~Flying With The Greatest of Ease~
Traveling? Airport etiquette is essential to use when you are
navigating the complex world of check-in, security and boarding your
flight. Paying attention to a few details will decrease your stress and
increase your enjoyment.
We are definitely grateful that there is security and protocol
at airports. Without them, there would be more mass chaos than there
already is. It is
essential to remember that the rules and protocol are there for a
reason and following them will make not only your life easier, but
everyone else's too.
As with most things manners, airport etiquette follows the
golden rule: treat
everyone else like you want to be treated. Now this can be
difficult with long lines, crying children, frustrated people and the
whole nine yards. A gentle smile or word can go a long way when you are
in the airport.
Airport etiquette starts
even before you arrive and ends when you have returned home.
Following a few simple details is vital when you are traveling.
Packing & Luggage
If you are like me, I begin packing, at least in my mind, about 2-3
days before I fly. This is essential for me to have everything ready to
go on time. When you begin packing determine how much luggage you will
need for the trip. The
less you can take the better.
If you are taking a carry-on it is essential that you follow the
guidelines written by TSA. You will want to read up on their site as
the security guidlines change from time to time. Keep all of your items
clear baggies. Mark everything, especially medication, so that it is
If you are checking a bag, be
sure that your name and contact information are on the bag
Nobody likes lost luggage, however if that does happen you will have
more chance to recover it.
Also, luggage can look the same. Be
sure to put something that will allow you to identify your luggage
. Put the same identifier on all pieces of your
luggage. We have huge stickers on our luggage. I have heard of people
putting colored pom-poms on their luggage. Whatever you need to help
you recognize your suitcase. This is good airport etiquette because the
quicker you get your luggage, the less of a crowd there is in the
baggage claim area.
Arrival & Checking In
Like I said previously, airport etiquette starts before you arrive.
Most airlines make the suggestion to arrive at the airport 2-3 hours
before your flight. Follow
This gives you enough time to check-in, go
through security and relax for a bit before you board the plane. It
also gives a cushion should there be a problem in any of these steps.
Fortunately for those of you who only have carry-on luggage, you can check in at the kiosks
around the ticketing counters
. This makes it simple and
helps you avoid the long lines.
If you are one of the lucky ones that needs to check bags or purchase a
ticket at the counter, you will need to show your good travel etiquette
these situations. Chances are the lines will be long and you will get
to wait. Remember to do so politely. Smile at others, offer to help if
they need a hand and be ready to listen to someone who wants to chat.
At the counter, have
everything ready to go
. This includes your ID and any
information that they need to get you going. Be polite with the
ticketing agent. They have a mighty stressful job. Using your manners
with them will get you more assistance than yelling, screaming and
stomping your feet (sounds like a 2 year old doesn't it?).
Ahhh the dreaded security check point in the airport. It can be a
simple or painful situation. You
determine which security path you get to follow
follow airport security etiquette. A few simple details will make this
time easier for you and them.
- Wear shoes that are easy to slide in and out of. You will
have to take them off, so make it easy on yourself.
- Follow directions to the T. Generally the guards are not in
a good mood because of the wonderful passengers that try to get away
- Place your bag on the belt. If you have a laptop, remove it
from the case and place them in the bins separately.
- Wear clothing that isn't offensive or that would make you
look suspicious (unless you are in the mood for a "step to the side"
moment with a guard).
- Have all required information ready to hand to the guards.
- Retrieve your items from the scanner and move to the side
to replace your shoes. This will allow the line to continue to flow.
- Be polite with the guards. It may just surprise one or two
Boarding the Plane
It is time for you to
finally get on the plane!
This is another place for you to
show good airport etiquette. So many people get so excited or impatient
to get on the plane (to wait again for takeoff) that it can cause more
Take a few moments to
review your ticket.
Know where you are seated on the plane
and follow the boarding instructions accordingly. Have the ticket ready
to hand to the boarding agent so that they can scan it or check it
quickly. Pretty simple.
If you have missed a connecting flight or have been bumped from your
flight, be sure to talk
to a ticketing agent
. Again, manners here are vital to you
getting what you need. There are usually options available for a new
flight. They are more than likely to help you if you are using your
pleases, smiles and thank yous.
Traveling is a wonderful time, especially if you are going on vacation.
Airport etiquette is a great way to lessen any stress that you feel as
you are exploring the world.