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The Complete Guide To Airplane Etiquette

It’s finally time for your much-awaited summer holiday, but as you prepare to jet off for some well-earned sunshine, an etiquette expert has revealed why people should stay clear of wearing ‘ripped jeans or tracksuits’ whilst travelling on an airplane.

While many opt for comfort whilst travelling in the early hours, etiquette expert and former royal butler Grant Harrold has admitted that people should ‘always dress smart’ on a plane, as it’s ‘important to be overdressed rather than underdressed’ - regardless of the climate of your destination.


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Speaking on behalf of Genting Casino, Grant also went into detail about the do’s and don’ts of travelling, including why you should ‘never recline your seat’ on a short flight. The etiquette expert - who worked as a butler for King Charles from 2004 to 2011 - adds that wherever people are heading on holiday, they should respect its culture by ‘dressing accordingly’ and ‘only taking pictures when necessary’. Meanwhile, people should never ‘eat or drink’ in shops, let alone the Notre Dame de Paris or the Sistine Chapel. 

Speaking on behalf of Genting Casino, Grant Harrold reveals:

 

‘Never recline your seat on a short flight’

You should never recline your seats on a short flight. It’s unnecessary. It’s acceptable to recline your seat on a long-haul flight that is four to five hours and if you’re flying through the evening. If you do want to recline it, I would always ask the person behind you if it’s alright with them. It’s just the right thing to do.”

 

‘Think before you order food on a plane and ask if you can use the middle seat armrest’

“You can’t expect people to be annoyed at you if you need to go to the bathroom on a plane. If you’re aware you will need to use it a lot, make sure you book a seat closest to the aisle - but sometimes that can’t be done. A big problem on planes is the ‘middle seat’ problem, over who can use the armrest etc. It can be really annoying, but I guess the best thing is to ask if they can use it. It’s also hard when people eat something smelly. I’m always aware of what I order to eat for this reason. You should think before you order!”

 

‘Always dress smart when you’re travelling by plane - avoid ripped jeans and tracksuits’

“When travelling on a plane, it’s important to be overdressed rather than underdressed. I would avoid ripped jeans or tracksuits. It’s a good idea to wear something smart - a pair of chinos, a shirt with cufflinks and a jacket. A day dress would be appropriate to wear, too. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed, regardless of how hot/cold it will be where you are headed. The Royals are always dressed for the occasion when they’re travelling.”

 

‘Try to be quiet on a plane - people don’t need to know your life story’

“It can be noisy on a plane, but sometimes it can’t be helped. You need to be aware of the people around you, people don’t need to know your whole life story. People are quite relaxed on planes so it’s often quite noisy anyway. It’s lucky that phones normally don’t work on planes, so that would have been a big factor. If you are using an electronic device, definitely use headphones to avoid any arguments.”

 

‘Dress accordingly and be respectful of the way they live’

“In other countries, you must respect their culture and traditional protocols. In some countries, it is illegal if you don’t respect their traditions. It’s all about being respectful of the way they live. It shows you respect their country and values in life. If you need to cover up in terms of clothing, you must follow this. Dress accordingly. It’s incredibly disrespectful if you walk around not abiding by it.” 

 

‘People shouldn’t eat and drink in Harrods, let alone churches and monuments’

“Eating and drinking in churches and places of interest should be a standard rule worldwide. It is far from acceptable to do that, regardless of where you are. You have to show respect when you’re in places of worship. I wouldn’t eat or drink something in a shop, let alone a church. Etiquette-wise, it’s not alright. I find it very impolite. It’s about using common sense. If you’re in the cinema, you’re going to eat and drink. If you’re in Harrods, you’re not going to eat and drink.” 

 

‘Think before you take your pictures’

“In terms of taking pictures when you’re experiencing other cultures, it’s again about common sense and being respectful. If there are signs prohibiting people from taking pictures, then definitely follow this. They’ve said it for a reason. It’s normally the case in galleries and museums. It’s a chance for people to take it in with their eyes only, which is rare these days. You have to judge it at that moment and ask yourself, ‘Is it necessary to take a picture?’”


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V: 1.31.0 All rights reserved. August 2021
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