On returning from the summer holidays, the Kayak.fr travel search engine conducted a survey of 1,000 French people to determine what, in their opinion, defined the good manners on the plane and what behavior was unacceptable.
It turns out that opinions are quite strong on what is and is not done during a flight. But, according to the survey results, certain behaviors still divide travelers. For example, are you allowed to recline your seat?
1. Take smelly food on board : only 8% of French people responded that it was acceptable to take canned fish (tuna, sardines, anchovies) on board a plane. Moreover, it is one of the foods that people consider the least acceptable on board, just behind 7% cheese.
2. Take both armrests when you are in the middle : 72% of survey respondents believe that yes, the person in the middle can rest their elbows on both sides, compared to 28% who think the opposite.
3. Ask to change places : 60% of those surveyed believe that it is perfectly acceptable to ask someone to change seats as long as it is to sit next to a loved one. 53% of respondents think that you can ask in any circumstance, if you do it politely. Only 4% say it is never acceptable to ask to change seats.
4. Lay your head on your neighbor’s shoulder : of course, this behavior is unacceptable! 87% of respondents say it is an invasion of personal space.
5. Check the blind when you are in the window seat : some people think that, as long as you can reach it, you are free to lower or raise the window blind. But for 60% of French people, it is the person sitting next to whom this privilege belongs.
6. Use headphones to watch a video or listen to music : that should go without saying! 83% find that wearing headphones is a good manners to respect on board.
7. Put your head on the tablet to sleep : If 58% of those questioned believe that putting your head in the place where strangers have eaten is acceptable, the others find this behavior unsavory.
8. Applying makeup in mid-flight or cutting your nails : 70% of those surveyed find it normal for someone to wear makeup on board a plane. This is all the more surprising since other beauty treatments are not really unanimous: only 45% of respondents find it acceptable to file their nails or apply skin care. Plucking your eyebrows or putting on perfume is also not very popular. And for 78% of French travelers, cutting your nails on board is unacceptable!
9. Take off your socks and shoes : While opinions are quite divided on whether or not to take off your shoes on the plane, nearly three out of four people clearly think that taking off your socks is a cardinal sin.
10. And most importantly: to recline or not to recline your seat? Here is THE debate that rages online when it comes to etiquette on a plane. And the French seem to get along with other nationalities. According to responses to the Kayak.fr survey, 58% of respondents think it is acceptable to lower your seat when you are on a long flight or if you politely ask the person behind you. But there are some gray areas on this point: while only 6% of people think it’s never OK to recline your seat, 14% say it’s okay to do it if the person in front has done the same thing. And 23% think that, whatever the situation, it’s completely normal to want to lie down a little.