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Etiquettes of Boarding and Disembarking a Plane

Boarding and disembarking a plane can be a real pain, especially if you are in a rush to catch your layover flight. I would advocate for a little bit of respect and teamwork could go a long way. The issue really boils down to people being in a rush. It is no different when driving on the road, or even going up escalators. There are always going to be people in a rush to get somewhere.

In some situations, it is our own problem for not budgeting more time. In other cases, it is completely out of our control. To put into context, if your flight was delayed and it trims the amount of layover time for your connection flight, a few minutes here and there can make the difference.

Today, I will list a few air travel etiquettes for consideration.

Waiting at the Gate

Unfortunately with the world of checked bag fees, more and more people are putting all their belongings into their carry-ons. As a result, there is less space on the overhead of the plane. Therefore, people are in a rush to board the plane.

As soon as boarding commences, there are always a crowd of people who block the lines when their group is not being called yet. When you are trying to board the plane, I am sure that you would be annoyed when people block your path to board the plane. So why are you blocking other people?

Just wait for your group to be called and then line up with everyone else. The plane is not going to leave without you. Though I do understand that the overhead space is very valuable so I do understand that airlines are not making this part easier for us.

Some airport already made it easier by dividing up each boarding group into separate lines. It doesn’t help the boarding process when a line says, “Group 3-5”. If you are going to group groups together, then at least encourage people to stay seated until their group is called. And give them a heads up on which groups will be called first.

Boarding the Aircraft

This one drives me fairly crazy. You will always see people struggling to put their carry-on to the overhead. As a result, they hold up the lin.

If you are struggling, just move into your seat and at least let a few people pass you first, so that you can all simultaneously put your carry-ones to the overhead. Furthermore, you can probably get a little help when you have someone on either side of you doing the same thing.

Basically, when you are one of the first few people to board the plane, let a few people go by you first, before you start putting up your carry-on. I understand that it is frustrating when you are late to board, and you ran out of overhead space.

Another suggestion that I have is for airlines to board people sitting at window seats first, then middle and aisle seats last. This would prevent people from having to get out of their seats to let someone else in, which also really holds up the lines. This process would probably help filled up the overhead space proportionally, reducing the need to walk around to find space.

Disembarking the Plane

After the plane has landed, you probably notice everyone on the aisle seats standing up at the same time.

There are those who are eager to get off the plane and takes their carry-ons down as soon as the plane takes off the seatbeat sign. The gate isn’t even ready yet! But… even though those people are ready to go, the line gets completely held up by the people sitting on the inside seats who cannot bring down their items yet. As a result, the first few aisle people can go quickly, but the rest of the passengers are held up by the passengers sitting on the inside seats anyway.

My suggestions is to help each other out!! I am referring mainly to the eager beavers who already got up. You mine as well offer to help take down some of the other carry-ones ahead of time, so that people can put on their lap to speed up the disembarking.

My alternative suggestion is the reverse of embarking the plane. Why not let aisle people get off first, then middle seats people, and window seats last. It’s only fair to reverse the order when disembarking.

Waiting at Baggage Collection

With all the new fees and all the hassle of checking in and collecting your baggage afterwards, I completely given up checking in any luggage. I decided to travel light only, with only a carry-on anywhere I go.

But if you need more storage space, while waiting at the baggage collection, when not back off being so close to the luggage belt until you actually see your bag. Standing so close to the belt is just making it harder for everyone else to collect their luggage. And it probably drives you crazy that everyone else is in your way.

I know that it is a vicious cycle, if everyone else is going to stand there, then I will stand there too. So this has to apply to everyone. Everyone, just back a few steps away from the belt until you actually see your luggage before approaching the belt.


As you can see, in most cases, a little teamwork across the board goes a long way. Let’s not be shy to ask for help when it’s more convenient for assistance, so long as we know that we will help someone else when the situation is reversed.

Unfortunately, some of my suggestion would probably require a little help from airport officers to help out in building the culture of such etiquettes first, before people catch on. So this also a call on airport authorities to help out!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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