Airplane Etiquette

Photo of an airplane cabin, taken from the perspective of a passenger in coach. A steward is assisting a nearby passenger.

You could call it personal space, paid for by you. 

The seat space on an airliner is often cramped and angst inducing.  That includes the battle for the arm rest and the space underneath the seat in front of you.  We’ve all experienced encroaching elbows and backpacks below.

Then there’s the question of cost.  If the price is right, I’ll pay a few extra dollars for economy plus, comfort plus, or whatever it’s called these days.  I like the extra leg room, storage space and ability to get up to use the lavatory a bit more easy.

Now, according to the aviation website, The Points Guy, Delta will start restricting the recline on some aircraft so people can work on laptops using their tray tables without feeling like they’re trapped.  The airline also tells The Points Guy they won’t be using this as a means to add extra seats.  That will stay the same.

The move makes sense.  If you really want to sit back or even sleep, you’ll pay for one of those fancy pods where your seat turns into a bed.

One thing that’s often overlooked in this seat space debate is personal responsibility. 

All this week, I’ve seen images on Twitter of passengers taking off their shoes and their socks on a flight.  And let’s put it this way, their feet are visible for all to see.  Come on, what about common courtesy.   It’s just not cool.

The airplane cabin is not a place to dismiss common sense. 

While I understand the need to switch seats, I do have a problem with giving up a spot when it’s a seat you’ve paid extra in order to secure more legroom – in exchange for a regular economy seat.  Of course, that does not preclude doing the right thing, such as a child being forced to sit alone.

We should all be respectful of personal space – whether it be an armrest on a jet or an armrest in the movie theater.