9 Things to Never Do on an Airplane

Long transits and even longer plane rides are draining enough, but we often forget that there’s an in-flight etiquette that can’t be overlooked. Besides the obvious, like, maybe don’t open up that jar of homemade chili mid-air, there are actually a few important acts to never do on airplanes. Here are the things to never do on an airplane to keep both yourself and your fellow passengers sane and happy.

1. Don’t Go Barefoot

Airplanes can be drenched in germs, and the last thing you want is to be swimming in them. Not only are airplane floors a hotspot for bacteria, but they might also hold the spare glass from broken cups and other items. To avoid making anyone uncomfortable, or even accidentally stinking up your aisle, it’s best to opt for cozy socks and save the bare feet for the beach.

2. Don’t Recline Your Seat during Dinner

Nothing is worse than being cramped between two airplane seats, especially when the meal trolley comes rolling your way. Despite your view on the ethicacy of reclining your seat on airplanes, make sure you never do so during meal times. A lopsided tray table and a congested dining space is the last thing anyone wants to endure on a flight, so keep your seat upright to allow your fellow passengers a comfortable dining experience.

3. Don’t Overindulge in Alcohol

A drink or two may be good for quelling airplane anxiety or adding flavor to an otherwise drab dinner, but too much alcohol makes for disorder and dehydration. An airplane’s low humidity and wafer-thin air speed up alcohol’s absorption and magnify its effects. That means you’ll get drunker faster and end up feeling the effects of dehydration sooner. Plus, you could end up being a nuisance to your neighbors, so make sure you refrain from overdoing it on the liquor.

4. Don’t Test out a New Medicine

Experimenting with a new medication, especially a sleep-inducing one, is never a good idea on a plane. Imagine grappling with a serious side effect while you are thousands of feet in the air. Everyone reacts to sedatives differently, and you don’t want to risk finding out that the recommended dose is enough to put you in a sleep so deep the flight attendants have to practically carry you off the plane.

5. Don’t Order Ice, Tea, or Coffee

Most aircraft water supplies are crawling with bacteria. In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency passed the Aircraft Drinking Rule Act, which made it so that airlines are banned from passing out water from the tap. However, that same water is still mostly used in ice cubes, so it’s best to ask for your drinks without them. Hot drinks are also prepared with tap water, meaning they’re bubbling with bacteria. Opt for canned drinks instead and thank us later.

6. Don’t Stay Seated the Entire Time

If you’re traveling on a transatlantic flight, make sure you get your blood moving at some point during the trip. Don’t be embarrassed to get up, shake your limbs out, or even walk around the plane for a little. Staying seated on an airplane increases your chances of developing deep vein thrombosis, which are blood clots that typically form inside your legs. To reduce the risks, you should be moving around every few hours, or even doing some sedentary exercises that involve lifting up your knees.

7. Don’t Put in Your Contacts

Dry cabin air and eye contacts make for a terrible combination. Irritation and redness are all too common side effects, so if you can, it’s best to opt for glasses. Plus, this will keep you from accidentally falling asleep with your contacts on.

8. Don’t Wear Shorts or Skirts

Ditch the short shorts, mini-skirts, and sundresses. Since airplane seats aren’t cleaned between flights, it’s best to make sure your skin never makes contact with them. Go for pants or leggings instead to avoid any exposure to on-air germs.

9. Don’t Turn off Your Air Vent

Despite airplanes’ often icy temperatures, it’s best to bring a blanket or a sweatshirt as opposed to turning off your air vent. Your air vents are actually preventing airborne germs from traveling into your vicinity, so it’s recommended to keep them on at all times.

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