The 10 Commandments of Airplane Etiquette

Last night, I walked to the top of a tall mountain and God spoke directly to me. I know, right?

There was a blinding flash of light, a bunch of angels started singing, and then His head appeared above the clouds like some kind of celestial puppet show. He politely introduced himself (“Hello, Annie. I’m God.”) and personally handed me two golden tray tables engraved with the following ten commandments.

By the way, everything you read on the internet is true.

The 10 Commandments of Airplane Etiquette

1. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s personal space.

The armrest is a boundary. Consider it a guideline for where you are allowed to be.

2. Thou shalt not interrupt the in-flight movie.
This goes for pilots and flight attendants as well; unless the announcement is of dire importance, like the wings have fallen off the plane, no conversation should be attempted during the in-flight movie, especially if it can’t be paused.

3. Thou shalt not hide thy telecommunications from the flight attendants.
God knows your phone was still on during take-off. And He is upset about it.4. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s overhead compartment.
If people seated in the back of the plane get nervous about finding an open space and use the overhead compartments at the front of the plane, it’s chaos.

5. Thou shalt not attempt any out-of-chair business during the meal service.
If you get up to use the restroom during the meal service, you are a jerkstore. Getting up during the drink service isn’t great either.

6. Thou shalt not raise the armrest.
Under no circumstances should someone raise the armrest, the sole divider between you and a stranger’s hips, without permission.

7. Thou shalt remember thy close proximity to others, and keep it holy.
Though theologians will surely interpret this in many ways, it seems to cover the gamut of bodily-function-related offenses, as well as the putting of thy feet on things and the wearing of strong perfumes or colognes.

8. Thou shalt say please and thank you.
Whether you’re asking for a $10 box of cheese and crackers or asking your neighbor to let you crawl over them to the aisle, politeness is imperative. A routine “thank you” on your way off the plane reportedly goes a long way with St. Peter.

9. Thou shalt be mindful of children.
This commandment seems to work in two ways. Firstly, if you have children, you must take care that they are not kicking the chair in front of them or making other unnecessary nuisances of themselves. Secondly, if you are near a child who is crying or otherwise causing you irritation, you have to be a grownup about it.

10. Thou shalt not demand special attention.
Call buttons are for emergencies, and your neighbor probably doesn’t want to talk to you. Be thee humble on thy azure path.