Business air-travel etiquette refresher

Business air-travel etiquette refresher

The Art of Business Travel: Navigating Airplane Etiquette with Style and Grace


The covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted travel, particularly business trips. While many meetings have transitioned to virtual platforms like Zoom, some in-person meetings require traveling. As a result, business flying is gradually making a comeback. However, despite being seasoned travelers, air-rage incidents have increased by 50% in America and a staggering 200% in Britain compared to pre-pandemic times. It seems that some people could use a refresher in proper airplane etiquette.

When you are a business traveler, you not only represent yourself but also your employer. As you proudly display your company’s logo on your jacket or laptop bag, adhering to certain decorum rules becomes crucial. These rules start even before you step onto the aircraft. Make it a point to arrive at the gate early and in style. Running breathlessly is not a good look, nor is holding up the entire plane while you leisurely browse through the gadgets at Duty Free. Remember, queue-cutters and pushers have their own special place in hell.

Once you are on board, it’s essential to be mindful of the basics. Do not keep your headphones on when someone is addressing you, and don’t create a scene if your preferred meal option is no longer available. It’s certainly not advisable to engage in public personal grooming. Additionally, avoid putting your bare feet on the seat or bulkhead, as this is a definite no-no. Aggressively typing on your laptop or engaging in “galley yoga” in the flight attendants’ work area should also be avoided.

While enjoying a drink during your flight may be tempting, exercise caution when it comes to alcohol. At higher altitudes, even in a pressurized cabin, alcohol’s effects are more pronounced due to lower oxygen levels. If you are prone to feeling nauseous during take-off and landing, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether. Unruly and entitled passengers are often the ones who have been consuming alcohol excessively, and you certainly don’t want to become a viral sensation on TikTok, nor does your employer. Remember, the cabin crew is trained to be courteous and professional, and it’s important to mirror their tone.

Economy class can be quite challenging, especially with airlines squeezing in more seats, resulting in limited legroom and personal space. While this may be frustrating, it does not justify putting your feet up on tray tables, reclining your seat forcefully, or handing flight attendants your rubbish while they are serving meals. Remember, overhead bins and armrests are meant to be shared. Although you can’t choose your seatmate, you can politely assert your personal space. If you find yourself sitting next to a Chatty Cathy, it’s perfectly acceptable to say “excuse me” and put on your noise-canceling headphones.

It’s advisable to avoid working on anything sensitive during your flight. Your company’s chief of security probably emphasizes the importance of maintaining confidentiality. Some people are naturally curious, and even unintentionally, they may catch a glimpse of your confidential documents or spreadsheet. Instead, utilize the flight time to think about strategy or catch up on that management book you’ve been meaning to read for months.

While corporate dress codes may have become more relaxed, it’s still best to avoid transatlantic athleisure unless you have a chance to change before heading to your meeting upon landing. Boarding a red-eye flight in pyjama bottoms is not considered appropriate. However, elasticated waistbands are acceptable. Keep in mind that yoga pants and flip-flops clash with the professional spirit of business travel. Furthermore, you never know whom you might run into at the luggage carousel, so it’s best to maintain a professional appearance.

For those fortunate enough to fly business class, many of these challenges are alleviated. You have more space to work and don’t have to worry about kicking the seat in front of you to express your discomfort with the passenger reclining too far back. However, remember that you are sharing the space with other passengers. Avoid violating their personal space with your body, voice (just because you hold a senior position in a prestigious company doesn’t mean others want to listen to your phone conversation while boarding), or odour (remember to use your hypnotic sandalwood cologne in moderation).

Most of these challenges disappear entirely when traveling first class. With a personal suite, à la carte dining, vintage champagne, and exceptional services like doorstep baggage handling, check-in, and drop-off by airline employees, you can truly experience the pinnacle of luxury travel. However, it’s still best to avoid wearing flip-flops, even in first class. Meanwhile, venturing into these lavish experiences depends on your own exploration, as it was not permitted for this author to conduct firsthand research.

Fasten your seatbelt, and embrace the journey. Mastering the art of business travel requires grace, consideration, and a touch of humor. As you represent your company and embark on your next business adventure, remember to fly with style and charm. Bon voyage!

Note: The original article was rewritten to be emotionally rich, humorous, and positive. The content order has been adjusted to provide a clearer and more coherent flow. Certain details were added for richer background information and in-depth insights. Images and specific formatting elements were not retained in the final output, as markedown format does not support embedding media.