Category Archives: Airlines

10 Important Things to Do If There’s a Terrorist Attack While You’re Traveling

When it comes to travel in 2017, 84 percent of people said they are somewhat concerned about their safety, according to a recent survey conducted by Global Rescue, a provider of medical, security, evacuation, and travel risk management services. Not surprisingly, Europe, along with Africa and the Middle East, has emerged as a top-three destination in terms of concern level.

In the wake of recent attacks in Paris, Nice, Berlin, Brussels, Istanbul, and Sweden, terrorism remains top of mind as a perceived travel threat, despite accounting for about three percent of U.S. citizen deaths overseas. In fact, 55 percent of survey respondents ranked it as either first or second on a list of greatest threats they see while traveling in 2017; 44 percent rated health and medical issues as a top-two threat; and 37 percent ranked crime as a top-two threat. Traffic incidents — the leading cause of death for U.S. citizens abroad — came in fourth, with 23 percent rating it as a top-two threat. The good news is that nearly all participants (96 percent) said they are still likely or very likely to hit the road this year.

Still, there’s no doubt the world is an unpredictable place. “We all know we can’t avoid a terrorist attack,” says Patricia Aguilera, director of American Citizen Services at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. “They will come without warning.” With that in mind, we spoke to both Aguilera and Scott Hume, director of Security Services at Global Rescue, about what people should do if they find themselves traveling when a terrorist attack strikes.

Photo courtesy of Niels van Reijmersdal via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Niels van Reijmersdal via Flickr

1. Do your homework.

Precautionary measures should begin before you book your trip. The first and foremost thing a traveler should do is check for safety advisories on the destination. Head to travel.state.gov to familiarize yourself with the current conditions in the country, and load up on other country-specific information, such road safety and entry requirements. If you see a travel warning or alert, the U.S. State Department recommends reconsidering or postponing travel to the destination. “There are plenty of places that have travel warnings and have pockets that are safe, but for the most part, we recommend reconsidering if that’s the destination you want to visit,” says Aguilera.  “Carefully read those travel warnings because each one is different. It’s tailored to the situation on the ground — some are for high crime, and some are based on the possibility of being kidnapped. Everyone’s comfort level is different — and our goal is to inform.”

2. Enroll in STEP.

Once you’ve picked your destination, Aguilera recommends registering in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This provides travelers with localized real-time updates and security announcements. It also offers information on demonstrations and protests, so you can plan accordingly. Should something occur, travelers will be notified on which areas to avoid.

3. Share your itinerary with loved ones.

It’s crucial to share your itinerary with your loved ones, including where you’re going, who you’re traveling with, and where you’re staying, so they may reach you in the event of an emergency. Don’t forget to communicate any changes to travel plans, too.

4. Avoid high-risk areas.

If you can, take a direct flight instead of stopping in a place that may have a travel warning, Aguilera suggests. Another tip: Minimize the time spent in areas of the airport where it’s less protected, and make sure you get to a secure area as quickly as possible. “Based on the terrorist incidents in the last couple of years, the [attacks] have happened outside the secure area,” she says. Hume also recommends using a taxi or ride sharing service to reduce exposure to crowds and large gatherings while traveling within a city.

Beyond location, vacationers should also consider when they’re traveling. Plan a trip when it may be less frequented by tourists, Aguilera suggests. “Terrorists want to have a high value impact,” she says. Visiting during an off-peak season means your surroundings will likely be less congested. Last but not least, consider the hotel — make sure to choose a property that has high security standards, as well as Wi-Fi.

5. Make an exit plan.

Before you go, make a note of where the safe havens are located — police stations, hotels, and hospitals, to name a few. If you’re traveling with other loved ones, formulate a plan of action in the event that you are separated and cell coverage is spotty. Pick a designated meeting spot and time, Aguilera suggests. Hume also notes that establishing and reviewing a rally point with travel companions each day can be helpful. Of course, knowing the layout of a city is also vital.

6. Carry cash and a paper map.

“Always have local currency and an ATM or credit card available. This will allow you to pay for transportation and other needs in the event of an emergency,” says Hume. Hume also recommends carrying a paper map in case cell service or internet connection is limited and you need to navigate the city. Ensure your travel companions are using the same map. Local maps are often provided by hotels.

7. Purchase travel insurance.

Part of preparing also means investing in insurance. “Each traveler should look at the fine print as to what they’re getting insured,” says Aguilera. “When you purchase an airline ticket, they might insure you to return without any penalties or fees in case of an incident. There’s also insurance to be medevacked out in case of a medical emergency. Medical insurance is perhaps the most important thing that people should consider spending an extra few dollars on.” As medical evacuations can be a costly procedure, it’s best to be safe.

8. During the attack, run or get low.

Travelers will have two options if they find themselves in the midst of a crisis or terrorist attack. Assess the situation — if you’re not immediately in the vicinity of the attack, run, Aguilera says. If there’s a shooter in place, drop to the floor or get as low as possible in order to get out of the line of fire. Once you know the danger has passed (and you’re not harmed), get to safe place — a hotel nearby, friend’s house, police station, hospital — as soon as possible.

“If a traveler should find themselves in a dangerous situation, remember to move away from the area as quickly and safely as possible. Follow all instructions from emergency personnel, and do not attempt to return to the scene to help or gawk. Remember that your life is not worth recovering luggage or capturing a cell phone video,” says Hume.

9. Listen to local media.

Aguilera advises that everybody tune into the local media to find out what the local authorities are saying. They will likely advise you as to the next best steps to take, whether it’s to stay put or avoid transportation.

10. Don’t contact the embassy unless you are injured.

“We recommend taking the phone number of the closest embassy to you, so you’re able to call if you’re injured,” says Aguilera. That being said, the embassy will focus on those who are injured. It’s important to have a plan to communicate with someone back home. “If you are safe and physically unhurt, call your loved ones,” says Aguilera. “During an emergency, cell phone service can be spotty and landlines can be locked, so get word back to your family members.”

Consider a satellite phone or utilize and internet connection to communicate via email, messaging app, or social media, Hume suggests. But make sure to have another way to communicate as well. “Cellular networks can become quickly overwhelmed, as was the case in Brussels and Paris immediately following the attacks, so having alternate means of communication is a must,” says Hume.

There is an unlikely legal loophole that lets stateless undocumented immigrants stay in the US

Undocumented immigrant from the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia or Dutch Antilles? A 2001 Supreme Court ruling says you’re in luck.

President Donald Trump’s long-promised deportation force is getting to work. Last Monday, Feb. 13 the Department of Homeland Security announced that 680 people were detained over the past week as federal agents raided homes and workplaces in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and other cities. But there is one category of undocumented immigrant that the Trump administration will have trouble deporting: stateless people whose home countries no longer exist.

The loophole dates back to the bizarre case of Kestutis Zadvydas, who was born to Lithuanian parents in a displaced persons camp in 1948 in post-war Germany and later emigrated to the US as a child. The US government sought to deport him in 1994 after he served a two-year sentence in Virginia for possessing a half-kilo of cocaine. But both Germany and Lithuania denied that he was a citizen of their countries, and he was detained for three years. The US Supreme Court later ruled, in Zadvydas v. Davis, that the government cannot indefinitely detain immigrants under order of deportation whom no other country will accept–or if their home country has simply vanished.

New countries pop up with some frequency. South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, and Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. The globe is littered with aspiring nation states: Scotland, the Caucasian breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Catalonia in northeastern Spain, and Veneto, the watery, city-state dream of gondoliers and bankers. Every time a country is born, it means decades of headaches for officials at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

This predicament will sound familiar to viewers of the 2004 film “The Terminal.” In the movie, Tom Hanks’ character, Viktor Navorski, lands in New York hours after a coup in in Krakozhia, his fictional Balkan homeland. Now a stateless man, he spends the better part of a year in the international departures terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport. Navorski cheerfully makes the best of his time in immigration limbo, earning quarters by returning luggage carts and wooing a pretty flight attendant.

The film’s villainous customs supervisor is alternately perplexed and infuriated at his inability to deport him–a frustration common to law enforcement officials dealing with real-life Victor Navorskis.

“People think we can just put someone on a plane and then kick them out in Moscow or wherever,” a Homeland Security official told me last fall. In reality, Homeland Security often spends years negotiating with countries to convince them to accept aliens that may not technically be their citizens, such an ethnic Serb born in Yugoslavia.

Just how many stateless people like Viktor Navorski are in the US? The figure is unclear. In a December 2012 report, the UN High Commissioner for Refugee found that between 2005 and 2010, there were 1,087 asylum requests in the US from people listed as stateless. Between fiscal years 2009 and 2014, records show that ICE succeeded in removing hundreds of people with obsolete passports, including the Soviet Union (309), Czechoslovakia (168), and the Netherlands Antilles (24).

But statelessness plays a part in only a small percentage of Zadvydas cases, an ICE official told me. The most important implication of the Supreme Court’s decision is that aliens typically cannot be detained for more than six months while awaiting deportation. Cuba, Somalia, China, and India are among the countries that Homeland Security tags as the slowest to accept their citizens back, which then lets them walk free.

Immigration hardliners have railed against Zadvydas for this reason for years. Since 2013, 8,275 criminal aliens were released under this judicial precedent, according to statistics touted last year by the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.

“The decision has been a flash point for anti-immigrant forces,” says Judy Rabinovitz, who masterminded the litigation strategy that won the Zadvydas v. Davis case in 2001 and is now a deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.

What will be the next independence movement to raise a flag, declare a new country, and confound ICE agents for decades?

Your move, West Papua.

[via QZ]

PLANE ETIQUETTE Who should get the armrest on the plane and WHY does it make passengers so angry?

TWO lawyers became viral sensations today, when footage emerged of them embroiled in a heated argument over an armrest during a Monarch flight.

The pair, who allegedly resorted to spitting and hitting during the row on a flight to Malaga in Spain, certainly aren’t the first to fight over control of the middle ground, so what are the official rules for plane armrest etiquette and why does it make passengers so mad?

Etiquette expert William Hanson and body language expert Judi James have spoken to The Sun about the big battle of the skies, explaining why people care so much and who can really claim it as their own.

According to the former flight attendant Jacqueline Whitmore, there is an unspoken rule that the person in the middle seat gets both arm rests because the person in the aisle can get up without any problems and the window seat has the view.

Two lawyers became viral sensations today, when footage emerged of them embroiled in a heated argument over an armrest during a Monarch flight

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Two lawyers became viral sensations today, when footage emerged of them embroiled in a heated argument over an armrest during a Monarch flight

But William Hanson says etiquette dictates that both people should share the armrest.

He believes that trying to claim the entire post for yourself is the height of bad manners.

What are the official rules for plane armrest etiquette and why does it make passengers so mad?

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What are the official rules for plane armrest etiquette and why does it make passengers so mad? (file photo)
According to William Hanson, the armrest should be used by both people sitting either side of it

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According to William Hanson, the armrest should be used by both people sitting either side of it

William told The Sun: “The armrest is actually more of a seat divider than an armrest.

“Armrest is misleading as a term, because only one person can rest an arm, but two people can rest their elbows on it.

“One person’s elbow can go on the front and the other person can go on the back.

“Etiquette is all about compromise and not being selfish, so taking up the entire armrest is bad manners.”

Etiquette expert William believes that hogging the armrest is the height of bad manners

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Etiquette expert William believes that hogging the armrest is the height of bad manners

While that might seem clear cut, Judi James believes that the no man’s land of the armrest is a battle that will never end, because the battle for space is inbuilt into us as human beings.

She told The Sun: “Space is something that humans and animals fight wars over – it’s the most inflammatory thing.

“It’s why people whose garden wall if half a centimetre to the right can fight with their neighbours for years. We can’t avoid being territorial.

“We even adopt personal ownership of things that really don’t belong to us, like our chair in the office, or our seat on a plane. It brings out the warrior in us.”

Judi James believes that the armrest battle is just human instinct

JUDI JAMES
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Judi James believes that the armrest battle is just human instinct

While some passengers manage to smile and suppress the urge to fight over the armrest, Judi believes that it is a spontaneous reaction in all of us to try to claim it.

She said: “Armrests are always going to be a problem because it’s shared space with a stranger that you can’t halve equally – the airline is asking you to share something that you can’t share.

“Most people aren’t even thinking about their share though, they’re going for total domination and submission of everyone else around them.”

According to Judi, the reason that we care so much about this spot in particular is because of it has a direct effect on our body confidence.

She said: “Confidence is directly linked to the space under your armpit.

“The upturned V gap that we have under our armpit when our elbows are pointed away from the body gives us body confidence.

“If you are forced into not using your arm and have to bring your elbows in towards your body, you feel physically smaller.

“This in turn makes you feel as though you’ve been lowered and submissive, and no one likes to be locked into a place of submission by a stranger.

“But if you have elbows on both arms of the chair, away from your body, you feel in control.”

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“Ryanair is now Europe’s largest Airline and has dynamic plans to grow further. We are recruiting for  an unlimited number of Cabin Crew positions and will be recruiting throughout Italy in the coming weeks. No Cabin Crew Experience is required – however you must be an ambitious, hard working person with excellent customer service skills and a passion for travel and meeting new people.”  Andrew Swan, General Manager.

Crewlink will be holding Recruitment Days in Italy on the following dates:

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American Airlines flight diverted to Knoxville after bomb “threat”

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An American Airlines flight made an emergency landing at the Knoxville area airport Tuesday night following a bomb scare, reports CBS Knoxville affiliate WVLT-TV.

A spokesperson for McGhee-Tyson Airport in Alcoa, Tennessee, Becky Huckaby, told the station the pilots asked for permission to land at around 10 p.m. and requested that airport emergency crews be on standby.

American Airlines spokesperson Ross Feinstein said Flight 1804 was bound from Charlotte to Indianapolis when the carrier got a bomb threat.

The airline told CBS News the “threat” came from a non-credible robocall.

After the plane landed, passengers were evacuated and crews found no bomb or technical problems with the plane.

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Passengers from diverted American Airlines flight mill about at McGhee-Tyson Airport in Alcoa, Tennessee, just south of  Knoxville,  on night of January 31, 2017

JULIE MAHURIN

Feinstein said the plane was grounded overnight and depart Wednesday. He said passengers will spend the night in noxville hotels.

One witness told WVLT two people were removed from the plane separately from other passengers. CBS News was told the two men were later seen by other passengers in the hotel after they were questioned by authorities and released.

The station says four or five officers along with a police K9 boarded the plane. More than a dozen law enforcement agents and emergency crews were on scene.

The Knoxville police bomb squad also responded and searched at least two luggage items.

5 Must-Know Facts From American Airlines’ Earnings Call

Investors seem to care more about profit margin at a time when fuel costs are rising slowly and labor costs are rising precipitously.

Emirates Announces a 2nd U.S.-Europe Flight: Delta, United, and American Howl

By Fool – Earlier this week, Middle Eastern airline giant Emirates announced that it will launch a nonstop route from Newark Airport, just outside New York City, to Athens in March. The aircraft will continue on from Athens to Emirates’ hub in Dubai. This will make it the only airline to provide year-round nonstop service to Athens from the United States.

Emirates is starting another nonstop route from the U.S. to Europe. Image source: Emirates.

Not surprisingly, U.S. legacy carriers Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL), United Continental (NYSE: UAL), and American Airlines(NASDAQ: AAL) all protested this move. Right now, the three carriers — along with their European joint venture partners — control a massive share of the U.S.-Europe air travel market. They don’t want any extra competition from Emirates.

A long-running feud

For years, Delta, United, and American have lobbied the U.S. government to put limits on the growth of Emirates, as well as its smaller rivals Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. The U.S. carriers argue that their Middle Eastern rivals are competing unfairly by using state subsidies to fund their growth.

The evidence that Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways rely on government subsidies is fairly strongOpens a New Window.. Seeing the success of Emirates in creating jobs and driving economic growth in Dubai, the governments of Qatar and Abu Dhabi have spent huge sums of money in an effort to build up their own airlines. By contrast, Emirates is probably a self-sufficient business.

However, Emirates actually irks Delta Air Lines, United Continental, and American Airlines more than its smaller rivals. That’s because it has encroached even further onto U.S. airlines’ territory by toying with so-called “fifth-freedom” routes that connect the U.S. and Europe directly, rather than routing all flights through its Dubai hub.

In late 2013, Emirates began flying between New York’s JFK Airport and Milan, competing directly with American, Delta, and Alitalia — and indirectly with United, which flies to Milan from Newark. Emirates was allowed to operate this route because the flight continues on from Milan to Dubai.

A big ruse?

Fifth-freedom flights such as Emirates’ New York-Milan route are controversial. Typically, an airline is not allowed to carry passengers between two foreign countries without a stop in its home country. However, decades ago, airplanes had much less range than they do today. As a result, airlines had to make stops on longer routes. Fifth-freedom rights made these routes feasible by allowing the airlines to pick up additional passengers at those stops.

Today, plenty of airplanes are capable of flying nonstop from Dubai to New York. The only real reason for the stop in Milan is to carry New York-Milan traffic.

Thus, while this route may not violate the letter of the law, it does seem to violate the spirit of fifth-freedom rights. Each of the other four airlines flying from New York to Milan is based in the U.S. or Italy.

Not surprisingly, Delta Air Lines, United Continental, and American Airlines cried foul — but their protests have gone nowhere. Consumer advocates welcome the additional competition that Emirates provides, viewing the U.S. carriers as forming a tacit oligopoly. Furthermore, Emirates is Boeing‘s biggest customerOpens a New Window., providing another reason for the U.S. to not intervene.

Another fifth-freedom route

Emirates will take advantage of fifth-freedom rights again with its new Newark-Athens route. (The plane will continue on from Athens to Dubai.) The route announcement drew a quick condemnation from the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, a lobbying group formed by Delta, United, and American to fight the Middle Eastern airlines’ expansion.

Delta and its peers want the government to block Emirates’ new Athens-Newark route. Image source: The Motley Fool.

However, while the U.S. carriers may be justified in their ire regarding Emirates’ Milan-JFK route, they are much less sympathetic figures in this dispute. After all, none of them operate year-round service on this route.

In fact, no airline operates year-roundOpens a New Window. from Greece to any U.S. airport. United Airlines flies the Newark-Athens route during the summer season. Delta and American also operate seasonal service to Athens, from New York and Philadelphia, respectively.

Emirates’ new route will offer travelers the option of a nonstop flight to get between Athens and New York outside of the summer peak season. In doing so, it will probably steal some customers who would otherwise fly from the U.S. to a European hub on Delta, United, American, or one of their joint venture partners and connect onward from there.

Nevertheless, the benefit in terms of consumer convenience would seem to far outweigh any harm related to cannibalizing U.S. carriers’ connecting traffic. The new flights might also stimulate additional economic activity, by making it easier to travel between the U.S. and Greece.

If U.S. carriers can’t make year-round nonstop flights to Athens work, they aren’t obligated to operate those routes. But they shouldn’t try to stop other airlines from giving it a shot.

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The 3 Things to Do When Your Flight is Cancelled and What American Airlines Calls a Salad

  • The 3 most important things to do when your flight is cancelled: find your own alternatives, be nice, and hang up/call back.

    Known for his points hijinks and flying escapades, Gary Leff, the founder of View From The Wing is a big proponent of this tactic. After many flight delays, he knows that being able to present your own options to the agent can help. What might seem crazy to one person – like flying to Florida to avoid bad weather in Chicago – seems perfectly normal to another.

    The key, according to Leff, is to be humble and not “do it presumptively.”

    …“When it is not just one flight and it is weather, a lot of travelers are taking it out on the agent. I find it easy to commiserate with them about other travelers, tell them you think they’re doing a good job,” says Leff. “You can get an agent on your side by being nice. A little bit of kindness can stand out.”

  • The American Airlines enchilada was fine (Austin – Charlotte lunch), but are two cherry tomatoes, one slice of cucumber, and single piece of lettuce a salad?
  • 7 people have been arrested in connection with a 58 million euro diamond heist at Amsterdam airport that occurred 12 years ago.
  • How the media influences our fear of terrorism. On this blog I’ve laid out the controversial things I believe, including that:

    There aren’t actually a lot of people out there trying to blow up airplanes and the only useful changes in aviation security post-9/11 have been reinforced cockpit doors and a new equilibrium where passengers will fight back against any hijacking. In fact, more people have been harmed by the germs they’ve picked up taking off their shoes without socks walking through security checkpoints than have been protected by the TSA (which has never caught a terrorist).

  • Woman thrown off a flight after an anti-Trump rant

  • Two people who met through an online travel forum got married on a Cathay Dragon flight. And it’s awesome. (HT: One Mile at a Time)

Family kicked off American Airlines flight because of SEVERE nut allergy

AMERICAN AIRLINES told a family after boarding they would no longer be allowed on the flight, because their two children had severe nut allergies.

Dr Rosanne Bloom and her family were flying with the US airline from Philadelphia to the Turks and Caicos Islands on Christmas morning.

When Rosanne boarded the flight, she had informed the crew that her teenage sons suffered from nut allergies.

The last thing she expected was to be kicked off the flight.

The family had already boarded the plane and had settled into their seats, when they were asked to leave.

american airlines uk nut allergy symptoms

American Airlines has removed a family from a flight due to a severe nut allergy
Their luggage had also been removed from the flight.

When Rosanne asked why they had been taken off the flight, the response was because her two sons had an allergy.

She told New York Times: “I said, ‘We have our medicine. We brought our own food, and we’re comfortable staying on the plane.’

“I offered to sign a waiver. We were off the plane in two minutes.”

american airlines uk nut allergy symptomsGETTY

American Airlines removed the family from the flight after they had boarded in Philadelphia

 

American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller told the newspaper that such decisions are at the pilot’s discretion.

He said: “The pilot determined it would be best for the family not to travel based on the severity of the allergy and the need to divert the airline if anyone were eating nuts.”

Express.co.uk has contacted the airline for further comment.

The story comes after two teenage girls were caught living in Barcelona airport for four days before being noticed.

american airlines uk nut allergy symptomsGETTY

American Airlines said it’s up to the pilot to decide whether to fly allergic passengers or not

According to airport officials, two 13-year-old Vietnamese girls had spent four days living in Barcelona Airport’s international transit lounge.

The pair were only noticed after they tried to enter the airport’s Schengen area – where there is no border control.

Medical staff said after an examination that the girls were disorientated and crying.

The pair did not say how they had arrived at the airport, nor where they were heading.

These are the rules for reclining your seat mid-flight

EVERYONE travels differently: ocean or lake, hotel or rental, tropical island or snowy mountains.

But where people’s biggest differences converge (and at times explode) is usually in the air.

In case you haven’t seen the headlines about in-flight brawls, the masses are decidedly split when it comes to that little button on the arm rest — to recline or not to recline?

For a long time, the answer to this seemed simple to me: The right to recline your aeroplane seat comes with the territory. I purchased a ticket that includes access to that little recline button, and the person behind me has a right to those few inches behind them as well. What kind of person would deny anyone that general right?

But one day on a flight to London, that all changed for me.

The moment that the monster of a human sitting in front of me sent a full cup of scalding hot tea careening into my lap when he jolted his seat back during food service, I knew I’d been wrong about that rule of thumb all along.

I let out an audible gasp and then a few choice curse words as the hot water turned cold on my now burned thighs. I waited for an apology that never came.

And then I decided that someone, anyone, should settle in writing once and for all the rules of decency for pushing that recline button. It may as well be me.

Let’s see if we can all agree on these guidelines for reclining your aeroplane seat.

These rules will help us all get along in the sky. Picture: iStock

These rules will help us all get along in the sky. Picture: iStockSource:istock

RULE 1: (THE GOLDEN RULE) LOOK BACK

You have the right to recline. But why wouldn’t you give the courteous half glance backward to let your rear neighbour know that you’re about to encroach on what little space they already have? Sure, it’s only about two inches of vacant air, but the principle of taking over that space merits at least a body-language warning. Especially so they can brace the contents of their tray table if needed, and especially if they’re on the tall side.

RULE 2: DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT RECLINING DURING MEAL SERVICE

Airplane food isn’t exactly delicious, but it’s the one small pleasure you’re allotted while you’re stuffed into a sea of wall-to-wall passengers like the well-mannered sardines the airline wants you to be. Can’t the one thing I look forward to on this flight stay off of my legs? Can’t we all agree to spare our fellow passengers an hour of freezing cold, wet clothing? Hold off for those twenty minutes of your hours-long flight.

RULE 3: TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED

Some aeroplane seats recline more than others, and some passengers need only an inch to be comfortable. Do us all a favour: recline only as far back as you need, and be aware that a seat in my lap is more likely to get grabbed when I’m getting up than the aisle armrest.

You can’t just fling yourself backwards: you need to be considerate.

You can’t just fling yourself backwards: you need to be considerate.Source:ThinkStock

RULE 4: RECLINE SLOWLY

The biggest issue I had with that scalded lap incident is that I had zero time to even try to prevent it. Coming in hot is pointless in your quest for five degrees of reclining space. You’ll get there just as effectively if you take your time. Let’s all acknowledge that the few pleasures you get while flying are for the most part located on a seat back.

RULE 5: USE YOUR WORDS

We’re all human — we make mistakes and we sometimes don’t see eye-to-eye. But we all have been taught since childhood to use our words. Your seatmates are your peers in travel, and the intragroup dynamic should be, at the very least, a civil one. What if you all end up stranded on a deserted island together?

Passive-aggressiveness is likely the root cause of so many of those flights diverted thanks to brawling passengers. So speak up: say thank you and apologise when it’s necessary. Ask nicely and you shall receive. You’re sitting too close to your fellow passengers for too long to be that proud.

This article originally appeared on Smarter Travel.