1. Choose how you sleep
Sleeping on a plane is pretty uncomfortable, to say the least, but considering most flights to New Zealand are pretty darn long you’re still going to end up catching some Zs. To avoid sleeping on your neighbour’s shoulder, we recommend getting yourself a neck pillow which makes sleeping upright at least doable. Additionally, try not to sleep on your tray table, especially if you are in an aisle seat. You’ll be woken up by your neighbours wanting to get by you.
Check out our neck pillow recommendations here.
2. Don’t be smelly
Erm, what?! Ok, hear us out. Odours are particularly pungent on planes and get increasingly worse over time, so don’t apply cologne or perfume before a flight. Also, think about what meals you have before a flight. You don’t want something that’s going to give you bad gas or a stinky scent.
3. The middle seat gets the armrests
One of the etiquettes of flying is that generally, the person in the middle seat gets the armrests in the middle. They have less room than the passengers in a window or aisle seat so it’s the least you could do!
4. Respect the toilets
A whole lot of people have to use those toilets during your flight so don’t make a mess and don’t take forever. For your own health, don’t even be tempted to join the Mile High Club! It’s unsanitary.
5. Keep children in check
Although flying with children can be exhausting, they are still your responsibility to keep quiet and respectful of other passengers. On the other end of things, if you have a problem with a child’s behaviour on your flight, be sure to talk to the parents rather than scolding the kids. The parents are more likely to be able to control their behaviour.
6. Reclining etiquette
During meals, make sure your seat is upright so that the person behind you has space to eat. Before reclining, politely warn the person behind you that you are about to do so, so they can move their drink or adjust their laptop, for example.
7. Don’t get hammered
Not only can it get annoying to other passengers if you need to go to the toilet several times bumping into people along the way, but drinking tons of booze is a good way to increase the jet lag. The increased altitude and pressure will leave you waking up groggier than you would usually after having a few drinks.
For more tip to avoid jet lag, see How to Beat Jet Lag in Just Three Days.
8. Don’t be a d*ck to the flight attendants
Don’t be that guy. Flight attendants don’t make up the rules about wearing seatbelts, stowing tray tables, etc. for takeoff. Refusing or giving the flight attendants a hard time delays them from doing their job and may delay takeoff.
9. Don’t take all the room in the overhead compartment
Minimise the space you take in the overhead compartment as much as possible, as there is usually very limited room for everyone to store their carry-on bags. Store your largest bag vertically instead of horizontally. If you have two bags, store the smallest one under your seat.
10. Get up at convenient times
Even going to the toilet involves some strategy on the flight. Avoid getting up when the flight attendants are pushing the trolleys down the aisle. Additionally, getting up before the food has been cleared from everyone’s tray tables is taboo.