A huge part of travelling and backpacking involves a plane and more often than not for backpackers these journey's can be pretty long haul flights. However regardless of whether your flight is an hour long or a 24 hour flight there are still some certain no-no's that you really should avoid doing. Remember that a plane is already restricted in that it is a bacteria breeding ground and for profit reasons everyone needs to sit very close together.
Due to the recession most planes are now always full when they fly so be considerate to your fellow flyers. I really do not understand how, after years of flying, people are not able to comply with some very simple rules in order for all passengers to enjoy a very pleasant flight. So here are my Top Ten Tips for Plane Etiquette which all plane passengers should read, so you, and they, know how to behave on a plane, so you don't annoy the other passengers on the flight.
1. Open any milk or yoghurt pots away from the passenger next to you. If and when you do spray someone with milk or yoghurt, allow them to wipe contents from their face and chest. Do not automatically assume that they will want you to touch their face and chest.
2. Know your own body. If you are prone to sweating then re-apply deodorant. If you have been backpacking for a year and have worn your shoes every day for the best part of the year, wash them before you get on your flight or do not take them off!
3. Buy a neck pillow. This will save you the ultimate embarrassment of falling asleep on someone else's shoulder. Why is it though that when somebody tells the story of falling asleep on someone's shoulder does shoulder-person never say "please get off my shoulder?". We must be a world of understanding plane passengers.
4. Choose a film to watch that will not severely effect you emotionally. The person next to you does not want to suffer the discomfort of sitting next to someone sobbing loudly and crying uncontrollably (Guilty as charged on that one - it was 'My Sister's Keeper').
5. At no point mention guns, bombs or sharp objects in your luggage. This is firstly not funny and secondly, really old. What is the point?
6. Accept defeat if you are being deported. If authorities have managed to get you on the plane then stop yelling and admit defeat. It makes other passengers feel very uncomfortable and authorities will simply sedate you and you will no longer be free to enjoy the in-flight entertainment.
7. Get up from your seat properly. There is no need to hold down on the seat in front of you in order to get up from your seat. This will only aggravate your fellow passenger.
8. Control any children you have on board the aircraft. It is not cute or funny when a child constantly kicks the back of a seat or hits the top of the head of the person in front. It's rude and unpleasant so stop ignoring your child and pay it some attention. It's your child and do you really want people to think your child is a nasty brat?
9. Gas Control. If you are suffering from seriously bad gas then do not turn in your seat so that the gas is heading towards someone else. The gas is your problem, you put up with it.
10. Mile High Club. Is it really necessary? The bathrooms are tiny and a lot of other people need to use them. Also, the blankets provided are for sleeping and comfort purposes. They are not a cover up for pleasing yourself or your partner. They are collected by staff at the end of the flight and they don't need to be dealing with unknown liquids found on them.
I will never tire of the endless unbelievable things people will do whilst in the air but at least if we all adhere to these rules then we might get a little closer to flying together harmoniously. However, if you have any stories about mortifying in-flight etiquette fails be sure to let us know, there is nothing I like more than stories of poor airplane etiquette from passengers.