Tourist taking a photo of buildings

We are all familiar with mob-like mayhem that can erupt when fellow travellers are taking too long in the line in front of us at the airport and the irritation innocent tourists cause when we’re rushing to get to work in our hometowns. As travellers, we should work to avoid being the cause of these dilemmas and luckily for us, Skyscanner has provided simple guidelines to raise awareness on these small acts of poor travel etiquette that we can change quickly and easily. 

At the airport

1. Not having travel documents ready

At some point - and likely at multiple points - you’ll have to show identification and boarding pass at the airport. So whether it’s at the check-in desk, security line, whilst boarding, or all three, have your important travel documents ready at hand to avoid holding up the whole line.

2. Blocking the fast lane

Especially at major international airports, you can assume that travelators or escalators will have a ‘fast lane,’ which will be the side driver’s side for that country. Don’t block the fast lane with your body or luggage - there could be someone running to catch a flight behind you!

Travelator in airport

On the plane

3. Too much carry-on luggage size

Of course, every airline differs in its allowance for size and weight of carry-on luggage. But stuffing a bag to its very brim and then stuffing it into an overhead compartment might block others from being able to fit their luggage. It also holds up other passengers from boarding the plane. So as a general rule of thumb, if your baggage is oversized in any way, check it.

4. Hogging the arm rest - unless you’re the middle seat

The unofficial rule is that the two shared armrests in the middle belong to the middle seat. In fact, hogging too much space in general is inconsiderate of your row-mates. Try to stay within the ‘lane’ of your seat and ask politely if you need to extend your legs or arms.

5. Being impolite to cabin crew

Flying is exhausting and all too often, we end up getting grumpy. The cabin crew are easy scapegoats, but the truth is that they don’t cause delays, design the plane’s seats, or really do anything but make sure your journey is as safe and comfortable as possible!

Empty row on plane

On the ground

6. Not tipping for service abroad

It’s good etiquette to do as locals do when visiting another country - and this includes tipping for service. The biggest example is travel to the USA, where it is expected to tip 15-20% in restaurants. In Europe, 10-15% is normal when you’re pleased with service, but it’s not as enforced as it is in the States. However, in some countries, such as China and Japan, it’s actually rude and insulting to offer a tip.

7. Blocking the footpath

Quite like blocking the ‘fast lane’ at the airport, blocking the footpath in a new city is very frustrating for locals. It’s almost a guarantee that at some point you’ll need to reference a map, ask for directions, or snap a photo. So when the time comes, simply step to the side to get out of the way of street and foot traffic, especially during weekday peak hour.