Travel Etiquette 101: Lessons from the golf course to the airplane

August 10, 2017 | Author: Adam Kress

I grew up playing a lot of golf, and when you learn the sport as a kid, you become quite familiar with the term “etiquette.” You don’t talk when someone’s hitting or walk between their ball and the hole on the green. You learn these things when you’re 10 years old and they stay with you the rest of your life.

Golf etiquette is inextricable from the sport itself, and dates back hundreds of years. The same cannot be said for travel etiquette on airplanes. Whatever etiquette there once was while flying seems to have been eroded by things like security pat-downs, delays and ever-more-cramped seats on planes.

We’ve all seen (or been) that person storing two bags in the overhead bin to save leg room or boarding in an earlier group than their assigned seat. The good news is even as traveling becomes more chatic, your fellow travelers aren’t always as crabby as you may think. In a recent survey from Honeywell, 79 percent of fliers are okay with you asking (nicely) to cut in the security line if you’re about to miss your flight, and even more (87 percent) welcome asking someone on a date after meeting them on a flight.

When we shuffle onto a plane of a few hundred people, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we’re all on the same team -- trying to get to our destination safely and on time. Here’s how we can do that a little better.


Coping with the offenders

What do passengers consider the worst blunders? The most common etiquette complaint among travlers is putting your feet up on someone else’s seat or arm rests (68 percent), followed by having their seats kicked or hit (55 percent). I can relate to suffering from a steady drumbeat on my lower back during some flights, and sometimes polite requests or glances at the person behind you doesn’t put a stop to it. When you’re in need of a Hail Mary, it’s best to use in-flight Wi-Fi to distract yourself with something you enjoy. With GX Aviation powered by JetWave, travelers can stream the latest episode of “Game of Thrones.” Wouldn’t you rather concern yourself with the fate of the Seven Kingdoms than the person behind you?

Right up there with seat kickers, we found other top flying annoyances include passengers who creep into your personal space (47 percent), those with bad body odor (44 percent), and arm rest hogs (38 percent). Bad B.O. from your neighbor is hard to stomach, but thankfully Honeywell has a range of Air and Thermal Management systems that can control the air flow and cabin temperature of your plane so you don’t have to hold your nose for hours on end.


Playing nice with each other

Even with the annoyances that come with flying, I believe that putting out some positive vibes is the best way to attract some from others. According to Honeywell’s recent flight etiquette survey, most people (95 percent) agree with this approach.

More than two-thirds of passengers say they help others put their luggage in (or take it down from) the overhead bins, one of the simplest ways to do some good during your journey. And people are even more willing to help (72 percent) if the person struggling with their luggage is older.

I’ve sat next to people who were scared to fly, and a reassuring smile typically helps calm their nerves. We found that more than half of all travelers are also willing to reassure nervous fliers. Honeywell is committed to advancing aerospace technologies to make flying even safer, so travelers can put these worries aside. Some of these technologies include:

  • GoDirect Flight Preview, which lets pilots increase their situational awareness, get immediate flight information updates and lessen the their workload.
  • Honeywell’s Weather Information Service gives pilots real-time weather data that can help reroute flight paths around bad weather to avoid turbulence. This keeps passengers on schedule while also enjoying a smoother ride.

Golf is often jokingly referred to as “a good walk spoiled,” but whether your spending four hours on the course or four hours on a plane, good etiquette can go a long way toward making the whole experience more enjoyable.

Adam Kress

Adam Kress

Sr. Manager, External Communications