If you’ve only ever travelled on a two hour flight to the sun, you may be wondering about the etiquette for long haul flights, so we’ve put together these handy tips for you:

When we talk about long haul, we generally mean flights of over six hours, and they are usually in a wide body, twin aisle aircraft.

Think about locker space

The overhead lockers on twin aisle aircraft are larger than those of the budget airlines, but you still need to pack them sensibly and bear in mind that several other people will need to use them as well. And remember, on long haul, someone will almost certainly need to get something from their case during the flight, so watch the stacking!

About seat recline

One of the nice things about long haul is that even in economy, you’ll have a seat that reclines for sleep. But remember, there’s someone right behind you So when you do recline, or choose to come back upright, do it slowly! Remember that their table is attached to your seat. And when it’s time for food or drink to be served, always bring your seat back upright – it’s really uncomfortable trying to eat with the table sticking into your stomach.

While we’re talking about tables, remember the reverse is true – your table is directly connected to the back of the person in front of you, so no drumming please!

Use the blinds

If you’re in the window seat, you have control of the blinds. So be aware about what’s happening to the light in the aircraft. If someone a couple of seats away is being blinded by the searing sunlight at 35,000 feet, close the blind for them.

Screen Brightness

You might not be able to sleep, so you could choose to watch the in flight entertainment. But if it’s night time and others are snoozing, turn down your screen brightness.

Keep the kids under control

If you’re flying with children, as hard as it is, you need to do your best to make sure they aren’t making someone else’s flight a misery. Stop them from kicking seats, being loud or running around the cabin.

Use the toilets!

There isn’t a polite way to say this, but the pressure difference of flying will almost certainly give you wind. If you feel the need to fart, head for the toilets, rather than slipping it out and looking innocent.

Keep things tidy

With some flights lasting well over ten hours, you’ll gather a load of stuff – in fact you’ll probably have a blanket, pillow and headphones on your seat before you sit in it! It’s good etiquette for long haul flights to keep things neat by putting stuff away in the locker when you don’t need it, and gather up any rubbish and wait for cabin crew to do a rubbish run.

Elbow room

Chances are, someone on your flight will be sitting next to a stranger, and then we get into the whole thorny issue of who gets the middle arm rest! The best answer is to share it. If you were there first, take it for the first hour, and then shift to the side so they can have their turn.


As aircraft get quieter, loud conversation and booming bass from music is becoming more of a problem. Be aware of how much noise you or your family are making, particularly if people are trying to sleep around you. And, please – never watch TV or your phone or tablet without headphones.

Those are our golden rules for etiquette for long haul flights. Would you add any? Give us a shout on our Facebook page and let us know.

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