Pre-Flight Etiquette: Your Do’s and Don’ts

BY Travel Writer

New security regulations have been put in place to help keep travelers safer and weed out any potential threats. In order for these regulations to operate smooth and effectively, we should all learn a little something about airport etiquette. What is airport etiquette? How are you supposed to behave when in the airport? Here are 5 airport etiquette tips on what to do and what not to do when stepping inside an airport.


  1. DO Be prepared and know where in the airport to go.  Familiarize yourself with the airport you will be leaving from and landing too. Online you will find virtual maps that help you to locate your correct terminal ahead of departure, so you will know exactly where to go.
  2. DO Keep sounds and smells to yourself! Whether you are traveling with family or alone, you should use your inside voice to avoid disturbing others. Use headphones when watching videos or listening to music while waiting. Be considerate of smells. Many people are sensitive to certain smells. Fragrances, fish, bananas, cooked meats, potatoes are among the top 5 smells you should avoid in all airport and airplane settings.
  3. DO Wait patiently in a single file line. It’s always recommended to arrive early to the airport in case of delays in TSA or in general. While in line, have your documents ready to quickly speed through the checkpoint when it is your turn.
  4. DO Wash your hands regularly. The best way to stay healthy and prevent a future visit to the doctor is to just wash your hands. Airports have visitors and germs from around the world.
  5. DO Speak clearly and be polite to TSA inspectors, gate agents, and others there to help you. Avoid being too demanding and remember other travelers are behind you needing assistance too.


  1. DON’T make a scene. If a person in a uniform asks you to do something, don’t get upset or embarrassed. Never try to joke about bombs or terrorists because it will cost you some time in a holding room. IF you have a problem ask to speak with a supervisor.
  2. DON’T reach into your jacket directly after setting off the metal detector. Keep your hands up and let the agents do their job which usually involves just patting your body.
  3. DON’T take up too much room in the flight waiting area. If you see that there are people standing, and your suitcase or extra bag is on a chair, you should offer someone that seat. Make room for others.
  4. DON’T let your children, or siblings run around and yell. Parents should keep their children in check by being aware of the people around them. Don’t overwhelm the crowd.
  5. DON’T pet or let children pet a sniffer dog. They may look cute and harmless but they can easily send you or your child to the emergency room.