Whether you’re an avid traveler or this is your first time holding on for dear life as the plane taxis down the runway, there are a few common mistakes that many passengers make. Some of these seem as though they should be obvious no-nos, while others, even the most experienced travelers are guilty of.
Destinationtips lists common mistakes passengers should avoid.
1. Sleeping During Takeoff or Landing
You know how air pressure can cause that super uncomfortable feeling in your ears during take-off or landing? This is because the air pressure around you changes faster than the air inside your ears. Usually this is easily fixed with a yawn, sucking on candy, or chewing gum. However, if you sleep through the air pressure changes you’re not able to equalize the pressure in your ears, which can result in an ear infection, eardrum damage, dizziness, nosebleeds, and as a worse case scenario, severe hearing loss. Solution: Absolutely no snoozing during take-off and landing.
2. Using the Overhead Compartments as Closet Space
There’s no need to stuff jackets, shoes, blankets, every piece of carry-on luggage, and everything else but the kitchen sink in the overhead compartments. Most airlines allow two carry-on items, which means that you can have a smaller personal item one under the seat in front of you as long as it doesn’t block the path to the aisle, and the bigger piece can go overhead. More and more passengers are trying to avoid baggage fees, so competition for carry-on space is getting fierce. Solution: Don’t push your carry-on allotment to the max and leave the overhead compartment as minimalist as possible.
3. Treating The Tray Table as a Baby Changing Station
Just don’t. This is unsanitary as tray tables are not cleaned between flights and in a few hours someone will be using that same table to have their lunch, or even just rest their hands or items on. It’s also inconsiderate to your seat-mate, especially if the diaper is particularly smelly. Solution: Most airplane bathrooms have a changing table. If not, you can use the closed toilet seat as a makeshift table. Put down a cloth or blanket for sanitary reasons and dispose of the used diaper appropriately (ie: not in your seat-back pocket!).
4. Barefoot or Sock Only Trips to the Bathrooms
See that puddle you’re standing in? It’s quite possibly urine. Imagine if you’re barefoot or in just socks while standing in someone else’s urine. Let that sink in for a moment. As flight attendants don’t clean bathrooms during the flight, whatever mess—no matter how innocent it may appear—you encounter, could very well be a health hazard. Solution: Keep your shoes on. If you want to air out your toes, throw on slippers during the flight. Nobody wants to see or smell your feet inflight.
5. Flight Attendants are Working; You’re Standing in the Galley
When you make the galley your chill-space, you are effectively slowing down flight attendants and their process of serving or attending to other passengers. When the front galley is blocked off it’s even more serious, as this means the pilots are on deck. Think of the galley as their cubicle in a busy office, and imagine what it’d be like if people continuously parked themselves there for no other reason than to spark conversation or doddle around. Solution: If it’s urgent, by all means interrupt as you must, otherwise, give the busy attendants their privacy and space.
6. When the Bathroom’s Your First Stop
The seatbelt sign is lit during taxi and after take-off and passengers are supposed to stay in their seats with their seatbelts fastened for safety purposes. If you’re busy headed to the bathroom during this time you could delay take-off, as you’re not in your seat. Solution: Have a little foresight and use the bathroom before boarding. There will be a period of time—during taxi and after take-off—when the seatbelt sign is lit and passengers must stay put.
7. Impatience After Landing
The more people rush, the slower things go. Before you’re even out of your seat, you should make sure that the plane has landed safely and is in its parking position. During this time the doors won’t be open either way, so waiting is necessary. Remember, everyone is going to get off the plane and rushing to do so first could end up harming another passenger or cabin crew member, or yourself. Solution: Take a moment, breathe, and be thankful that you’ve made it to your destination safely.