First-time travellers or veteran frequent flyer, we're all guilty at one point or another of being rude and contributing the the hell that is airport travel. Here are our top 5 tips for airport etiquette, in the hopes that everyone will just behave themselves and make it a bit more pleasant for everyone!
Be nice to the staff - Yes, you're tired. Yes, your flight has been delayed. Yes, you've been standing in a queue for an hour too long. But that's no excuse to yell at someone who is genuinely trying to help you. Airport staff, especially people at ticketing counters and security, see the very worst in people every day. Why not show a little compassion and smile at them, or thank them for their help? You never know, it may even get you an upgrade.
Be prepared for security - Chances are, you've been through security. You know what's about to happen. You know that your laptop, coat and shoes need to go through the x-ray, along anything metal you might be carrying. So why would you wear huge lace-up boots and stuff your laptop deep into your bag so you have to rummage around for it while everyone rolls their eyes at you? With a little foresight and consideration, you can zip through in under a minute. And don't whine about your water bottle. No one wants to hear that.
Control your kids - It can be tough wrangling passports, boarding passes, diaper bags, and hyperactive two-year-olds. Nobody is denying that. But if you're flying with kids it's your job to make sure they're entertained enough not to run screaming down the concourse throwing wads of gum at people (true story!). Have games, snacks and other diversions ready to go, or take turns walking around. Many airports have play areas or family rooms, so take advantage of them.
Don't make inapropriate jokes - Let's get one thing straight: you're not funny. Jokes about bombs in your carry-on, hijacking the plane, or anything else that even hints at threatening the safety of the people around you are totally inappropriate and will be taken seriously by staff. One smart remark about anthrax or cocaine will get you bounced off your flight and explaining yourself to the local police faster than you can say 'cavity search'!
Don't hog the baggage carousel - Your flight has landed, you're off the plane, and all you want to do is be on your way. Problem is, that's what everyone else wants too. So what do we all do? We jam up to the baggage carousel with our trolleys and 20 family members squeezed as close to that little door as we possibly can. The secret is, if you move around to the other side, you'll have plenty of room and not be delayed by more than 30 seconds. While you're at it, please wait behind the yellow line so people around you can see and grab their bags. And seriously, keep your kids off the conveyor belt. It's not that kind of carousel.