Staying sober, keeping your kids busy - and not breaking wind are considered essential rules of in-flight etiquette, it has emerged.

Staying sober, keeping your kids busy – and not breaking wind are considered essential rules of in-flight etiquette, it has emerged.

Austrian Airlines
CREDIT: © Austrian Airlines Group

A study of 2,000 frequent flyers also revealed keeping the volume level at a reasonable level on headphones and helping other passengers hoist heavy bags into overhead lockers will leave a good impression.

Not eating smelly food and keeping your seat upright also made the list as did not hogging the armrest.

Keeping your mouth closed while you munch on airline food was also considered important.

Despite these simple courtesies, nine in 10 Brits have been enraged by the unpleasant behaviour or habits of other passengers on a flight.

Emma Grimster, a spokesperson at TravelSupermarket, which commissioned the study, said: “Flying can be an exciting and even luxurious experience, and in these situations, with the anticipation of a holiday ahead, it seems some people can easily forget their manners.

“Some of us are more frequent flyers than others. Perhaps it is the heightened sense of excitement, or even anxiety of flying at altitude that makes people forget their common courtesy.”

The study also found getting drunk is the most effective method to cheese off other passengers.

No Booze, No Farts and No Kids!


Thirty-eight percent said they can’t bear being sat nearby a boozy traveller, and one in four have found themselves subjected to a flatulent flyer making the experience more unpleasant.

With the October half-term just around the corner, more than one third admitted they have been irked by parents who are unable to keep control of their kids during the journey.

Forty percent have been subjected to the cries of a screaming baby while cruising thousands of feet in the air, and one in four have been disrupted by an over-excited toddler.

Personal space is of particular importance on a flight, according to the study.

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Fifty-four percent hate having their comfort disrupted by the person behind them digging into or kicking the back of their seat.

And 47 percent have words for the person in front of them putting their seat back all the way.

Stop Talking To Me!

One in five have found themselves sat next to a chatterbox who has talked their ear off for the whole flight.

Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed can’t stand a stranger trying to talk to them during a flight, and three in 10 said they could only tolerate chatter before take-off.

When the irritation gets too much, only one in six have ever gone as far as to complain to a flight attendant about the issue.

Despite these bugbears, 62 percent of those surveyed said they enjoy flying and 62 percent find it a ‘generally relaxing’ experience.

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Emma Grimster added: “Many of these points surrounding flight etiquette involve encroaches on noise and space, which is understandable in the limited confines of an aircraft.

“If you are planning to travel with your kids over the half term break, get organised with things to keep them occupied, making the experience as pleasant as possible for both the family and those around you.”


MichaelGaida / Pixabay
  1. Understand your airline’s luggage allowance for baggage weight and size, as well as for additional items such as buggies and car seats

  2. Pre-book seats together in advance of arriving at the airport

  3. Give yourself enough time to get through the airport and be towards the front of the queue at boarding

  4. Bring activities – perhaps a new book or magazine. Sticker books and drawing materials are a great idea too

  5. Download some favourite programmes to your phone or iPad

  6. Let the children choose a new toy at the airport to keep them occupied on the flight

  7. Bring your own snacks so you’re not waiting around for the in-flight service. It can also be a good idea to have a snack and drink to hand during take-off to help with any ear pressure

  8. Take a change of clothes, as well as wipes and nappies (if needed) close to hand. Check you also have a sick bag in the seat in front, just in case required

  9. Be prepared for a few sideways looks from other passengers and remember we were all children once!

  10. Enjoy the experience through your child’s eyes. You might have flown many times, but if this is your child’s first flight, the wonder will be all new

1. Don’t drink too much
2. Keep your seat upright or reclined to a reasonable degree
3. Ensure your children are well behaved and not making too much noise
4. Hold in your wind where possible
5. Sort out your overhead storage before you sit down so you don’t disturb people by getting up and down
6. Be respectful of others when it comes to the armrests
7. Don’t try and join the ‘Mile High Club’
8. Avoid eating smelly food
9. Eat your meals and snacks quietly with your mouth closed
10. Avoid moaning too much to others if there is a crying baby on the plane

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