18 Dec

Practicing Business Etiquette at 30,000 Feet

During the past month, while flying quite a bit around the
United States on various carriers, I was amazed to see how inconsiderate people
have become regarding airline travel. That inspired me to write a piece about
air travel etiquette in today’s world.

Traveling is definitely not as easy as it once was. But as I
sat in my seat waiting for everyone to store their luggage I noticed a few
common business etiquette faux pas. So here are some tips I’d like to share
with you about being respectful of other people’s space and personal
possessions when traveling by air in this day and age.

#1  Be respectful of the size of luggage you bring
onto the plane.
There is a size indicator that provides the required
maximum dimensions. But on every trip I make I see a few people who have
ignored those rules. In order to get their oversized luggage onboard they won’t
hesitate to smash other people’s luggage that is already stowed away in the
overhead compartments.

#2  Don’t move anyone’s luggage without their
permission.
When people can’t get their luggage directly above their seat
they often just try to relocate someone else’s bag into another compartment.
That is terribly rude. You should always ask before moving someone’s luggage.

#3  When seated next to someone don’t go over
into his or her personal space.
We all know that the airlines have added
additional seats to accommodate more passengers but we still need to be
respectful of the personal boundaries of others. Each of us has a sense of our
own personal space, so don’t let arms and shoulders invade the space of the
person sitting next to you.

#4  Be courteous regarding entering and exiting
seats.
When the other people in your row need to leave their seats, be
accommodating as you would if people in a theatre needed to get past you. When
you have a window seat, try to time your exits so that they coincide with those
opportunities when one of the other people in your row has gotten up to move
about the plane.

Remember that your behavior is a reflection of your
professional and personal image. Although airline travel can be a challenge
these days, keep a good attitude about it and be respectful of your plane
mates.

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Sarah Hathorn
is a professional image consultant, certified personal brand strategist,
speaker, and author.

Her company,
Illustra Image Consulting, works with high-achieving future leaders and large
businesses by enhancing their corporate and personal brand image to take their
businesses and careers to the next level.

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Copyright 2009,
Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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