My current situation calls for me to frequently fly commercially and something I have learned as a result of that travel is that people are sometimes not very considerate.

There are some considerations to make, and some steps to take, that will make you a much more pleasant co-passenger.

Here are my 10 tips for airline travel (AKA:10 tips that will help keep me from throat-punching you on an airplane).

  • 1

    Watch What You Eat

    This one is not so much about what you eat at the airport (though it is a good idea to shy away from foods that upset your tummy); this one is more about what you eat the night prior to travel.

    For the most comfortable travel experience, don't eat any foods that will cause you to be gassy later. There, I said it and got it out of the way early on in the list.

    When those cabin doors close, we are trapped. Together. We all breathe the same air, with no option to open a window to try to let out last night's beer and boudin.


    Dairy products, vegetables, certain legumes (beans, dummy), whole grain/bran, and most fast foods should be off limits 24 hours prior to flying on the same plane as me.


    Buy Gas-X or a parachute, your choice.

  • 2

    Watch What You Drink

    If you "go out" the night prior to an early flight and tie one on, you're going to smell bad the next morning.

    Not only can one smell your alcohol breath, one can also smell your alcohol pores. The body can effectively break down about 90% of consumed alcohol; the rest is excreted through various methods: breath, urine, and sweat.


    • Don't drink the night prior.
    • Drink plenty of water (not carbonated beverages, as they will cause gas, and we don't want that).
    • Wash yourself prior to getting on the plane. Use soap. And a washcloth.

    If you can't do any of the above, try to refrain from breathing while on the airplane, or else bring a parachute and sign up for Uber.

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  • 3

    Don't Bring Smelly Food On The Plane

    If you must eat on the plane, try to make it something that will not stink up the whole place. Even if you think that your fried oyster po-poy smells delicious, that aroma, on an airplane, will make me want to punch you in the throat, and then throw you out the door.

    Try to keep your airplane eating simple: a protein bar, candy bar, nuts, pretzels, fruit, etc. (Don't worry about these foods causing flatulence: you'll be off of the plane before that kicks in, hopefully. If not, I'll  gladly throw you off if you start to feel the rumblings.

  • 4

    Know Your Carry-On Limits

    When I fly, I try to pack as light and as tight as possible. I can usually get all of my gear into my carry-on, with no worry about it fitting into the allotted storage space (overhead bin, under the seat in front of me).

    A week's worth of clothes, unless you are headed to a nude beach, will NOT fit in a suitcase that will, in turn, fit into the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

    The airlines have carry-on restrictions for a reason. They also provide a little device that allows you to measure your carry-on for fit prior to boarding. Test your bag, it will save us all some time and aggravation, and it will save me from wanting to throw you and your carry-on off of the plane.

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  • 5

    When Boarding, Don't Hold Up The Line

    When boarding the plane, try not to hold up the rest of the passengers by standing in the aisle trying to get your carry-on into the overhead. Look over your shoulder: if there are more than 2 people behind you, sit in your seat with your carry-on on your lap until the aisle is clear. Then get up and stow your gear.

    Know your under-seat limit, too: your under-seat space is limited to the width of the seat in front of you.


    Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • 6

    Know Armrest Etiquette

    Most people try to get either a window seat or an aisle seat. (The only people I know who WANT a middle seat are the same people who put tomatoes in their gumbo.) It's bad enough that the person in the middle has to sit between to Flatulence Felicia and  Bachelor Party Paul, they shouldn't have to worry about comfort. You have your precious window seat or half-claustrophobic aisle seat: the least you can do is give the poor middle-seater the armrests.

    Getty Images (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
  • 7

    Use Your Inside Voice

    There are several reasons why people must fly: business, vacation, relocation, court appearances, military personnel being deployed, people on their way to weddings, funerals, etc.

    Your conversation does not need to be heard in seats 13B AND 21A. A conversation should be heard by you and the person for whom it is intended.

    Come to think of it, your conversation need not be heard at all: bring a notepad and write that stuff down.

    Dog Muzzle
  • 8

    Leave Your Shoes On

    Unless you have been eating lilac for a week and that aroma emanates from your pores, leave your shoes on.

    I don't care if you "think" your feet are clean, leave your shoes on.

    Wait, what? You are wearing clean socks? Well, I'm certain your mother is proud, but leave your shoes on.

    What? Your feet hurt? You should have worn comfortable shoes. Leave your shoes on.

    What? You need to trim your toenails? I will punch you in the throat. Leave your shoes on.

  • 9

    Don't Make A Mess

    Whether it's your own snacks or food and beverages from the airline, don't make a mess by strewing it about the cabin. Be conscientious when consuming: minimize crumbs/spillage, use your empty beverage cup/bottle to hold any wrappers, and pay attention to the flight attendant, as they will come around with a garbage bag for your refuse.

    If you need to go through your carry-on to find something, be neat about it: we don't want to see your delicates as your rifle through your bag looking for your earbuds or whatnot.Know where everything is in your bag to minimize the inconvenience to others.

    If you have a sweater or jacket with you, keep it bundled up so that the arms don't flop into someone else's space.

    If you have a head full of hair (I haven't had that problem in years!), keep it to yourself. Notice in the accompanying picture: this woman has a lot of hair on her head, but she kept if off of the seat and off of her co-passengers by wearing it up.

    Remember: it's your DNA, so keep it to yourself.

    Hair (Photo by John Falcon)
  • 10


    Just think. Before you say a word or make a move, just think.

    Matt Cardy/Getty Images