6 Bad Plane Etiquette Habits that Will Land You in Air Jail

October 7, 2020Tom Spruce
These 6 bad plane etiquette habits should land you in air-travel jail

Bad plane etiquette habits are the bane of many passengers lives.  

Now that our 2021 Collection is available and we can head off to more places again, we thought we’d give you all a timely reminder of what not to do in the air. 

You can wave goodbye to those cool Insta shots from out the plane window if you get sentenced to hard time in the air jail

We know that travelling has been a little difficult recently and many of us have probably forgotten what an airplane even looks like, let alone what to do when we’re on one.  

We also know that there’s no such thing as “Air Jail”. But bad plane etiquette habits really do wind us all up. So, it did get us thinking, maybe there should be something like an air jail that we can send those worst offenders to.  

We think we should do everything we can to keep the flight to and from your holiday as comfortable as possible

Because, let’s face it, the death stares, loud exhales, and eye-rolls have fallen on deaf ears in the past. Maybe the threat of doing hard time in aerial-Alcatraz would make those serial offenders think twice. 

We think it’s our civic duty to help keep the plane-peace by reminding you of all the big no no’s when it comes to travelling long haul. And by introducing a system whereby we take a look at some of the worst offences and dish out some suitable air jail sentences. 

Now there might be other mid-air manner malfunctions or awful actions that make you shudder when you think of them. But after careful research these are the six habits we found annoyed frequent travellers the most.

6 of the Worst Bad Plane Etiquette Habits

  • Leaning back 
  • Space invaders
  • Going barefoot 
  • Drunk passengers 
  • Excessive whiners  
  • Shouters

If you commit these bad plane etiquette habits you could be heading straight to jail

Just as a disclaimer before we get into this. We’re in no way condoning the construction of some soaring-Strangeways. We just think that some of these terrible traits need matching punishments as a deterrent.  

So when it comes to this rogue’s gallery of bad plane etiquette habits, what do they look like? And what are their punishments? Well we’ll tell you…

Offence: Lean Backery 

The criminal definition of Lean Backery

We all want to be as comfortable as possible when it comes to travelling long-haul. Especially if you’re heading off on your first post-lockdown holiday. But we’re here to tell you that reclining your seat all the way back on a plane is not the way to achieve that zen start or end to your break.  

In fact, many surveys into annoying passenger habits have shown that long-haulers hate this behaviour the most.  

No one likes to have the back of a seat in their face for hours

For most people there’s nothing worse than settling down to an inflight meal, film, video game or book to while away those long flight hours, only to have the experience made needlessly difficult by Fat Joe in the seat in front of you (a little noughties music reference for you there).  


Dependant on flight duration vs time spent reclining after being told to refrain. Minimum sentence 2 hours. Maximum – 6 hours.

This is the mid-flight equivalent of murder so the punishment must be firm.  

Note: It’s important to note that seat kickers are just as bad as lean backers. But as these offenders are generally juveniles, we’ll let them go. You’ll have to go back to sighing at their parents, sorry.

Offence: Space TWOC (Taking Without Consent) 

Space TWOCing

We’re talking armrest hoggers and the worst of the worst, sleepy head leaners. A survey completed by Forbes agrees, these acts are heinous and should have suitable sentences.   

Probably a little less annoying than having someone’s head mere inches away from your lap. But still irritating and unsettling if you’re the victim.  

Elbows so regularly the start of the invasion

The middle seat is a bone of contention but there are a couple of rests on each seat on a plane for good reason. You get one and your seat companion gets the other. Your rest is yours, feel free to do what you like with it. But the second you start encroaching on someone else’s rest, you’ve taken the air-passenger etiquette laws into your own hands.


Whilst there is no minimum sentence for Space TWOC as severity can vary. Taking space with malice aforethought should invoke the strongest sentence for this crime. Max sentence: 4 hours. 

Offence: Indecent Foot Exposure  

Indecent Foot Exposure is another bad plane etiquette habit

Another popular choice on the host of surveys done in mid-air etiquette crime statistics. You may think that giving your tootsies some room to breathe is the key to relaxation onboard a long-haul flight. However, you should be aware that it’s probably the bane of other passengers’ lives.  

But it’s not just passengers that are put off by your bare feet, in a recent discussion in the Daily Express flight attendants labelled taking off your shoes as one of the most disgusting things you can do on a flight.  

We didn’t think it was appropriate to stick a pair of manky feet in here, so here’s some sweet diddy ones instead

Now, if the cabin crew, who’ve seen it all when it comes to air travel are calling this the pits, then you should probably at least keep your socks on.  


Again there is no minimum sentence. We rule that flip-flops be acceptable, but only when worn throughout the flight. However, flagrant foot baring should carry the largest sentence. Max sentence: 7 hours

Examples of flagrant foot baring are the removal of two layers of footwear (ie. shoes & socks) for the entire journey, even through trips to the toilet: Max 3 hours 

Offence: Mid-Air Dunk & Disorderly 

Drunk and disorderly in mid-air

We know that having a couple of drinks on your way to your exciting holiday destination can be the epitome of good times.  

However, there’s a difference between a couple of nerve settlers & getting wasted onboard and annoying everyone. You may be having a great time while you’re knocking back the complimentary plonk, but take it from us, the rest of the aircraft will be cringing and wishing you into sky-catraz. 


Whilst flat sentences can be delivered, these can be predicated on a unit by unit basis and only handed out when a passenger has annoyed more than two other passengers. Max sentence: 15 minutes per unit consumed. 

Offence: Excessive Complaining 

Excessive complaining

When it comes to complaining, generally, us Brits prefer to keep schtum and cope rather than cause a scene.  

In fact, we think that most people who call these fair isles home would rather eat a plate of cold worms than complain about their meal in a restaurant.  

Complaining too much will definitely get you in the plane prison

So, if you’re one of those people who loves nothing more than buzzing for the cabin crew’s attention to constantly complain about the slightest thing, just know, you’re causing the rest of us a great deal of discomfort.  


Usually more of a mild irritation for all involved. Custodial sentences in the air jail can be handed out following three or more separate complaints situations. Max sentence: 10 minutes per complaint

Offence: Noise Pollution 

Noise pollution is still pretty annoying on a plane

Is there anything worse in life than someone around you being overly loud when you’re trying to relax or worse, fall asleep?  

This bad plane etiquette habit isn’t just about people shouting and laughing. It’s mainly about those people who have chosen not to let the fact that they didn’t book seats together on the flight prevent them from finishing their in-depth conversation with their friend sitting four rows away.  

Imagine how annoying this would be on a flight

This may be hard for you to believe, but most people on the flight don’t care about your next-door neighbour and his barking dog Sheila! 


As a mild offence sentences should generally be limited to community service ie. Periods of enforced silence to be handed down in 10 minute batches. Repeat offenders, however, can be ordered to serve time in air jail. Max sentence: 30 minutes.  

There are more crimes against air travel that people will have unfortunately borne witness to. But studies have shown that the ones we’ve outlined are the most commonly committed and universally condemned.  

Some of the above may well be forgiven if it’s your first time back in the air after lockdown. However, if you’re a repeat offender then do not mistake the other passengers silence for acceptance. They’re simply all thinking up their own imaginative mid-air holding cell for you, maybe one that resembles a three-day old festival portaloo. 

We imagine most of the prisons people think of will be grey and dreary

So when you finally manage to get back out there into the big blue world, make sure you have some common courtesy and avoid these long haul etiquette boo boos.  

We can help get you to that destination you’ve been dreaming of throughout lockdown with our new 2021 Collection. But we can’t stop you from becoming an air jail inhabitant. So stay safe, stay conscientious.  

2021 Holidays

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