Tags: travel etiquette, travel customs, travel manners, etiquette questions, air travel
MS. BEHAVING has always loved to fly through the air to exotic destinations. Getting to the airplane itself can be an ordeal … but one made better with some compassion. To wit:
A READER WRITES: At my airport gate recently, all of the seats were messy with empty food cartons, newspapers, even spilled drinks. I know I can't change the world, but this is an unattractive start to any trip.
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: And nobody was screaming for all to hear on their cellphone at the same time? If not: lucky you! One thing you can do is to ask the person who has risen and left stuff on the seat if he/she has forgotten something. Most times, they will be suitably embarassed and put it in the trash. If all is messy and you don’t wish to offend the airport cleaner’s union, then Ms. Behaving suggests that you look … to the sky. See the pretty plane outside and imagine a cleaner life aloft. (This may be a stretch.) If we can’t change the world, we can alter our reaction to it.
A READER WRITES: Why does everybody dress like a slob to fly?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: Perhaps they thought they were travelling on an uncomfortable bus? But just because everyone jumps off the bad-dressing cliff, you don’t have to! Ms. Behaving always dresses comfortably yet respectfully when she flies, and the benefits are 1) she feels good about herself and 2) those hardworking airline personnel who toil on the ground and in the air appreciate it. Yes, sometimes there are free drinks when decent dress and manners combine, but the real reason we dress like grownups is … for us. Oui? Oui!
WHAT’S YOUR QUANDARY? Have questions about etiquette, local or global travel customs or awkward moments on the road? Fear not! Ms. Behaving is ready to answer. Send your queries (putting "Ms. Behaving" in the subject line) .