Africa Travel Week

7 Things You Should Never Do on an Airplane

Whether you’re running late to catch a connecting flight or sitting close to a particularly unpleasant passenger, there’s no denying that travelling can be stressful sometimes! The good news is that you can keep your journey enjoyable and stress-free by following some travel-savvy advice. Never mind what you should be doing when jetting off somewhere new, here’s a round-up of the 7 things you shouldn’t do when onboard an airplane. 

1. Queuing for the bathroom  

When nature calls, one has to answer! But did you know that it’s bad manners to queue to use the bathroom on a plane? Not only is it awkward for those seated in the area, but it also guarantees that social distancing goes out the window. Instead, avoid holding it in until the last minute so you have some time before any sense of desperation kicks in. When you start to feel the urge to relieve yourself, simply keep a close eye on the bathroom and get up and leg it when the existing occupier makes their way back to their seat.  

2. Snoring   

It’s estimated that around one in every four adults snores regularly. If you happen to fall into this category, do your best to avoid annoying those around you when you slip into a deep sleep! It’s obviously not something that you can readily control unless, of course, you take action to reduce the rumble. Either do your best to stay awake for the duration of the flight by reading a book or watching a movie, or invest in anti-snore solutions, such as an anti-snore mouthpiece, wristband, or nasal strips. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of too much alcohol or popping any sleeping pills.  

If travelling alone, warn the passenger sitting closest to you about the potential for snoring and request that they gently rouse you should the noise become too much.  

3. Consuming too much alcohol  

Alcohol won’t only have you snoring louder than usual, but it’s also certain to leave you dehydrated and hit you harder than it ordinarily would when on the ground! This is because the air pressure is low inside the cabin, which means there’s less oxygen making its way into your bloodstream and your brain.  

If you’re reaching for that extra glass of wine in an attempt to get some ZZZs on the journey, stop! Research shows that while it may ‘knock you out’, drinking alcohol on a plane actually limits the amount of restorative REM sleep you’re likely to get, leaving you feeling groggy and unwell once your nap comes to an end.  

4. Getting grumpy with other passengers  

Do your best to be polite and accommodating at all times when dealing with other passengers and their requests, such as when they ask you to stand up so that they can exit their seat or when a baby or child is crying for long periods of time. Rest assured that they aren’t doing these things or making these requests to annoy you! Take a deep breath and reassure yourself that the annoyance in question is temporary and you’ll be landing at your destination soon enough. You’ll have a much more enjoyable flight when everyone is friendly and smiling. 

5. Neglecting to use headphones  

Nobody is interested in hearing your conversation with your mom on speakerphone, and as iconic as F.R.I.E.N.D.S may be, not everyone wants to listen to the show’s re-runs blaring from your tablet. Be conscious of those around you and respect their need for peace and quiet by plugging in your headphones, earbuds, or headset whenever required. Remember to bring along a set of noise-cancelling headphones too just in case a nearby passenger doesn’t return the favour! 

6. Invading a flight attendant’s personal space 

It’s considered rude to force your way into the galley or to tap a flight attendant on the shoulder when trying to get their attention, especially now in the times of COVID! Follow the correct etiquette by pressing the call button or waiting for the attendant to check in on you if the matter isn’t urgent. In the event that the attendant is assisting someone else, always be patient, polite, and wait your turn.  

7. Travelling unprepared  

There’s something to be said for travelling light. However, you definitely don’t want to do so thoughtlessly, forgetting the essentials that will make your flight more comfortable. Make sure that you prioritise preparing for your journey, packing things like prescription medication that you’ll require, a saline nose spray to counteract the in-cabin dryness, a mini bottle of hand sanitiser for peace of mind, as well as your toothbrush, toothpaste and perhaps some face wipes to leave you refreshed before reaching your destination. A well-prepared passenger is a happy passenger!  

Keep the above tips in mind and you can be sure your flight will be smooth sailing from take-off to landing. Enjoy! 

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.