Travel Etiquette tip: Don’t push and shove!!

My younger sister came to visit us last week. When we picked her up at the airport, our first question, as always, was, “So how was your flight?”

She paused. “Well…… it was fine.”

Hardly a ringing endorsement. When I questioned her further, she said that the person she sat next to was clearly not a frequent flier. She seemed okay, if tense, during most of the flight. But when it was time to get disembark, she started to get agitated. My sister, who was sitting in the aisle, stood up to stretch her legs. But as she was in row 14, she was politely waiting for the people in front of her to leave. But the woman next to her started literally pushing my sister, saying, “Go! Go! Aren’t you going to go??” My sister answered that she was waiting for the people in front of them. The woman responded to this by pushing my sister back against her seat, squeezing in front of her into the aisle, and then shoving her way through the aisle-full of people. Um, wow.

Friends, that is not how to handle things. My opinion is that the only time it is borderline okay to not wait for the people in front of you to de-plane is if you have a connecting flight, and are going to miss your flight if you don’t leave quickly. Or if you have a medical condition. Other than that, you need to wait your turn. Since I usually prefer the window seat, I will just stay seated until it’s my turn–no need to stress myself and the person next to me out! It’s just a few more minutes, so be polite to your fellow travelers and wait your turn.



  1. Agreed! While I’ve never been pushed out of the way by another passenger, I have had the window seat folks stand right up against me, as if I need a reminder that they also need to leave. I have a friend who always gets the window seat and is the last person to leave the plane just so she can avoid the “pushers”.

  2. True, and if you DO have a quick connection, it helps to (politely) inform others around you. I once had a 20-minute connection in the Denver airport, and we were running a few minutes behind schedule on top of that. Thanks to FlightTrak (best iPhone app I ever bought), I knew that my landing gate and departing gates were in different concourses.

    Being only a few rows back from the front (pre-planning counts), I informed the people around me, and the flight attendant that I was going to have to rush. The flight attendant got my bag out of the overhead bin while we were still taxiing to the gate, and the first few rows of people were happy to “part the seas” to let me be the first off the plane. Still had to run, but nobody was offended or put out.

    And if you’ve checked a bag? There is NEVER a need to rush off the plane. You will always beat your bag to the baggage claim.

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