29 Jun What Are The Unwritten Rules Of Flying?

Thrillist Travel recently published a list of the discussing airplane etiquette – specifically what NOT to do on an airplane! They called it…

“The 21 Unwritten Rules Of Flying You’re Probably Breaking”

I have seen this list mentioned on a couple other blogs so figured I would give it a read as well!

My Thoughts on the “Unwritten Rules”

#1 – Be a decent person – always! Rules or not, treat others with respect, even when they do not return the favor.

#2 – Unwritten rules are not rules at all. They are a set of behavioral norms that should be followed, but are often broken. Get used to it! In fact, on an airplane, you should probably expect it! But! Keep #1- Be a decent person in mind and next time you witness an unwritten rule being broken (or break it yourself)

#3 – I agree. Adam at Point Me to the Plane mentioned he agreed with the vast majority of these. He and I are aligned. Many of these unwritten rules can be easily followed by abiding by #1 – Be a decent person!

That said, there are 3 specific unwritten rules that I DISAGREE with…

Where Thrillest is Wrong (in my opinion)

Here are 3 listed unwritten rules in the Thrillest article, and why I disagree:

#1 Never ask if you can skip someone in the security line.

I have been late for a flight exactly once in my life (excluding missed connections). I do not intend to let it happen again and always give myself plenty of time to arrive at the airport, process through security, and encounter any unforeseen circumstances.

But… sh*t happens! Even perfectly planned travel plans can fall apart with even the slightest disruption.

Don’t be difficult. Gracefully accept the fact that you are getting skipped in line and let that frantic passenger move on. Obviously, if you sense people abusing the grace and kindness, feel free to call the line skipper out and stand your ground.

Being late for a flight is a terrible feeling and you should be able to spot this expression on passengers who are truly in fact about to miss a flight!

#7 If you can’t lift your own bag, don’t carry it on.

I’m 6 foot 185lbs. My wife is barely 5 foot and less than 100lbs. Since I was born an above average height man I get to take full advantage of the airline’s carry-on policy and overhead bin space. Because my wife is a below average height woman, she can only bring items on a plane that she is physically comfortable hoisting above her head at full extension?

Come on guys…

While nobody is legally or contractually obligated to assist my wife (or other fellow passengers not physically able to shove a carry-on in an overhead bin), I would really appreciate it (and she would too) if you gave her a hand next time she may fly alone.

#10 Don’t recline in economy.

Airplane seats recline. Plan accordingly…

Final Thought

This article got a majority of these unwritten rules right! Stop being a social outcast and being the object of the passenger shaming craze so popular on social media -make sure to check out the article and see for yourself!

In my opinion – which is one of about four opinions I actually care about 😉 – the list of 21 missed on a few rules and could be narrowed to 18!

What are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree? A bit of both!?

Happy Travels!



  • James
    Posted at 13:47h, 29 June Reply

    Again? C’mon…. you prople are better than this! This is the 3rd time I read that this article about stupid rules from thrillist.

    • DW
      Posted at 13:51h, 29 June Reply

      Agreed! Always drive to provide a unique and personal perspective on things, but it seems multiple other BA bloggers had the same idea as me! Shouldn’t have scheduled this post so far out and will keep that in mind for the future…


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