Tips for flying the friendly skies.
Roshini Rajikumar, communication coach and founder of Roshini Performance Group, Minneapolis, Minn., offers a number of strategies to make your trip a pleasant one, along with those seated next to you.
Here are Rajikumar's tips on doing your part to keep peace in the air:
* Use your indoor voice.
* Be aware of how much you drink.
* Share the armrest. The rule tends to be the passengers on the aisle and window each get one armrest; the poor soul in the middle gets two.
* If you are on the aisle or window, lean in that direction to give the person in the middle more breathing room.
* When reclining your seat, do it slowly and gently so you do not smash the person's knees behind you. Although you want to be as comfortable as possible, the passenger behind you needs legroom as well.
* Use headphones for electronic devices. People around you should not have to listen to your music or movie.
* Store your carry-on above your row. Do not grab the first overhead bin you see. That space belongs to someone else.
* Dress comfortably, but appropriately. You will be sitting next to strangers and they do not need to look at your cleavage for the entire plane ride. Be freshly bathed and avoid strong perfumes and colognes.
* Consider using the bathroom when others in your row are using it as well. Avoid making people get in and out of their seats several times.
* The window shade is not a toy. Put it up or leave it down. Do not continue to play with it. If putting it down, ask others in your row if they mind. Some passengers might need it open for a sense of calm and safety.
* Cell phones should not be used on a plane. Games and other devices only should be utilized when deemed appropriate by airplane personnel and with headphones.
* Do not bring food on the plane that will have a strong or lingering smell.
* Wait until your row has arrived to leave the plane. It is not necessary to jump on line and clog the aisles. Waiting patiently in your seat will make the deplaning process much easier.
* Try your best not to be annoyed with children. Parents are doing their best to make the plane ride as peaceful and as enjoyable as possible.
* Offer polite chitchat with your seatmate, but know when the conversation should end. If the other person is trying to read or work, give that individual the chance to use the time how he or she chooses.
* Carry your bag in front of you as you walk down the aisle. This will help you avoid hitting other passengers as you go by.
* Do not grab the seat in front of you when getting up. It will yank back and bother the person seated there.
When traveling with kids, you should:
* Bring all the proper gear for feeding, napping, changing, soothing, etc., so their basic needs can be met without them leaving their seat.
* Keep them busy. Be sure to bring enough activities.
* Do not let them kick the seat in front of them or continuously put up and bring down the tray table.
* Be prepared to entertain the entire way. This will not be a relaxing flight for you. There will be no reading a book or taking a nap.