Airplane Etiquette: How Not To Be A Basic Bitch On A Plane

The flying experience can be somewhat enjoyable if everyone on a plane behaves in a manner that is courteous and respectful in an extremely cramped space. However, more often than not, people just don’t know the rules of airplane etiquette and can’t help being basic.

These 11 tips are for those people.

11 Tips On Airplane Etiquette

Airplane Etiquette Rule #1: Armrests BELONG to the middle seat

If you were lucky enough to get a window or an aisle seat, remember that the person in the middle is hating you right now. He/she is stuck between your bad armpits and the other dudes farts, and can’t even get up to walk around freely. So just understand that the armrests BELONG to the middle seat. If you’re on the aisle, the armrest you get is the one next to the aisle. If you’re by the window, the armrest you get is the one next to the window. DON’T FUCKING PUT YOUR ELBOWS ON THE TWO ARMRESTS RESERVED FOR THE MIDDLE SEATER. Don’t be surprised if the middle seater shoves your crusty elbows off of their rightful armrests. Letting you know for a friend…

airplane etiquette-woman pushes mans arm off middle seat

Airplane Etiquette Rule #2: Go Use The Bathroom

Ok, that awkward moment when you’re not on the aisle but you HAVE to go to the bathroom and have been holding it because the aisle person is asleep and you don’t want to wake them. (How does a person never get up once in 12 hours?) Well, wake their ass up. I’ve gotten urinary tract infections for holding my pee for an entire international flight because I was too scared to ask the aisle person to move.

airplane etiquette- man goes to the bathroom on an airplane

The aisle person usually knows their duty is to stand up and let people out. But I HATE aisle seaters that just expect you to walk around them and won’t get out of their seat to let you out. Like really? I don’t want my ass to touch your nose. Not because of your nose, but because of my beautiful ass.

Once you get to the bathroom, aim inside the hole… and clean up after yourself. But you actually do have to press flush. Please.

Airplane Etiquette Rule #3: Eating Smelly Food

Don’t be that person that brings McDonald’s onto the flight and stinks up everything. We are all sharing the same air.

airplane etiquette-man eating chicken wings on the airplane and woman upset

Airplane Etiquette Rule #4: Check Your Voice Level!

Speak of sharing the same air, don’t talk too loud either. Like we understand you are proud of your kid and want to brag about your life, but not all of us care. Your noise level should be loud enough for only the person next to you to be able to hear.

airplane etiquette-people lean in to hear someone talking on airplane

Airplane Etiquette Rule #5: Stay Off That Fold Out Tray

If you could have one guess on the dirtiest place on the airplane, what do you think it would be? The seat? Wrong. The floor? Wrong. Guess what, it’s actually the fold out tray in front of you. You can read about it here. Think about it, that tray never gets washed in between flights, let alone ever. Also, people are eating, drinking, drooling, changing diapers on that thing. So don’t let your food touch it.

airplane etiquette-woman with a digusted face

Airplane Etiquette Rule #6: Breastfeeding Is Natural, But Also Control Your Kids

What are the rules for babies on a plane? So, there are two sides to this.

If you don’t have a baby and a mom is breastfeeding her baby next to you, understand that she is loving on her child, and her breasts are doing what nature intended it to do. So don’t be that asshole that is offended by a mom whipping out her tit. Act like you’ve never seen boobs before! You better enjoy that tit. Being a mom is a hard enough job as it is, so she doesn’t need you judging her. If you ask to be moved because you’re so disgusted, GOOD, because she doesn’t deserve to be sitting next to a piece of shit like you.


If you do have a baby, everyone knows they cry from time to time, but don’t pretend you’re deaf. Don’t just let the kid cry and cry without taking it for a walk around or giving them snacks. At least try to calm it down.

airplane etiquette-man puts child in overhead compartment

My favorite is when parents let their kids play Candy Crush on the Ipad and they don’t turn off the volume. Like I get you tune out your children, but not on the plane. Be courteous of other people who chose not to have children for a reason. Don’t impose them onto everyone.

Also, unless you want your kid to get snatched and spanked by a stranger, DO NOT let your kid kick the back of someone’s seat.

airplane etiquette-man kicks seat in front of him

Airplane Etiquette Rule #7: Cough Into Your Sleeve

The worst. You’re sick and coughing and sneezing everywhere. Just in advance, apologize to the person next to you. You can’t help being sick, but you can validate to the person next to you that it’s gross for them, too. Also, have hand sanitizer and tissue on deck. And when you cough, don’t cough into the open air! Cough into your sleeve.

airplane etiquette-woman coughs into open air

Airplane Etiquette Rule #8: Beverages

I get alcohol is free on international flights, but don’t be that basic drunk bitch. Like fine, drink enough to fall asleep, but don’t drink so much that your skin starts to smell and when you fall asleep with your mouth open, you’re breathing whisky breath on the poor person next to you.

Regarding coffee and tea, avoid if possible since it’s made with the tap water in the plane, which is known not to be the cleanest. But that’s not every plane. You can read about the EPA test results here to find out what’s in that water.

airplane etiquette- woman drinks alcohol on airplane

Airplane Etiquette #9: Treat Flight Attendants With Respect

There’s two sides to dealing with flight attendants.

If you are not a flight attendant, understand that he/she is not your personal secretary, punching bag, or cocktail waitress. They are dealing with a whole lot of needy people and have been on more than one flight today. You don’t need to press the call button every 5 seconds and if there is something you can do yourself, go and do it. In addition, when you keep asking her to make you these elaborate drinks with a “splash” of this and leave out that, they are not a bartender, nor a chef. Stop with your excessive needs.

If you are a flight attendant, understand that none of the passengers on this plane asked you to choose this profession, and you chose it knowing that this was a service-oriented job. So if you hate your life, don’t take it out on the rest of us. We paid a lot of money for this seat so don’t shove drinks in our faces, not respond to a call, or have all kinds of attitude if we’re asking for something. Like it is dry up in here, get me some water and do it with a smile.

airplane etiquette-flight attendant tells people fuck you

Airplane Etiquette Rule #10: Help Struggling People With Their Luggage

Refer to How Not To Look Like A Basic Bitch to read how I feel about rolling suitcases, but basically hard rolling suitcases are the worst to carry on a flight. They leave no cushion or wiggle room, and take up the entire overhead compartment when there should be space for three. Which is why a duffel or even a rolling duffel or backpack is so much more courteous. However, if you’re going to be that basic bitch with the rolling suitcase, position your suitcase so that there is as much room as possible for the next person. DO NOT put your coat or purse up there until everyone has finished putting in their suitcases, you greedy little passenger.

If you see someone struggling with their bag, unless you have a disability, help them out! Don’t watch someone struggle. Especially mothers and the elderly. I will always help a grandma with her suitcase. It is going to be you one day.

airplane etiquette-Overhead Compartment

Airplane Etiquette Rule #11: Don’t Be That Basic Bitch That Rushes Off The Plane

Speaking of putting your bag away, what about when you go to retrieve your bag to exit the plane and some antsy fuck tries to burrough their way through this stagnant, congested ass line to get off of the plane? Even if you already have your bags, that doesn’t give you permission to annoyingly tail-gate human beings while they try to get their bags. Everyone in the front gets their bags first and each aisle clears out one by one. Everyone knows that! If you’re in that much of a rush, you should have paid the extra $15 to get a front seat.

This confuses me every time because where you gonna go? We are all about to wait in the same custom line at the end of this so where are you really going? You are like those people who race to a red light. BAAAAAAASSSIIIIICCCCCC.

airplane etiquette-man holds luggage and says step off bitch

Although flying used to be seen as an experience of luxury and adventure, it is now one of the least relaxing and comfortable things about travel. Let’s try to make the most of a cramped situation. Don’t be basic.

About The Author

Kiona is not a flight attendant and has no experience with passengers. She just wrote this based off of her own experiences. Ignore her. You can follow her on social media below:


27 thoughts on “Airplane Etiquette: How Not To Be A Basic Bitch On A Plane

  1. I have a hard suitcase!! I DONT CARE I DONT CARE!l I DONT CARE! I look cute as fuck with my blue hard suitcase and some dude can shove it on the overhead for me (..because feminism duh lololol) and y’all would deal!

    I agree with everything else lol –> shameless plug

  2. #11 makes me see red. I try not to get too mad because I think, “Maybe they have a short connection and they need to rush to their next flight.” But more times than not they are just standing in the same line as I am leaving the airport. And it’s always women of the Spanish descent. WTF do you think you get to skip everyone? We’ve all been on this long ass flight for the same amount of time. Let me out at my turn instead of allowing me to try to find a long enough gap in the line of people to exit my aisle, who now all think it’s okay to skip me. FACK.

  3. This made me laugh 🙂 But also taught some things. Thanks for sharing great tips, I wish more people would read it and decide to be more respectful and understanding of other people.

  4. This is really entertaining and very informative. I think every traveler should be considerate with one another. You’ve made some really good points here. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Hahahahaha! Love this! Moms who ignore the bad behavior of their kids are the worst – I once sat on a flight from Minneapolis to Los Angeles and the kid behind me would not stop whining and kicking my seat! His mom was too busy playing solitaire on her iPad to notice. Worst flight ever.

  6. This is super funny and so spot on. Thankfully, I have not encountered any (yet, hopefully never) and I don’t think I am one. The gif you used about the stewardess also left me to tears. I have friends who work in airlines and I could actually imagine them doing this hahaha 😀

  7. I have an addition to Nr 10 – don’t push and squeeze other peoples bags with your enormous roller! Some of us have fragile things inside there that, although being in a duffel, to take up less space, don’t need to be squished into 1/3 of their normal size.
    But yes, have seen it all. Kids screaming their lungs off, parents giving kids ipads with sound on for everyone to listen to the abnormal sounds coming from the device, people eating and drinking weird stuff and people smelling. The guy in front of me was sooooo sweaty yesterday on the flight, just plain disgusting 🙁 and the old and good one, taking off the shoes and then stuffing the feet on the armrest of the person in front of you. Oh jeez…

  8. This cracked me up! Haha. I really hate when people are rude to flight attendants. There was an older couple on my most recent flight who were complete assholes to the flight attendants. Demanding certain drinks and asking 20 times for coffee when she had already told them she was getting it. 😒🙄
    Love this! Your wit is amazing and this whole post had me giggling 😚

  9. Oh my god, this is amazing! You articulated everything I hate about flying – ESPECIALLY coats, purses, laptops, in the overhead bin. For eff’s sake, put it under your seat or wait till everyone has put their suitcases up. And the pushing through before your turn to get off just kills me, unless it’s a delayed flight and they have a connection. Then I think people should move the F out of the way and let them go through. I’ve been that person desperate to make me flight. But the baby thing cracked me up. I get nervous when I’m seated by someone with kids, lol. Great tips, girl!

  10. Crying laughing re: #6
    I’ve never had the guts to ask someone to stop kicking, but I was on a flight once where the lady next to me noticed that this kid was kicking my seat (HARD) for over an hour and was def old enough not to do that, and seated next to the mom. She turned to me, was like, “Has this kid been kicking your seat the whole time?” I said a meek yes (obviously exuding as much “i’m incapable of standing up for myself” as humanly possible), and she turned around and said, “Hey, that kicking? Stops now. Right now. Thanks.”
    I’d love to give that girl a trophy.

  11. I’m a flight attendant and this is spot on! Great job spreading the good word. In general I wish people would just remember manners and patience while flying.

  12. OMG NUMBER 3!!!!!!! The smell of KFC makes me sick, and Trinis love their KFC, so every time I leave the country, the plan is filled with the sme of it from Trinis who miss it so much that they just HAVE to take it back to the US with them….. UGH!!!

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