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In recent years, amid increasingly limited personal space on airplanes and some less-than-considerate passengers, there’s been ample advice on how to be on your best behavior in-flight. Now, as we approach one of the busiest travel times of the year and head to some of the country’s most congested airports, thoughts will likely turn to the time you’ll spend in the airport, with millions of your closest friends, crowding on escalators, squeezing into suitcase laden seating areas and traversing through passengers crowding the gates.

So, in the spirit of this festive holiday season, we take a look at some of the biggest holiday travel etiquette offenses, along with advice on how to create a more cheerful travel experience with your fellow travelers.

1. Do you arrive late, with no time to spare?

Most frequent travelers have slept through the alarm or been stuck in traffic and arrived late to the airport, yet still get in line with the dozens of others who may be in the same situation. Jumping to the front of the line claiming you’re going to miss your flight is not okay, and while most travelers may not stop you, some of them may end up boarding a flight with you. If you’re really desperate to make a flight, talk to a gate agent or a TSA agent and find out your options.

2. Do you tend to lag in line?

TSA procedures have been the norm for 10+ years now, yet it’s still common to get stuck in line behind someone who didn’t remove their laptop…or their shoes…or their keys from their pocket. Instead of rushing to get in line, take a minute to make sure you’re prepared to help keep the line moving (and likely spare yourself an unnecessary bag check too.)

Related: Quiz – What kind of traveler are you really?

3. Do you keep to the right on the moving walkways?

Lately, you may have noticed more travelers pausing to take selfies or generally just taking a nice, long rest…all on the moving walkway that’s meant for, well, moving. If you decide to let the moving walkway do the moving for you, simply step to the side—bags included—and be sure there’s enough room for other travelers to pass by.

4. Do you keep seats free for weary travelers?

We’ve all done it. We find a nice long row of seats at our gate and we sink into one and toss our bag down on the seat next to us. Then, with our noses in our smartphones, we fail to notice the seats filling up around us. Next time, stow bags under your seat or simply at your feet and spare the seats for others.

Related: Try it – the hardest global landmarks quiz you’ll ever take.

5. Do you crowd the gate?

We all know the reason why this etiquette offense occurs. We all want to get our carry-on bag in an overhead bin before they are full. So, long before boarding actually begins a crowd forms to maneuver a position toward the front of what will eventually become a line, making it difficult for other travelers to pass through enroute to their own gate. Simply stated: Chill. Being a relaxed traveler will reduce your stress and that of those around you. And chances are, you’ll find space for your bag.

6. Are please and thank you regularly part of your vocabulary?

Finally, one of the easiest things any traveler can do to spread good vibes at the airport is to just be polite. A simple “please” or “thank you” or “pardon me” goes a long way anywhere, but especially in a crowded airport.

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Jeanenne Tornatore

Jeanenne Tornatore

Jeanenne specializes in savvy budget travel tips, destination experiences, industry trends and the latest products to make any trip go smoothly. A mother of three, she's seasoned in all things family-travel, from the most kid-friendly beach resorts to navigating Disney Parks. Jeanenne is an avid outdoor adventure seeker, as well as a regular TV and radio content contributor. You'll find her @JMTornatore on Twitter and Instagram.

One thought on “6 signs you might be a jerk at the airport”

  1. Everyone should wear at least a short sleeved shirt and shorts that cover their entire rump. No one wants to sit on a flight skin to skin.

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