Welcome to the Patrol!    Scroll Down ...

    • The product Belfast, Ireland – “Land of Enchantment” has been added to comparison list.

Flying Etiquette – A Safety Issue: “Seat Rage”


Quick Overview

Important that we address a topic that our mother’s never thought would be necessary, for we all have been taught proper manners as children.  Perhaps we are beginning to see the beginning of what happens when manners are not a top priority of parents these days!

Double click on above image to view full picture

Zoom Out
Zoom In

More Views

Full Article:

Important that we address a topic that our mother’s never thought would be necessary, for we all have been taught proper manners as children.  Perhaps we are beginning to see the beginning of what happens when manners are not a top priority of parents these days!


In a nutshell, it is a generation of showing respect for others versus the modern day adult generation of it’s all about me! When you are flying 38,000 feet high it is important that we either learn a few pointers of manners while in the air, for the reality is your life may depend on it!


There are so many areas to discuss, but I will focus on some preliminary concepts to be followed by more in depth articles for the future.


The media recently has been filled with more than one incident of “seat rage” causing the aircraft to divert and to land as soon as possible!  The behavior of one or two passengers having caused delays and causing havoc with the schedules of the other passengers!


What crew’s learn in their training and which is the number one item on the list for flying is a concept called situational awareness. Translated, this simply means, be aware of those around you.  For passengers, be aware and respectful of those around you.  If you have a problem with another passenger, diffuse the situation immediately by alerting a flight crew.  Allow them to take control of the situation.


We all experience what the airlines have done in adding more rows of seats and dividing the coach section into various levels of comfort!  Most carriers refer to this upgrade as “Coach Premium”. Gone are the days when a coach passenger when the door is closed, can quickly take a seat that is open just a few rows up! Be sure to ask a flight crew once the door closes if you can move to another seat that may be open.  If it is a premium class seat, you can pay for the upgrade on the aircraft.


Let’s review some etiquette tips:


Be aware as you enter the aircraft of others – at all times.  Even when you enter be sure to step into your row if possible. Reason is to allow those in queue to pass by you facilitating the boarding process.  Place your backpack or purse on your seat and take out your glasses, computer, tablet, reading materials, snacks, etc and place in the seat back pocket in front of you.  On international flights be sure to safely put back your passport!  Getting these items out before you sit down, especially if you are seated at the window, will aid to your comfort as well as the comfort of those sitting next to you.


The overhead bin above your seat is not for your exclusive use.  All overhead space is for all passengers.  What is recommended is that you can place a small purse or backpack under your seat, but be aware that on long haul flights you do need to stretch your legs and rotate your ankles and feet! 


Now that you are seating in the non-premium coach seating, be aware during meals of the passenger sitting behind you.  When you recline your seat and if that passenger behind you is a tall or robust passenger, often when he pulls down his tray table his dinner often touches his chest, making it very difficult to even eat!  During meal times please keep your seat back fully upright out of consideration for other passengers.


Arm Rest:  be aware of those sitting next to you and be considerate if your neighbor rests their arm on your “shared” arm rest. Often bigger passengers are just trying to get their bodies positioned to even sit in the seats.  Often on long hauls (where these flights still have blankets and pillows) I will give that middle seat passenger an extra pillow where they can cross their arms with pillow on their chest giving them some comfort when they are squeezed between two passengers.


Getting Up – Just getting out of your coach seat, especially if you are a tall or robust passenger with the seat back in front of you reclined, can be a challenge! Middle and most aisle seats armrests can be pulled upright which greatly facilitates your getting out of your seat. Try not to place your hands on the seat back that is reclined in front of you – especially if the passenger is asleep.


Being respectful to others around you is important, but should you feel someone sitting in front of you or beside you may be an issue, be sure to have a flight crew intercede on your behalf rather than allowing your interaction to negatively impact the safety of the flight.


We have addressed the recent seat rage issue that recently has caused the diversion of aircraft due to passenger altercation.  At 38,000 feet high rather than a further disruption and escalation, crews are instructed to land as soon as possible and allow the federal officials to deal with the disruptive passengers.  It is unfortunate that the airlines have made the decision to add more seats to an already tight fitting seating in coach.  Gone are the days that we as baby boomers remember flying – wearing our Sunday best clothing and having lots of seat and leg space while flying!


The airlines do listen to their customers so there could be a policy change but it has to come from you the passenger.  During the interim looking forward to continuing our conversation of proper “manners in the air” not only for adults but also for our children/grandchildren who will be traveling with us!


Happy Travels!


September 11, 2023

One thought on “Flying Etiquette – A Safety Issue: “Seat Rage””

  • It is a total shame that over head bins are smaller, there are smaller areas to sit + a sense that the airlines are only interested in profits.
    With the price of gas dropping the airlines are NOT passing that along to the consumer. ( I'll bet that when gas goes up so will the price of tickets)

Leave a Reply