7 rules for flying like a modern gentleman

Guy in airportShutterstockNext time you take a flight, wear a blazer — you’ll feel and look much better.

You can’t check your responsibility for proper travel etiquette at the gate.

From the laws of the armrest to the unofficial dress code, here are a few things every guy should know before stepping onto a plane.

Try not to use the plane's bathroom if you can help it.

Unless you have some kind of medical issue, a flight under four hours shouldn't require a trip to the lavatory. (Yet another reason to drink lightly.) Leave it open for those who really need it, like the elderly or parents with small children.

Don't recline your seat.

pio3 / Shutterstock.com

The fact that your seat can recline doesn't mean that it should recline. Reclining only makes your seat slightly more comfortable while making the seats of those beside and behind so much more uncomfortable. Not only that, the people affected by your seat recline often end up reclining their own seats, starting a pointless chain of chair reclining.

Those in the back row have it the worst, as their seats don't recline. Never recline your seat if you're in the second-to-last row.

Respect armrest etiquette.

There's an unofficial code governing armrest ownership on aeroplanes -- and it's not always first-come, first-serve. In a row of three seats, the middle seat gets ownership of both adjacent rests. Those in aisle and window seats can lean to the left or right.

In rows of two or five, all bets are off. These armrests are usually for whoever is faster, larger, or more tenacious.

Don't dress like a slob.


Resist the urge to wear sweatpants for your 7 a.m. flight. You'll look better and feel more refreshed if you dress up for your excursion. No one is asking you to wear a full suit (this isn't the 1950s), but a pair of nice pants or a blazer can go a long way.

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