Thousands of people pass through airports daily. Only some of them are total jerks.
Whether it stems from ignorance or entitlement, bad behavior at the airport is a common occurrence. And travel is stressful enough without the added aggravation of dealing with rude, pushy people while boarding a flight.
Avoid becoming a cliché by knowing and avoiding these common behaviors that will make other travelers roll their eyes at you.
1. Arriving late on purpose
You’ll be just in time to skip everyone in line. | iStock/Getty Images
If you overslept or got in a fender bender on your way to the airport, that’s one thing. But if you’re the type who intentionally shows up late for a flight because you were counting on the check-in staff letting you skip the line, you’re just being inconsiderate of everyone else’s time.
Next: The moving sidewalk is not a sightseeing tour.
2. Standing on moving sidewalks
It’s especially true when you stand in the middle. | Stewart Sutton/Getty Images
You know those moving sidewalks in airports? They’re designed to get people from one end of the airport to the other, not to provide the world’s slowest sightseeing tour. Standing on a moving sidewalk with all your bags blocking the path is a sure way to make a few enemies.
Next: The rules shouldn’t be a surprise.
3. Being surprised by security
It’s pretty well known what you can expect. | paulprescott72/iStock/Getty Images
Let’s say you’ve been living in a remote, Wi-Fi-free shack in Alaska for the past 20 years, and you’re just now emerging to take your first flight. Even if you have no understanding of how security checkpoints work, you can make it through without holding up the line.
Remove your shoes. Leave the water bottle at home (unless it’s empty). Pack toiletries in the right containers. Don’t bring your machete. It’s not that hard.
Next: Weigh your bag before you go.
4. Attempting to check overweight bags
Weigh before you go. | sebastianosecondi/iStock/Getty Images
We’ve all seen them: those people at the check-in counter frantically flinging sneakers and sweatpants into their carry-on bags to make them a few pounds lighter and avoid the fee.
Weigh your bag before you depart for the airport. And if it’s over the limit, simply pay the price and move on. There’s no need to hold up the line just because you can’t travel without 10 pairs of shoes.
Next: Don’t save a seat for your bag.
5. Putting your stuff on seats in the waiting area
Don’t do it if it’s crowded. | romrodinka/iStock/Getty Images
Sitting right beside someone while waiting for your flight isn’t ideal, but sometimes it’s necessary. Placing your bag or coat on the seat to provide a buffer is the airport equivalent of intentionally parking your Mercedes in the center of the white line, so no one can park next to you.
Next: Put on your headphones.
6. Listening to videos without headphones
Please wear headphones. | iStock/Getty Images
Of course you find that YouTube video hilarious. But not everyone does.
Get a good pair of headphones (the kind that other people can’t hear), and use them anytime you’re doing something on your phone or laptop that makes a sound.
Next: Tame your children.
7. Letting kids run wild
Make sure your kids are behaved. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images
Bored kids in airports are difficult to control, and childless travelers need to have some amount of understanding for inevitable toddler tantrums. But that’s not carte blanche to let your kid somersault over seats.
Even if you don’t normally let Junior watch his iPad or eat chocolate, a vacation is a great time to break rules. Allow a little flexibility if it’ll keep your child quiet and happy during the long wait.
Next: Limit your liquor.
8. Getting drunk at the airport bar
They may not let you on the plane. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images
Inebriated passengers are obnoxious at best and dangerous at worst. Don’t be the person stumbling along the moving sidewalk or passing out and causing a flight delay while the gate agents try to locate you.
Next: No one is entitled to more than one outlet.
9. Hogging electrical outlets
Don’t steal all of the outlets. | LiudmylaSupynska/iStock/Getty Images
Even if you have tons of electronics to charge, it’s rude to use more than one precious outlet. If you’re an electricity hog, consider investing in a high-quality portable charger, so you don’t annoy the other people in the terminal who need to charge their phones, too.
Next: Stick with your group.
10. Ignoring which boarding group you’re in
It may work some of the time, but it’s pretty rude. | vinhdav/iStock/Getty Images
There are people who get up to board before it’s their turn, feigning ignorance but simply hoping the gate agent will let them slip past anyway. It may work some of the time, but it’s quite rude.
Wait your turn to board. The plane isn’t going anywhere without you.
Next: Be patient with other travelers.
11. Acting like a know-it-all
Be patient. Not everyone travels as much as you. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images
Just because you’re someone who travels all the time and have it down to a science, it doesn’t mean you should act like a jerk to people who may be a little slower or less accustomed to procedures than you are.
Rather than huff and puff, why not try asking whether they need help finding their way? It’ll score you some major karma points.
Next: Stand back from the baggage carousel.
12. Crowding the baggage carousel
Only step forward when you see your bag. | Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Here’s a helpful hint: Standing right up against the baggage carousel won’t make your bags come through faster, but it will annoy every other traveler near you.
Common courtesy dictates that you should stand back from the carousel and only step forward when you see your bag. If you’re that concerned with getting out of the airport quickly, don’t check any bags.
Next: Be polite.
13. Arguing with the airport staff
Speak kindly and clearly. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images
From check-in agents to TSA employees and gate staff, everyone at the airport is working hard to make your trip as smooth as possible. Becoming irate and causing a disturbance when you disagree with a member of the airport staff will only make your life harder — and make everyone around you uncomfortable.
If you have a legitimate concern with the way an airport employee is treating you, calmly ask to speak to a supervisor. Or call and voice your complaint after your trip.
Next: Don’t dilly-dally.
14. Walking slowly
Pay attention to those around you. | tupungato/iStock/Getty Images
Some people are physically incapable of hurrying through the airport. But other people walk too slowly because they’re preoccupied with texting, enamored by the sights and sounds, or just aren’t paying attention.
An airport is a busy place, and if you are prone to meandering, try to stay out of the way of people who need to legitimately rush to their gate to catch a flight.
Next: Keep germs to yourself.
15. Traveling sick
Don’t spread your germs to everyone else. | Manuel-F-O/iStock/Getty Images
Either reschedule your trip or wear a surgical mask if you must get on the flight. A sick person who doesn’t even try to prevent spreading their germs is the height of rudeness.
Read more: Here’s How to Skip the Airport Security Line
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