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According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there were 146 incidents on airlines in 2019. In 2021, there were 1,081 investigations of incidents involving unruly passengers. Obviously, there are problems with passengers who don’t know how to behave in a respectful manner. In an era when mask mandates, TSA checks, and other inconveniences are already causing stress, this lack of good manners just makes the situation worse.

What is a traveler to do? Here are some ways to make air travel more pleasant for yourself and those around you:

Always Be Prepared

Make sure you have all of your paperwork in order. When you get in line at airport security, anticipate taking off your shoes or removing metal objects so you do it before you can cause delays.

Respect Your Flight Attendants

It’s always good to offer the flight attendants a smile as you board your flight or give a greeting. Their jobs are a lot tougher these days and it’s important to be as respectful as you can be. It will make the flight a lot easier and more enjoyable for both of you.

Don’t Take Over the Overhead Bins 

The bins are for everyone to share. If you have too much luggage, consider checking some of it. Also, put your bag over your own seat instead of just shoving it in the first space you see.

Be Considerate to the Person Sitting Next to You

You’ll be spending a few hours with the person sitting next to you, so it’s always a good idea to give a pleasant greeting. If they want to talk and you do as well, great. But if they indicate they want to be left alone – don’t impose on them. Similarly, if you want your space, you can politely let them know.

Also, give the middle passenger the armrests. One passenger gets to look out the window, the other has access to the aisle – what does the middle passenger get? Graciously let them have the armrests.

Don’t Stink Up the Plane

There are a few ways to ensure it’s a pleasant flight for everyone––be mindful of certain odors. Firstly, don’t bring smelly food on board, take off your shoes if your socks have a strong odor, and keep in mind that the perfume you love may trigger someone else’s allergies, so don’t use too much.

When to Recline Your Seat

Feel free to recline during the flight but be mindful to put your seat back in the upright position during mealtimes. If the person behind you requests that you not recline so deeply, try to accommodate them.