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What Are Some Inexcusable Behaviors You've Witnessed While Flying in Economy?

July 22, 2017
4 min read
Rude passenger on the airplane
What Are Some Inexcusable Behaviors You've Witnessed While Flying in Economy?
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Sign up for our daily newsletter is a question-and-answer site where content is written and edited by its community of users. Occasionally, we syndicate content from the site if we think it will interest TPG readers. This article originally appeared on in response to the question, What are some inexcusable behaviors while flying economy/coach?

Seat-Back Slamming

Pedro Moura Pinheiro:

One of the things that really drives me absolutely crazy is when the person in front of me just slams their seat back without even checking behind them. The proper way to do it is to look back, check if the person is using a laptop or is in a position that would be affected by the reclining seat, make eye contact if they are awake and ask if it’s okay to recline, wait for their consent and slowly recline the seat. The economy section in airplanes is one of the best places to plainly see which people weren’t properly educated by their parents to have empathy and put themselves in the position of others and which ones are not properly educating their children in being respectful human beings.

Always mind your manners, especially when traveling in such close quarters. Image courtesy of Johan Marengrd / EyeEm via Getty Images.

Uncommon Decency

Dean Robinson:

  • Failure to manage your charges. If you’re flying with children or others who need management, this is not your chance to kick back and snooze while your charges explore the new environment. I am not a babysitter or social worker. There is an expectation of behavior... adhere to it.
  • You have a responsibility to maintain a certain measure of hygiene. This means we do not remove our shoes if our feet are a bit aromatic; we do brush our teeth and use deodorant.
  • This is not a camping trip. Your carry-on material (to include wardrobe and entertainment material) should fit within the confines of your seat area (e.g. on your lap, under the seat in front of you). There should not be a relentless up-and-down to access the overhead storage for that thing you forgot or to put up that item you’ve finished with.
  • And most importantly: jot this down. "If I want a friend, I’ll buy a puppy dog." So unless I initiate conversation with you, consider me off limits for the duration of this flight, with the obvious exception of "excuse me," to get to the aisle.
Keeping an eye on your little ones while sitting in coach makes travel easier for everyone. Image courtesy of ColorBlind Images via Getty Images.

Passengers That (Literally) Talk Over You

Larry Macfarlane:

Please don't split up your group and make a stranger sit between you — usually, this involves booking the aisle and window seats in a three-seat row and then talking over the middle seat passenger. While traveling home from London to the US, I was seated in the middle seat of a five-seat middle section. On either side of me were seated members of a family of four. This was immediately apparent as they began talking to each other, leaning out to talk past me. When I realized my predicament, I politely asked if they'd mind if I moved to either end so they could all sit together and they declined. I was trapped. Somewhere above the Atlantic, they celebrated a family birthday, complete with birthday cake that they cut and served by passing it over me. They neither apologized nor offered me a piece.

We want to know: What's the worst, most inexcusable behavior you've ever witnessed while traveling in economy? Sound off, below!

Featured image by Getty Images