Seat Etiquette

So what are some of the etiquette rules for economy travel?

Arm Rests

As far as I am concerned the person in the center seat always gets priority for both armrests.

Window seat has the advantage of being able to lean on the side of the plane which gives them more room and they have full use of one arm rest.

Aisle seat has a bit more room on the Aisle side and its easier for them to get up and move around, they also have full use of one arm rest.

For a more direct explanation see what Jim Jefferies has to say.

Hair

Keep your hair on your side of the headrest, not over the back.

Feet

I don’t have any problem if people take their shoes off as long as they keep them on the floor.

I won’t be happy if you then put them on the seat next to me or push them through to the seat in front of you.

Travel Hack – Put your shoes back on if you go to the toilet, that wet patch on the floor isn’t water.

Speeding through Security

No one likes airport security, but if it makes travel safer I’m happy to put up with some inconvenience.

Here are my travel hacks to make security as easy as possible.

  • Give yourself plenty of time so you don’t stress:
  • Wear a jacket or waistcoat with enough zipped pockets for, coins, mobile phones and anything else metal then you can just put the jacket in the tray for X-ray;
  • If they have body scanners, rather than a metal detector you will also need to put you wallet in your jacket pocket as well;
  • If you wear a belt get one with a plastic buckle;
  • Slip on shoes, or elastic sided footwear (in USA only);
  • Have liquids in a zip lock bag in an external pocket of your carry on;
  • Have your lap top/tablet in a easily accessed place;
  • Put your hat in the tray (many hats have steel stiffeners)

If you are travelling a lot around the USA it is worth getting TSA pre-clearance.

Remove Old Luggage Stickers

Unless you want to lose your checked luggage!

History

Forty years ago, and more it wasn’t unusual to see suitcases like this.

I suppose that people regarded it as a harmless status symbol; to show how well travelled they were.

As everything was handled manually at a much slower pace there was less chance of luggage getting redirected.

Now

When you check in a bar code sticker could be placed on your checked in bag.

Sometime there may even be a integrated circuit  chip inside the sticker.

These stickers allow the airports and airlines to run high speed baggage conveyors and sorting systems to get you luggage to its destination.

If you have got an old sticker on your bag then you could find your bag has been sent to your previous destination.

Often a check in agent will ask you to remove stickers, however they may not notice a sticker, or you might use self check in.

Travel Hacks

Before you leave for the Airport:

  • Check your luggage carefully and remove all stickers.
  • Put you own tag on the handle with your name, email address and destination airport. ( add a phone number if you know which phone number you will be using at your destination)
  • Add a sheet of paper to the inside with the above information.

Another Bad Travel Hack

I keep seeing these crazy ideas that don’t actually work such as . . . .

Board the Plane Last

The idea is; you don’t have to get in line and queue, and if the plane is full you might get an upgrade.

Here are three reasons why its a bad idea

Nowhere to put your carry on bag

These days airlines don’t seem to enforce their carry on policies.

That means its likely the luggage lockers near your seat will be full.

If you are really unlucky they will put your carry on in the hold.

You May Not Get On The Flight

Until you have got on the plane you are a candidate to get bumped if theplane is full, or the airline suddenly needs to get crew to another location.

Once you are on the plane these days you are unlikely to be removed. (You may remember United Airlines got a lot of bad publicity when they forcibly removed David Dao Duy Anh, a Vietnamese-American passenger, in 2017)

You’re Not Getting An Upgrade!

I have had many upgrades over the years. . . . . but not one of them was after I boarded.

When it has happened it has been:

  • At check in.
  • At the Airline lounge desk.
  • Called to the gate desk before boarding.
  • As the gate desk as boarding.

Airlines have sophisticated computers and they plan upgrades carefully.

Economy Seat Hacks

Flying long haul in economy can be a real trial, but there are some travel hacks you can do to help you get through the journey.

Using the Pillow and or Blanket

The typical airline seat is built for the average person, which doesn’t include me.

If a pillow or blanket is provided you can use it to modify the feel of the seat.

I have used these items to provide additional support to the small of my back.

Sometimes I use them at the seat fold to smooth the transition between the two components .

No pillow or blankets? . . . . you could try a jumper

Adjust the Head Rest

Headrest with wings folded forward

Although most budget airlines seem to have fixed headrests a full service airlines seats will probably have adjustable head rest. . . . although I don’t see many people taking advantage.

The typical headrest can move up and down several cms.

The side wings can also be folded forward to stop your head rolling sideways as you sleep.

Remove the Arm Rest

If you are travelling with a partner, or even if the seat next to you is empty you should be able to lift the arm rest up and out of the way.

When space is limited even a couple of cms can make a difference.

Premium Economy – Is It For You?

Had enough of ‘Cattle Class’ but Business Class is too expensive?

Well perhaps Premium Economy could be for you if travelling long haul .

Comfort

Although some people says its not close to Business Class in my experience the better Premium Economy seats are often similar to the Business Class of the 1990’s.

Most airlines will have wider and more comfortable seats with more legroom and better recline.

More like a reclining armchair.

Do check on the airline’s website though . . . . I haven’t been that happy with the airlines that only provide an empty seat next to you.

Other Benefits

Depending on the airline you could receive some, or all the following benefits:

  • Priority check-in
  • More baggage allowance
  • Priority boarding
  • Better menu
  • More personalised service.
  • Lounge access

Cost

Expect to pay around twice the price of an Economy seat but around half the cost of a Lie Flat Business ticket.

Travellers Hack

The different airline Premium Economy offerings vary considerably so you need to compare the different offerings carefully rather than just going on price.