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10 Flying Etiquette Rules That Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable

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Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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Know Your Flying Etiquette

Flights put us, humans, in a pretty weird situation. Being cooped up in a small space with a bunch of strangers (unless you are lucky enough to be flying first class) for a few hours, quickly gets uncomfortable. For that reason, you’ll find that frequent fliers follow certain flying etiquette rules that make the flight more comfortable for the passengers around them and themselves. So, now that you’ve got your cheap flight to New Zealand, we have those rules for you right here in this list of flying etiquette rules that will make your next flight more comfortable!

For more on how to have a comfortable flying experience, see our How to Prepare for a Long Haul Flight. Plus, boss your time in the airport with these 16 Airport Hacks That Will Change The Way You Travel Forever,

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. Refusing or giving the flight attendants a hard time delays them from doing their job and may delay takeoff.

© Austrian Airlines on Flickr

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.

See here for tips on what to pack in your carry-on for New Zealand.

© Austrian Airlines on Wikipedia

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.

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The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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