TPG Reader Summary: What’s Appropriate Deplaning Etiquette?
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2017 was a banner year for tension in airline-passenger relationships. But opportunities for conflict can run high among passengers themselves, whether from people who attempt to self-upgrade, vomit attacks, or stricter and stricter guidelines.
In a social environment that’s become increasingly difficult to navigate, TPG Lounge member Russell S asked:
It never hurts to exhibit basic courtesy, no matter where you are in the world. That being said, certain regions of the world may hold different cultural norms, and our readers offered some tips for surviving the mayhem that often surrounds the deplaning process:
Adrian L. I would say that the most commonly recognized and unspoken form of deplaning etiquette entails going from front to back, row by row. Any passengers with a tight connection should inform the cabin crew of their itineraries as they board in efforts to accommodate speedy exits for them upon arrival.
Tracie F. I wait til there’s a gap in people leaving so I don’t slow down the flow.
Michael K. Going slower to punish someone for asking to get off because of a tight connection is the kind of passive-aggressive nonsense that makes flying unpleasant. You don’t need to accommodate them, but what you have described is obnoxious (even if they’re wrong).
Andrea N. The first time I experienced a bunch of people from the back of the plane jump and run up into the aisles I was annoyed. Then I thought, why? Why am I annoyed at this? Who cares? So I get off the plane a minute and a half after I thought I would. It’s not worth brain space to care about. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Zac C. It’s beyond annoying, but then again, what to do. Let the non-mannered people just be that. I’m tall and big enough when I get out to the aisle, I usually stand and let everyone on either side go if they haven’t been able to… In Asia, they all jump and run, they aren’t being rude, it’s just culture characteristics.
Cal N. I have no problem waiting another couple of minutes while those with tight connections deplane first. Doesn’t hurt to show a bit of kindness, no need to be “me me me I need to deplane first” unless there really is a very good reason! Slow down a little, you’ll still get where you are going, just three or four minutes later?
For short connections, the overall consensus is that communication and patience is key. If your arriving flight has experienced a delay, a number of readers suggested letting the flight attendants know. But when the crew can’t help, a courteous appeal goes a long way. (And if all else fails, and the delay is bad enough, check to see if your credit card offers trip delay protection.)
Matthew S. The correct etiquette is to tell the flight crew and fellow passengers you have a tight connection due to the delay and would like to try to get off quickly to make the connection. Of course, if you have 45 minutes to connect, then that is not “tight.”
Dawn B. It should be standard procedure to notify a FA [flight attendant] of a possible tight connection upon boarding and those people should be able to deplane first. Just announcing I have a connection doesn’t work for me. We could all just say that. And sadly, as part of procedure, deplaning instructions should be given just the same way boarding instructions are given. Problem solved.
April S. On very rare occasion, I’ve seen the FA announce that some people have very tight connections, and asked people to stay seated to let them go first. People did cooperate, however there were a lot of people going first that didn’t need to. Some people just gotta be jerks.
David H. I did just this a couple hours ago…had under 30 mins to make a connection in Las Vegas, I let a flight attendant know, and they made an announcement for myself and two others that were trying to make the same flight…most people were understanding, but a couple people were clueless as usual.
Leo C. If you have a really tight connection, I think it is OK to ASK to squeeze by. It is not OK to tackle people as you force your way up the aisle. S—t happens. Sometimes we miss connections. You have every right to ask people to help you out (I would want them to do the same for me). But a tight connection doesn’t give you a license to stampede.
Alistair T. Wait your turn. I guarantee if you have a tight connection, there are others in front of you who also have tight connections. If everyone with tight connections tried to rush up front it would be chaos. However, I have heard flight attendants announcing to stay seated if you don’t have a tight connection, which is a nice thing to do, but doesn’t seem to help much in delayed situations.
James C. If someone has a super-tight connection because the plane arrives late, I have no problem with them saying “Excuse me, I have a super tight connection, I’ve got to run.” and passing right on by. People should let them by and no one should have an issue with that. If the plane arrives on time, they may not get as much sympathy, but still I think It’s generally ok.
And how do TPG readers handle other rude passengers? For the most part, our travelers seem to adopt a “live and let live” mentality:
Sean Dev A lot of ppl are playing on their phones, blah blah blah, dilly-dallying. If that’s you… you can bet I’m going to pass you up the 1st chance I get… sorry, not sorry!
Harris S. One of the perks of having status and getting to select those seats up front (or if you pay for them) is that you get to get off the plane more quickly.
Dawn B. WAIT YOUR TURN! I had a guy shoving forward and I asked him if he had a connection. He said no so I shamed him. Others then spoke up and he backed off. There were seniors in front of us struggling to get their luggage so instead of offering to help he just tried to push through. It is this type of behavior that make flying such a miserable experience.
Cheryl D. I’ve been on numerous flights where an announcement’s been made to please stay seated and let a number of people with tight connections get through (more typical if the flight I’m sitting on itself has been slightly delayed). People seem decent, otherwise no, do not cut or rush or push. The person you’re pushing by may have a tight connection too, and better manners.
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