The 5 commandments of airport etiquette 870x430

The 5 Commandments of Airport Etiquette

Disclaimer: I’m writing this in the departure hall of the Queen’s Terminal at Heathrow on what appears to be an extremely busy day (or a mass evacuation that no one told me about). As far as I’m concerned, everyone within a 10-mile radius should be banned from travelling. Including myself.

Airports can be very frustrating. First of all, they move them further and further away from cities to the point that we now need an airplane to get to the airport. Secondly, security checks have become so complicated that you’re never really sure which item of clothing you’ll be asked to remove next. Thirdly, more people fly than ever before which is, by the way, a major contributor to climate change. But who am I to judge when I’m about to get on a plane myself?

Flying involves spending a fair amount of time trapped in a metal tin with strangers so here are the five commandments of airport etiquette to get us to our destination safe and sane.

Airport manners for the modern gentleman

1. Be prepared
Arrive on time, keep your travel documents within reach and check which items are forbidden onboard before packing. Also, please don’t be the person who tries to skip the queue because “their flight is leaving”. It’s not our fault that the flight is punctual and you’re not.

2. Airport attire
Although no one expects you to show up in a tailcoat, some effort and consideration is appreciated. And, if you’re up for it, a well-fitted comfortable lounge suit will turn heads in the lounge and may even bag you extra perks.

3. Be considerate
Keep your voice down, don’t injure people with your luggage, don’t take up more space than you need, don’t block the aisle, don’t get drunk, don’t eat smelly food and leave the armrest to the unlucky person who sits in the middle.

4. Are these yours?
Children get bored on planes and babies panic because they don’t know what the funny feeling in their ears is. We appreciate that parents can’t always appease kids but putting on headphones to watch a movie while your kid is making someone’s flight hell is bad parenting, bad etiquette and bad karma.

5. If you want perks, pay for them
From priority queues to more hand luggage to the nice lounge with the freebies, some people pay to make their life easier. Others just try to wander into the wrong queue or lounge and hope no one finds out. And don’t pretend you don’t speak the language when you get caught. We know you know what you’ve done.

If you think this is just me having a well-deserved meltdown, you’re right. But this blog is also part of our very useful series on travel etiquette. Why not check out our guide on How To Pack Your Suit In 6 Easy Steps or our Survival Tips For When You Take Your Suit On Trips?