Even as journey by air has become easier than never before, air etiquette remains hard to come by.
If the airlines staff and airport employees are to be believed, there are quite a few passengers who choose to leave their manners on the ground once they board a plane.
Not switching off their mobile phones when asked to, carrying excess baggage and fighting with co-passengers over seemingly petty matters are some of the issues the staff have to deal with regularly.
Kiran Singh, an airhostess with a private airline, says, “Mobile phone is one of the most controversial gadget inside a plane. There are a few passengers who don’t switch off their mobile phones despite repeated requests. These passengers put safety of others at risk (since using mobile phone can lead to short circuit) just because they don’t like to be dictated by someone like us. Some times take-off becomes a problem because of passengers arguing over this issue.”
I have also seen many arguing over reclining of chairs, she adds.
The airport director here, Suresh Chandra Hota, says, “The Airport Authority of India believes every person would abide by the list of common airplane etiquette.
Everyone knows some electronic gadgets, like laptops and cell phones, may interfere with navigation equipment, which is why they are expected to be switched off during take-off. Once the plane is mid-air, anything could be used on flight mode.”
Hota says it is sometimes funny to hear two passengers accusing each other of stealing armrest space.
“Everyone knows space inside a plane is limited. So, when it comes to sharing the armrest space, two people can do it on a 50:50 basis. These are unsaid rules,” he adds.
An official in an airline says excess baggage too becomes cause of strife on many occasions.
“Sometimes passengers stuff their bags into overhead compartments in such a way that they crush others’ luggage,” he says.
Hota says, “The plane journey could be made pleasurable only if one follows etiquette. On the other hand, the flight can become a nuisance for all if passengers don’t cooperate.”