman’s moving around in his seat seemed to force the seat back even further.  Extricating yourself from our row required acrobatic maneuvering and trading off on holding each other’s drinks while the other seated themselves.  Honestly, it was one of the more annoying and uncomfortable flights I’ve taken in a while.  Not so much for the gentleman in front of me, I guess.

So here are some of my personal airplane etiquette rules.  Agree?  Disagree?  Have some to add?

  1. If you must recline, do so carefully.  We are all in this together, and some of us prefer to use our flight time to work.  Remember, you are reclining into someone else’s space.  Would half a recline work just as well?  Try it and see.  And remember, unless you are in the last row, there’s someone behind you.
  2. When seated in coach, your seat is your seat, and mine is mine.  Armrests are first come first serve, but don’t lean on me!
  3. Seriously, it’s one carry on, and one personal item.  Put the small one underneath the seat, and the big one over your head, wheels first (sometimes handles first works better).
  4. Be nice, but no need to be chatty.  Of course, if you are chatty and happen to be seated beside another chatter, you have my permission to blab away.  Just keep your volume in check.

OK, those are my 4 pretty simple airplane etiquette rules.  Do you have any that you wish others would practice?