Airports and flights have several rules which should always be followed to ensure passenger safety. Breaking these rules can earn you severe punishments, including extremely high fees, getting blacklisted on specific flights, and even a lengthy jail sentence.
However, there are also a lot of unspoken rules and best practices that require significant attention. Although disregarding them will not send you to prison, if you want to have a comfortable flight and reach your destination without making enemies, we advise you to consider some of these tips. Here are the ten things you should avoid doing on a plane:
10 Drinking carbonated beverages
Although soft drinks and other carbonated beverages like sparkling water are commonly served on flights, it is best to consume them in minimal quantities or totally avoid them. At high altitudes, carbonated drinks increase the building up of intestinal gas, usually up to 30%, because of the pressure drop, which can cause severe bloating and nausea.
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Getting sick onboard, especially on a long flight, can be frustrating, so if you are prone to stomach issues, you should avoid carbonated drinks and opt for bottled water or fruit juices. Fizzy drinks like Diet Coke are also infamous among cabin crew, as they reportedly get more bubbly and harder to pour.
9 Removing your shoes and socks
Removing your shoes and kicking back on a flight is always tempting; however, it is important to know your body, and if you know that you get sweaty or smelly feet, then you should avoid removing your shoes or socks during the flight. Even if your feet do not produce any unpleasant order, it is common courtesy to keep them on to avoid making other passengers feel uncomfortable unless you are in a private space like one of Emirates’ first class rooms.
8 Remaining glued to your seat
It is not advised to remain seated for a long time at home, in the office, and especially onboard. During a flight, blood circulation is slower, so remaining in one position for hours could increase the risk of Thrombosis, the formation of clots in the blood vessels.
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Passengers are not restricted to remaining in their seats throughout as flight, explaining why the seatbelt signs are turned off after a short while. Standing up, stretching, or moving around is advised to ensure smooth blood circulation. However, if you choose the middle seat on a Boeing 777, movement will undoubtedly be restricted, so you can occasionally stretch your legs and feet.
7 Letting children run around
This unspoken rule is a no-brainer. Passengers with small children should never give them the freedom to run around in the cabin for countless reasons. Firstly, flights allow some passengers to catch up on work or sleep, so having children running around can be disturbing. More importantly, children can easily get injured; the last thing you want is a medical emergency onboard.
Although it sounds strange, it is not advised to wear contact lenses when flying because they know to make eyes drier, which can make for a very uncomfortable situation when combined with the dry air inside the cabin. If it’s your first time flying with contacts, you might be caught unaware and start wondering why your eyes feel weird. You are better off wearing glasses or one-day lenses, and make sure to have some eye drops as well, just in case.
5 Joking about bombs
Although many people appreciate a good laugh, there are certain jokes you can’t make on a plane for obvious reasons. Safety is the most essential pillar in the aviation industry, and any statements or gestures that could compromise a flight’s safety are taken very seriously. There have been serious incidents in the past, like the Lockerbie Bombing, so airlines will do anything to avoid repeating situations like that.
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Making jokes about bombs during a flight or even at the airport could frighten other passengers and earn you considerable time in an interrogation room. In a more severe situation, it could lead to a flight making an emergency landing and even an airport getting closed for hours while searches take place. Our advice is to leave all bomb jokes at home.
4 Getting intoxicated before or during a flight
Consuming a lot of alcohol before or during a flight can cause discomfort for you and everyone else onboard. It may sound fun for some individuals, but once you start to feel the couple of Gs at takeoff and the bumps along the way, you will instantly regret it. Intoxicated passengers can quickly get nauseous, and with restricted movement and nowhere to lie down, it is best to avoid drinking too much.
Additionally, intoxication leads to unruly behavior. Although IATA says that the majority of unruly passengers are usually sober, there have been numerous situations where drunk passengers were arrested and banned from flights for conducting themselves inappropriately.
3 Smoking and vaping
Smoking cigarettes was common before the 90s, but this has been banned on almost all airlines worldwide. Sometimes passengers think they can get away with smoking e-cigarettes and vapes in the lavatories, but most carriers have installed smoke detectors, so breaking this rule can get you in some serious trouble.
2 Sleeping when it is morning at your destination
Long-haul flights can be tiring and uncomfortable, with jetlag significantly contributing to the unpleasantness. Additionally, flying on a red eye, the body’s internal clock can have trouble adjusting to the different time zones. When it is the morning where you are heading, you should avoid sleeping during your flight and even try adjusting to the destination’s timezone a few days before to avoid the effects of jetlag and having a hard time staying up.
1 Opening doors midflight
This is an obvious rule that does not need to be highlighted, but we must address it because incidents of passengers trying to open cabin doors have become more prevalent. One of the most recent incidents involved a passenger opening the cabin door on an Asiana flight as it was preparing to land.
This seriously compromised the safety of the flight, leading to about nine passengers getting hospitalized after experiencing breathing difficulties. Any conduct that puts passengers and crew in danger will have severe consequences, including up to ten years in prison. Even when a flight has landed, it is not a passenger’s duty to open the cabin doors, so that should always be left for the cabin crew to handle.