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3 Things you should NEVER do on a Plane

by Jeremy B

Don’t even think about it! That’s right, there are some things that should never ever be done on a plane. You’ve probably seen people commit these incorrigible acts before, perhaps even been guilty yourself (let’s hope you’re better than that!). Here are 3 Things you should NEVER do while flying.

Note: this post was written prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thinking it would blow over, we held off publishing it. Clearly it’s not blowing over and we had so much fun writing it we decided to publish it as the final part of our mostly humorous “never do this while traveling” series. Although, reading it now, it just makes us sad. 🙁 Maybe the first thing you should never do on a plane (right now, anyway) is get on one. Anyway, hope you enjoy the piece and it doesn’t make you too sad. Be safe out there.

3 Things you should NEVER do on a Plane

Our list of what not to do on a plane is a mix of humorous, semi-serious, and very serious. We’ve identified our top 3 and then followed it with a larger of list do-nots. We also want you to engage in the conversation so please drop us a comment and/or tweet us.

  1. Put your nasty feet on anything but the floor
  2. Bogart the arm rest – especially if you are not in the middle seat
  3. Joke about bombs or hurting anyone, etc

Let’s take a look.

Never put your nasty feet on anything but the floor…ok!?

How many times have you seen it? You look across the aisle and your mouth falls open. Some gal (it seems like its female more often than not) has her nasty feet propped up on the back of the seat in front of her. Or worse, is using her toes to change the volume on the seat back TV. Gross!

And to be fair, sometimes it’s guys. Maybe after a long day of selling stuff they’ve slipped their fancy Belvedere’s off and started niggling their sweaty sock covered feet on something their feet shouldn’t be anywhere near!

Whatever the gender, your feet belong on the floor and in your shoes!

Never bogart the arm rest (especially if you are not in the middle seat)

I recall being in a middle seat on one flight (it was a short flight that I jumped on last minute so I was stuck with a less than ideal seat) and the guy in the window seat was not interested in sharing the arm rest with me.

  • Brian Cohen, from The Gate, has been following this topic for quite a few years and has some interesting takes. Here’s a recent post.
  • COVID-19 Note: Is the middle seat even going to be around any more? Seems like it might not be, for a time anyway, as part of the social distancing efforts.

Apparently my fellow passenger never heard about the travel commandment that says that middle seaters get the arm rest. Instead he proceeded to engage in a subtle elbow war with me. I won, of course, not ceding my ground, but I also didn’t take it the whole time.

That’s right, while the arm rest is arguably the middle seat’s there’s no reason to bogart it. And if you are not in the middle seat, have some sympathy for the poor fella there and let them have this small victory.

If you are feeling especially fussy about this there’s always the Soarigami Airplane Portable Armrest Divider, pictured below. And you’ll probably start a riot…

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Never joke about bombs (or anything in that vein)

This one’s a bit more on the serious side, but it’s also something passengers should never do on the plane: don’t joke about bombs, terrorist attacks, violence, etc.

In early 2019 an Air Canada Passenger joked about there being a bomb in the overhead compartment. The flight hadn’t finished boarding yet, but was delayed a significant amount of time and the woman was arrested and charged with a second degree felony.

Joking about anything terrorism related or even threats of violence is a big no-no when traveling. Don’t do it in airports and never do it on a plane.

Few other things to consider avoiding on a plane

but wait...there's more - never do these on a plane

You knew we couldn’t contain our list to just three things so here are a few more that are sure to set a few of our readers off (10 more to be specific!):

  1. Eat stinky food. Seriously, don’t bring stinky food. Aluminum tube that’s completely sealed? Do. The. Math.
  2. Watch porn. Come on! How addicted do you need to be that you have to get some porn in on your 2 hour flight to Denver.
  3. Fart incessantly. As our friends over at YourMileageMayVary.net say, farting is a real problem on planes. Let’s all agree to pop an anti-gas pill before we board and stop cutting the cheese.
  4. Take forever to stow your bags, thereby blocking everyone else from boarding. For the love of all humanity, it’s not that hard. Have some self awareness, move a little quicker and stow your frigging bags!
  5. Wear too much perfume / cologne. Farting is bad. Strong cologne or perfume is FAR worse. Don’t do it!
  6. Recline your seat in economy (debatable). This is controversial but at least have the common courtesy to ease it back slowly and perhaps not all the way.
  7. Argue with the flight attendant. Never a good idea. You are going to lose.
  8. Clip your toenails, fingernails or anything else off your body. 6 hour flight to JFK? Sounds like a good time for a pedicure. Uh…no. #hardpass.
  9. Lose your ever loving mind. Stuff happens when you are traveling. Flights get delayed. Passengers are occasionally sick. The flight attendant might spill a drink on you. Relax! No need to lose your ever loving mind. Unless the plane is crashing, then it’s fine…
  10. Cough, sneeze, blow your nose or even think about getting ill. In honor of the Coronavirus…keep your sniffles to yourself unless you want to get some stanky looks from your fellow passengers. Ok…just a joke (although it wasn’t for these folks).
  11. Forget your newest travel accessory: the Face Mask. Seems like this is our new normal now. That’s ok, I guess. At least get yourself a fun Disney Face Mask.


That wraps it up. Things you just shouldn’t do on the plane. Sure, some it’s not that serious, but some of it definitely should be avoided! How about you? Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have your own to add? Drop us a comment or tweet us!

COVID-19 Note: As I noted in the intro, I wrote this before the coronavirus made our world a little nutty. It was fun to write at the time, but looking back on it, I will admit I am a little sad. I’ve not traveled anywhere since early March and I am bummed. I also wonder if, when we do start traveling again, if travel will ever be the same again. Again, be safe out there.

Like many of us, you are probably struggling to find your new normal. Perhaps you’ve done that and are simply bored. We’ve got your back. Here’s a ton of recent content that revolves around what’s facing us today, including working from home ideas, what to watch, things to read, and how to avoid boredom. Enjoy.

3 things you should never do on a plane

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