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What NOT To Do On Your Next Cancun Flight

by Laurie Gourley on October 21, 2010

What not to do on your cancun flight

My job leads me to travel often. I am accustomed to security lines, airplane food and minimal leg room.

But during my last flight to Cancun, I could not help but notice how many airplane passengers have no concept of airplane courtesy. There is something about sharing a small space that makes everyone forget their manners.

Here are some tips on airplane etiquette that will help prevent your seat mate from pouring that screwdriver on your lap:

Common Blunders When Boarding the Plane

Cancun Flight with Luggage

Not Saying Hi to Your Neighbor:

When sitting down next to someone, you should give a small greeting. You are spending the next few hours sitting next to them; you don’t have to have a conversation with them or become fast friends, but not saying a simple hi is plain rude.

Holding Up the Airplane with Your Luggage:

If you have a big carry on, board the air plane early when possible. While you are putting luggage in the overhead bin, watch for people trying to pass. Step into the seat if possible to keep the flow of traffic. Pay attention because you may be causing a bottle neck. It’s not all about you.

Faux Pas During Your Flight

Stealing the Arm Rest:

The arm rests belong to the middle seat. If you are in the window or isle seat you have one arm rest the other is not yours. If you are in the middle seat and the two people next to you make claim to the arm rest, it will be a long flight to Cancun.

Pestering Your Neighbor:

Keep in mind that sometimes it’s not appropriate to have a conversation. A lot of business people use their time to work. I always bring my lap top to write blogs or design new facebook promotion. And it’s the worst when my seat neighbor doesn’t get the hint I am busy. Pick up social cues and make sure that your neighbor is wanting to talk before you tell them your whole life story.

Not Apologizing When You Hit Someone

You should always say sorry or pardon me if you bump into the person sitting in the aisle seat. My daughter and husband both love aisle seat, however they both are constantly bumped by other passengers. My daughter once had someone drop their luggage on her TWICE and not say sorry!

Bringing on Smelly Food:

Flights to Cancun can be long and most airlines don’t serve food. Be aware of what the food you bring smells like. On my flight to Cancun, my seat neighbor brought on food the smelled like curry and the whole cabin had to smell it.

Talking about Inappropriate Topics:

Flights to Cancun can be a great way to meet new people and start your Mexican vacation early. Just remember people can hear you. During one of my many flights to Cancun, I had to listen to all the details of this woman’s vacation one night stands. Why do people think their inappropriate conversation is not being listened to? They are only a foot in front of me!

Mistakes While Flying to Cancun with Children

Cancun flight with kids

Forgetting to Pack Things to Keep your Kids Happy:

I never get upset if a baby or small child is crying during one of my flights to Cancun as long as the parent is making an effort to keep them happy. You should bring food, toys or books to keep them occupied.

Shoving Dirty Baby Diapers in the Seat Back Pocket:

That is just disgusting – for the people near you and the next people who sit there. And not to mention the poor flight attendant who has to pick it up. Please dispose of baby diapers properly by putting it in an airsick bag and throwing it in the bathroom garbage.

Being Rude to Passengers with Children:

Have patience with children during your Cancun flight because that was you or could be you someday.

At the end of the flight, I asked the “stewardesses” of Continental Airlines if they had any other flight Faux Pas they would like to share. Unanimously they told me, “We are flight attendants not stewardesses.” Even a seasoned air traveler can learn a few new airplane tips.

Cancun flight staff

Can you add any airplane blunders to my list?

Laurie is CEO at All About Mexico. She loves traveling, tennis and making new friends. You can follow her on twitter @allaboutlaurie.
Laurie Gourley
View all posts by Laurie Gourley
  • Lisa Key

    OK, Pet Peeve…I hate it when someone lays their seat all the way back! Go back one or maybe two nothces but not the whole way. The person behind you is not wanting you to lay in their lap! They are unable to get up to go to the bathroom or get to their things placed under the seat in frontof them. Once on a flight home from Paris, I had a guy in front of me who really needed a bath. The smell of him made me feel sick to my stomach. Then he put his seat all the way back. I politely asked him to raise it. When he refused pretending not to speak English, I showed him the air sickness bag. Only then did he raise up the seat for fear that I would get sick on him! SOOO Rude!

  • Brenda McElroy

    1. Having Conversation with the person next to you as if they are in the BACK of the plane instead of next to you.

    2. Laughing LOUD as if you are in a bar instead of in an enclosed area.

    3. Farting…just because their is recirculated air under your seat doesn’t mean you can just pass gas…as if its JUST gonna disintegrate into thin air! Hello!!!

  • http://twitter.com/flyingphotog FlyingPhotog

    One thing I’m always courteous about is reclining my seat. I tent not to recline unless the seat behind me is vacant. If you recline in the coach / economy cabin you can be 100% sure it will bother the person behind you.

    Also, I have to say this for my Flight Attendant friends. Please tell your Flight Attendant “please” and “thank you.” They work hard, and deserve the appreciation. Smile at them. Make eye contact!

  • Charles

    On a flight from Cape Town in 2004 the passenger in front of me put his seat all the way down and then kept on banging on it to (I guess) try to make it go flatter. He only raised it briefly when the cabin crew asked him to do so to let me eat, but then smashed it back down again when they turned their backs. I know that the crew wanted to move me but couldn’t as the plane was full. I still don’t know how I didn’t lose my temper for 12 hours. As mentioned in a previous comment I usually only lower the seat 1-2 notches and only on long flights – but I look behind first to make sure my fellow passenger is eating etc.

  • Robert Anderson

    Personally, I bought my ticket and therefore bought my seat and feel that I have the right to recline. If the airline didn’t want its passengers to recline why would they give your seat the option to?

    I don’t fly too much but I’ve never felt that small space between upright and reclined was that big of a deal.

  • Maria

    I think it’s acceptable for people to recline their seats. If it wasn’t, why would the airline make them able to recline?

  • http://allaboutcancun.com Laurie Gourley

    Thank you so much for all of your comments! Airplane travel can be stressful enough without having to worry about the proper etiquette.
    After hearing all of your comments, I wonder who you think should be in charge of educating the consumer on airplane dos and dont’s?

  • Marisol Perry

    1. Having Conversation with the person next to you as if they are in the BACK of the plane instead of next to you. 2. Laughing LOUD as if you are in a bar instead of in an enclosed area. 3. Farting…just because their is recirculated air under your seat doesn’t mean you can just pass gas…as if its JUST gonna disintegrate into thin air! Hello!!!

  • Joanna Wall

    OK, Pet Peeve…I hate it when someone lays their seat all the way back! Go back one or maybe two nothces but not the whole way. The person behind you is not wanting you to lay in their lap! They are unable to get up to go to the bathroom or get to their things placed under the seat in frontof them. Once on a flight home from Paris, I had a guy in front of me who really needed a bath. The smell of him made me feel sick to my stomach. Then he put his seat all the way back. I politely asked him to raise it. When he refused pretending not to speak English, I showed him the air sickness bag. Only then did he raise up the seat for fear that I would get sick on him! SOOO Rude!

  • Imogene Love

    On a flight from Cape Town in 2004 the passenger in front of me put his seat all the way down and then kept on banging on it to (I guess) try to make it go flatter. He only raised it briefly when the cabin crew asked him to do so to let me eat, but then smashed it back down again when they turned their backs. I know that the crew wanted to move me but couldn’t as the plane was full. I still don’t know how I didn’t lose my temper for 12 hours. As mentioned in a previous comment I usually only lower the seat 1-2 notches and only on long flights – but I look behind first to make sure my fellow passenger is eating etc.

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