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These Are The Definitive 15 Plane Etiquette Rules, According To BuzzFeed

These Are The Definitive 15 Plane Etiquette Rules, According To BuzzFeed

A couple of weeks ago, we polled our audience to see what they thought about a number of controversial plane etiquette points.

The jury (yes, that’s all 250,000 of you who voted) has reached their final decision, and we, BuzzFeed, will be chiseling these rules into a stone tablet somewhere.


Please do not rest your feet on the back of the seat in front of you — it’s disgusting.

The cardinal sin is when the person behind rests their bare feet in “the gaps or even on the back of the seat in front of you/bottom of your tray table. Gross. Keep them on the floor.” – MammaG


Saying hello to the stranger sitting next to you is the polite and friendly thing to do.

The voice of reason: “Saying hi is fine; chattering non-stop is not.” – bluepandapop


You probably shouldn’t take your shoes off.

The voice of reason: “I would like to clarify: bare feet on the plane are never okay but if you want to kick off your shoes with clean socks on go for it.” – jakkiw2

“The longer the flight, the more OK it is to take off your shoes.” – mglitcher

Nadezhda1906 / Getty Images


If you get separated from your significant other, it’s perfectly fine to ask someone to switch seats with you. Just don’t expect them to say yes.

The voice of reason: “I think it depends on the seat. If I’m in an aisle seat and you’re asking me to move to an aisle seat a row or two up or back, no problem. If you’re asking me to take a middle seat 10 rows back, you can fuck right off.” – PHM8


Clapping when the plane lands is for tacky Americans.

“Just adding that I think clapping is fucking tacky.” – evilbeagle

“The only time I have ever understood clapping at landing is if it was a tricky landing for some reason. A few years ago I remember we were landing in Ottawa and it was ice raining…the pilot warned us that he was going to attempt a landing and that it might be rough and that he might have to abort it and fly to Toronto to land instead. When he got us on the ground, with a lot of jostling, we all clapped. But besides that…I don’t get it.” – aliciap4b45a57b7

Gorodenkoff / Getty Images


The middle seat gets both arm rests.

The voice of reason: “There are 4 armrests, for 3 seats. Why would window or aisle deserve an extra armrest? They already have the other perk. I always sit middle because I fly with my husband, and it is so annoying when the aisle seat stranger takes the armrest and drapes over into my valuable, tiny space.” – guess1who


Reclining your seat is sometimes a necessary evil, and you’re not a selfish asshole if you do it.

The voice of reason: “You should at least ask the person behind you if it’s okay to recline your seat. I have long legs, and if someone reclines their seat, I don’t have enough room.” – jmcdermott40

“It’s like half an inch to you but a foot to me.” – 33elmo

“Recline only when it’s sleep time in the cabin. You can push it back a little (like an inch) for a short flight but the person behind you doesn’t want your head in their face for six hours. The plane isn’t your bed.” – kittenbags


If you’re thirsty, use the call button. That’s what it’s there for.

The voice of reason: “That’s literally what the call button is for?” – aliciap4b45a57b7

Although someone did make the case for patience: “I just wait for them to come around. Alot of flights I’ve been on lately will give you the bottle or can, so I just ask them not to open it.” – alexandram1991


You’re well within your right to wake someone up if they fall asleep on you.

The voice of reason: “I don’t wake them up per se. More…gently move them off me. Especially if snoring or drooling is involved!” – bassbabe

Ok, there are exceptions. “I had a really hot guy fall asleep on me during a transatlantic flight, and I was ok with that!” – tomb4adc7727a


People gotta eat! It’s OK to bring in outside food on a plane.

The voice of reason: “If you’re bringing in something super stinky, or messy, then no. If it’s not super stinky or super messy, then it’s fine.” – AngelBun


You should not stand near the boarding gate if your group hasn’t been called.

The voice of pure frustration: “I hate when people line up at the gate before their section is called. Like the plane isnt going anywhere, calm down. The attendant will specifically ask them to clear the aisle for the section that WAS called and they will STILL just stand there blocking the gate.” – the_xtreme02


Go ahead and ask for that second snack on a JetBlue flight.

No one felt strongly enough to comment about this one so we’ll just say — go ahead and ask for another bag of those Terra Blues.


Don’t put your coat in the overhead bin.

The voice of reason: “I think it’s okay if everyone is already settled and there’s still room for jackets and other small items. If the bins are full to capacity, wear your jacket or put it under the seat.” – lizb0980


Be patient once the plane is landed — you should stay seated until it’s actually time to exit the plane.

The voice of reason: “I’ve never liked how people get off planes, all at once in a jumble. It should be church rules (first row first, then the next row, etc).” – izabellad


And under no circumstances should you stand in the aisle.

The voice of reason: “Unless you have a connecting flight you’re rushing to, sit down and think about someone other than yourself. Just be considerate of other people, it’s really not that difficult.” – Well said, Hollystaff.

“I just want to know who the 15% are that voted that it’s OK to stand in the aisle as soon as the plane stops. You aren’t getting off the plane any faster. It has been proven over and over that exiting row by row gets you off faster than if randoms jump up from the back and push their way to the front to exit.” – caitlan5

Quotes have been edited for length and clarity.

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