It seems like every day the news details another passenger on a flight involved in either an altercation with a fellow passenger or with the flight crew.  It may be over seating, masks, or dress code, but this year alone, and we are just into August, the total reported incidents on airlines has hit over 750 according to the FAA. The highest it has ever been for a calendar year prior to this was around 375 in the late 90’s.

Most cases currently are because of current mask mandates and arguments with the flight crew who must enforce the Federal Mandate.  With other cases of fights between passengers, drunken and unruly conduct and being told to wear proper clothing, the cases are rising daily. While before warnings were issued, in 2021 it is going straight to legal action and fines up to $30,000 and in some cases higher.  Legally, if you enter a plane, you must abide by the rules of the FAA, the carrier as well as the guidance of the flight crew. If not, you chance being arrested, fined and blacklisted with the carrier.

Rules of good behavior often go out the window under stress in a confined space, but it is important as a passenger that you do not engage in altercations but handle all matters politely and kindly.  If you do not want to wear a mask, you are not a candidate for air travel at this time.

Other important factors for being a good passenger in air travel are simple etiquette and “good people-ness.”  Always ask yourself “how would I want to be treated?” and go from there.

Simple things really:

  • Wear the mask.
  • Adhere to the carrier’s dress code.
  • Don’t argue or engage with a passenger who is agitated, allow the crew to deal with it.
  • Don’t leave your children unattended and quieten crying babies as soon as possible. Also make sure your kids aren’t kicking the seats or invading another passenger’s space. (The last one is a good one for the parents too.)
  • Please do not touch the flight crew, or yell at them. Hit the call button and be patient.  Also, be friendly to them, they are serving you.
  • Watch alcohol consumption.
  • Don’t bring smelly food onboard.
  • Be sure to only move around the cabin when you are free to do so. The rule is there for a reason.
  • Be careful not to hog the overhead bin space.
  • Use common sense and courtesy.


We can all get through this together with a little effort and a whole lot of patience.


Be safe out there!