Welcome to
Olive + Sweetpea

Women Trailblazers

Airplane Etiquette

Airplane Etiquette

Hello fellow passengers.

Ever read Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book? I didn’t think so. You should. Look it up.  Order it.  

How about this?  Here’s a summary adapted for our time together on this flight. Don’t ignore it like the safety instructions. Study it, like you do the Sky Mall Catalogue.  (I’ve seen you study that thing like your life depended on it.)

Here we go. Prepare to be polite. Let’s do this.

When boarding the aircraft, it’s important to note that we are all leaving at the same time, and each and every one of us has an assigned seat. Pushing and shoving to get on first does not mean you will either score a better seat or will arrive at your destination sooner than everyone else.  Not lying.

Thank you for not doing yoga on the plane. Clearly, you are some sort of marathon yogi, and can’t possibly go more than three hours without stretching, but planes are small, and the space in front of the bathroom is not suitable for sun salutations and forward folds. Nobody wants your butt in their face. Nobody.

Please don’t leave your belongings in the bathroom. Especially not your skanky old toothbrush.  Not your socks. Certainly not your used Kleenexes. It’s a small room people, it’s not going to take an hour to check to be sure you’ve left nothing behind. Oh, and that thing with the picture of a garbage can on it? It’s a garbage can. You put garbage in it. Cool eh?

During the exquisite meal we may be served, please be kind to the folks behind you and put your seat in the upright position. Does this one really need explaining?

When airline staff announce that some folks are desperate to make a connection, and ask you to please let them deplane first, let them. It’s travel karma.

Please be aware of your odour. Yes. YOU. This includes farting, lack of deodorant/bathing, recent kielbasa eating, taking your shoes off (are you certain going to the bathroom barefoot on an airplane is one of your best decisions ever?) and overuse of perfume. I think Febreeze should come in travel sizes. In fact, it should be in every seat pocket, next to the barf bags.


Thank you so very much for stopping your kids from pressing the call button over and over and over again. Oh yeah, you didn’t do that. The entertainment value of the constant ringing during a flight is only surpassed by watching you doing 25 laps of the plane with your wee ones. Have you never heard of Gravol? Google it.  

If you are fortunate enough to have an aisle seat, when folks in your row need to get up, unless they are pixies, you need to get out of your seat. Swivelling your knees to the side is not enough. Do you really want your deodorant-lacking-garlic-infused-barefoot-row-mate crawling over you?  OK. I thought so. Thank you, glad we sorted that out.

When airline staff announce that some folks are desperate to make a connection, and ask you to please let them deplane first, let them. It's travel karma. If you don’t, one day that will be you and you’ll be screwed. Like 8-hours-in-O’Hare-missing-your- kids'-school-concert screwed. Your future self will thank you for taking pity on the connection-missers.  

Deplaning overall seems to be a tricky concept as it relates to manners. When the plane arrives at the gate, the first people to stand up don’t get off the plane first. There is no prize for the first passenger to successfully extract their enormous bag from the overhead bin and place it in the aisle in everyone’s way. I am going to review this one carefully because so many people don’t understand this one—although it’s pretty simple.

When deplaning, we do so ROW by ROW. You let people gather their stuff, you help them get their bag, you wait your turn. Let’s just say you are in row 21. You will only move down the aisle (towards freedom from your fellow passengers) once row 20 has vacated their spots. Is that clear? Please get with the program, I am begging you.

Thank you so much for your attention. If you follow these simple guidelines, nobody will get hurt.  Let’s all be kinder, gentler passengers, shall we? I am tired of giving the hairy eyeball, and I am certain you’re tired of receiving it.

Now you can get back to the Sky Mall. I know I want to order some of those slippers with the flashing lights on the toes to light the way in the dark. Or a life-size blow-up palm tree. Or a Star Wars toaster. I need one of those.

Please, have an awesome day. Thank you.

A Guide for Happiness in Provence

A Guide for Happiness in Provence

The Rain in Spain

The Rain in Spain