Make flying etiquette a high priority

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This topic contains 84 replies, has 41 voices, and was last updated by  icenspice 4 Aug 2016
at 21:04

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  • Anonymous


    I copy below a letter in today’s FT and I’d be interested in what my fellow posters think. Perhaps we, or BT could compose a reply to Mr. Goodall highlighting our findings?

    “Sir, Tim Clark of Emirates should worry less about a revamped A380 (report, July 17) and concentrate on conditions of carriage on his airline.

    On a recent flight from Paris to Dubai, I found myself alongside a senior French businessman who saw fit to remove his shoes and socks for the duration of the flight.

    A simple announcement would suffice, along the lines of “for the comfort and safety of all, guests [sic] are requested to keep their socks on at all times including when the seatbelt sign is extinguished”.

    Mr Clark, who seems to enjoy the media experience judging by the number of times he appeared on the setback screen in front of me, could indulge himself and record the message and thereby lead a revival in air travel behavioural standards for which the time is ripe.”

    Peter Goodall, Paris, France

    So, should we go back to the days of air travel etiquette where you’d be expected to wear a jacket and tie in the premium cabins?


    I have been on many flights where people take off shoes, more hygienically put some softer shoes or slippers on or the flight socks.
    You never know what you are standing in with a wet floor in the bathroom.

    I have also seen a guy LHR-CPT who was upgraded to UC, take his socks n shoes off, with filthy feet, dirty nails, stuck out into the corridor for the whole flight.
    This is a matter of Hygiene, not fashion choice.

    Personally, especially with a good Asian or Middle East Airline, dressing smartly, not needing to be business like, is what i feel comfortable in, as visiting a good restaurant. I find you get treated better also, as you are valued for making a smart effort, reflecting the service.
    Hygienic moves are a different matter…


    One of the (many 🙂 )etiquettes I keep when disembarking is to always allow passengers in the row infront of me to leave their seats and get their bags from the overhead locker before moving towards the exit.

    The number of times I see passengers trying to barge forward… with no where to go.

    Yes, I believe there should be a published etiquette when flying… standards have certainly dropped…


    I do not fly short haul much these days, but when I do it is always in economy.

    Is it possible to “share” an armrest with a neighbour?

    It was once the case that you had either the front half or the back half, so both passengers could get some use of the armrest that separated them, but these days it seems most folk think the whole thing is theirs.


    I will confess I often take my shoes off – nearly always in fact – but socks too? Ewwwww. But I have had a neighbour do it…

    But wearing jackets and ties on board? Oh dear God, no…. I simply cannot understand someone who would want to do that in this day and age.


    Goodness gracious…..flying definitely is a tricky business, especially up the back in goat class…..

    On a long haul flight,once the aircraft reaches cruising altitude it’s shoes off, but I’m very conscious of clean socks, and thankfully don’t suffer from smelly feet……which unfortunately some of my fellow travellers in the past have been pongingly unaware of , or worse don’t care… And I always wear slippers when visiting the loo,for the reasons mentioned by Marcus.

    Being clean and pong free is far more important than dress standards, Two chic French ladies sat a couple of rows behind me,and yet I still suffered their aromatic song all the way from HKG to CDG….I don’t exaggerate when I say they could have wallowed in the back street gutters of kowloon before boarding…

    And don’t get me started with people who spend much more cash on tinned beans(garlic optional) than they do on toothpaste and mouthwash.

    If the middle seat is free I always ask permission to use the free table rather than my own for drinks and snacks….And do have sympathy with esselle, particularly on American carriers.. : (

    Also adding two more to consider…people who bring their own regional culinary delights to scoff… a sandwich is fine, a smorgasbord of rancid marine life is not…
    And apologies to the young woman who wear skirts that makes my kilt appear to be a ball gown..I’m a hot blooded passionate male…please remove the distraction of your lovely, or in some cases not….thighs.


    Mt Goodall has must have plenty of time on his hands if he really needs to write to the FT about this.

    An announcement asking people to keep their socks on at all times? What a joke.

    Also how do you discriminate females from males. Females have a much higher propensity to wear open shoes etc especially in the current climate.


    This has really brightened my dreary Monday! So many excellent accounts which feed my frustration about falling standards. Usually described as the “dirty fleece brigade”, we’ve probably all stood behind them in a queue wishing they had washed said garment at least once since they bought it. There are also some smells which I won’t mention as it’s getting nearer to lunchtime.

    Add to the skirts like pelmets the lycra leggings that are trying to restrain copious amounts of flesh and failing miserably.

    Still have picture of my stepfather arriving in Mahon in a suit and tie, priceless!


    The essential reading for any traveller!!!!!!!! There is a section on first class.

    I did once object to guy walking through first class on Qantas in his underpants a few years back, but in the main remain unphased as to what other passengers do, unless it directly interferes with me.


    I tend to fly in loose jeans or linens and a tee shirt as I know i am going to be sleeping. Shoes always come off at cruising hieght but socks stay on, bathroom duties involve either shoes back on or the airlines slippers. I too get sick of stinky bare feet next to me which it seems more and more passengers do these days.

    like martin I make myself as wide as possible in the isle at disembarkation to let passengers get bags out, woe betide anyone that tries to push past. the conduct of passengers these days reflects the falling standards of consideration for those around you in day to day life


    I have been reflecting that there was much to be said for the days when one dressed up to travel. I appreciate that it’s unrealistic to expect a return to cocktail dresses for the ladies and tuxes for the gentlemen whilst in flight (I’m exaggerating slightly). However such elegance when compared to what I have recently experienced does seem attractive; by way of example:

    (a) Flip flops being worn on board especially by gentlemen. On a recent flight on BA in Club World from Barbados whenever I lent forward I had glimpse of less than manicured feet imposed upon me; and

    (b) On a recent flight on Singapore Airlines from Singapore to LHR in Business the gentleman across the aisle removed his shirt in full view. It was clearly a long time since he had last visited the gym. Not only that his short were far from well fitting.


    I hate it when the person in front or behind breaks wind and it’s a really nasty one. Then they do it several times over the next hour!!!!
    Good lord, we all have to do this but I implore you, when you know it’s nasty, please use the toilet instead of making those around you suffer.
    I would be embarrassed if it were me making a stench, why do some people think it’s acceptable?
    Simple good manners in my opinion.

    PS. MartynSinclair. Agree 100%. This annoys me intensely. Used to happen often on TK for some reason.


    I think a bit of what is correct dress depends a bit on the route and the airline. I never think twice about a man on Qantas domestic wearing shorts but it would not seem proper between LHR-FRA unless it was a hot weekend.

    As for feet, they ought to be covered at all times except when changing. Decent airlines provide socks in economy I believe and IME something better in First and Business and surely that is enough of a hint to even the thickest person that bare feet are not acceptable.

    I’ve noticed since I’m flying with SIA a bit more that they tell everyone to keep their shoes on until cruising altitude is reached and put them back on for landing. I believe it was one of the lessons of Taipei that some people were impeded from evacuating because of broken glass and metal fragments cutting their feet to ribbons. The female crew even have more substantial shoes for take off and landing so they take it seriously and so should others. I guess those of us who fly a lot almost have our own safety briefing in our heads while listening to the one of the airline of the day so for me now I always hear please keep your shoes on spoken by Singapore Girl.

    Fortunately I’ve never had a bad experience of suffering from the poor hygiene of another traveler but I would not hesitate to speak to the crew if I had to sit close to someone offensive.

    Perhaps they all turn right on boarding 😉


    I travelled Cathay to HK and back a couple of weeks ago and there were no socks in economy either way.

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