Don’t Wear Your Backpack When Walking Down Plane Aisles

a black and blue backpackApologies in advance, y’all, but I’m about to go on a bit of a rant.

It could be all the travel lately. It could be the major international trip coming up has stressed me out. It could be the fact that everyone in my house has a cold and no one is sleeping and my patience is down to zilch.

But for the love of all things, PLEASE don’t wear your backpack on your back when walking down the aisle in a plane.

You may think that you are smarter than the average passenger, and you are surely aware of how much space your bag takes up. Let me tell you–you aren’t, and you don’t. And even if you were some master of spatial relationships, things happen when you’re boarding a plane that make all of that irrelevant.

Here’s an example from last week. Some guy with one of those amazing expanding backpack had filled every single pocket to the max on that bad boy, and I swear it stuck out three feet behind him. At first he was very carefully navigating around seats, being sure not to hit anyone. But then a couple of things happened simultaneously that ruined what I assume were his plans of being considerate. First, someone coming forward from the back shoved (rudely) past him and several other people in their impatient quest for row 8. This made the person in front of Backpack Guy fall backwards, and Backpack Guy got knocked sideways. His backpack hit the passenger sitting next to him in the aisle so hard that it literally knocked his glasses off.

I get that this was an accident, and it wasn’t really Backpack Guy’s fault. You may be the most careful backpack wearer ever, but there is just no way to anticipate scenarios like this. One option is to wear your backpack on your front. One is to put it on top of your spinner and walk it sideways in front of you. Another good option is to hold it in your hand so you have a little more control over where it goes, and if it hits anything it’s someone’s knee and not their face.

Readers, do you use a backpack for travel? Where do you put it when going down the aisle?


Be sure to check out my page with products I recommend for travel!

a flat lay of hair accessories

Have a travel question or suggestion? Send it to RW

Follow Road Warriorette on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest!

This post may include affiliate links. That means if you click on something and make a purchase I may make a few cents. Thanks for your support!


  1. In your hand or on your spinner is literally the only proper way to go. Unless you are also carrying a baby and then anyone who knocks into you is the bigger ass.

  2. There should be a sign on every plane with the title of this post: “Don’t Wear Your Backpack When Walking Down Plane Aisles”

    Should be common sense, but well, you know…

  3. I think your being a bit over sensitive about this. I’ve had plenty of people with messenger type bags hit me in the face, arm or head walking down the aisle as well. I use a backpack and normally just carry it and my roller bag. To me once you get to the airplane door your carry on, roller or other bags should have the handles down and ready to stow asap as you carry them down onto the plane. This saves time once you get to your seat and will allow others to board quickly but wearing a backpack isn’t a major issue to me.

  4. I totally agree with your post, drives me crazy too! I do carry a backpack and I always carry it in my hand near the floor and keep an eye on it constantly to avoid bumping people.

  5. Not just planes. Elevators and subways too. People can be so clueless about how much space their backpacks take up. Cannot count the number of times that I have almost been hit in the face.

  6. The problem is not the backpack, it’s the people. It’s all about being considerate when moving down the aisle, not about the bag.
    I’ve been hit in the face or shoulder by purses and messenger bags – because people don’t pay attention to what they do. Does that mean, you should ban purses? Probably not!
    I travel frequently with a backpack and usually carry it in front of me. If I board as one of the first people or fly business/first and have a short way to go, I sometimes leave it on my back. I have never hit anybody with my backpack – ever. I’ve never hit anybody with my roller-bag either, and that’s after 4M miles and hundreds of flights…

  7. I, a gray haired woman, was hit in the head by a backpack last week while sitting in a plane. I yelped in shock. The young female backpacker looked down at me and said in a condescending voice “It wasn’t done intentionally”. That remark made me see red more than the whack in the head. How do you reply to someone who apparently thinks they are not responsible as long as the whack was not intentional?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.