Charm School: Practice Perfect Travel Etiquette

AAA Travel offers 6 tips on being a perfectly poised traveler 

Phoenix, May 15, 2013. From the silly to the important, travelers encounter all sorts of quirks from others during their travels. As the largest leisure travel agency in North America, AAA is providing travelers with etiquette tips to make travel happy and easy for themselves and others during its fourth annual Summer Travel Series.

“When people travel, it’s easy to forget that you are one person in a sea of thousands,” said Amy Moreno, director of travel services for AAA Arizona. “One person can also be ‘that person’ who creates a positive or negative impact on others. So when traveling this summer, remain cognizant of what you are doing at all times.” 

As a full-service travel agency, AAA Travel receives daily feedback from travelers. Based on such feedback, the agency’s experts have compiled six tips on etiquette when traveling this summer:

  • Rule No. 1: Be prepared when traveling with children.
    Both parents and fellow travelers should exercise patience with children, but parents should keep kids occupied with books, small games or electronics with headphones. Parents should be aware of their children at all times and make sure little legs aren’t kicking the seat in front of them so people aren’t jostled the entire flight.
  • Rule No. 2. Keep it moving.
    At the airport, have your boarding pass and ID ready. Don’t wear items – such as belts or shoes – that are difficult to take off and put back on. If you have a laptop, travel with an easy access travel case. Briefcases and backpacks do not need to go in a plastic bin – save bins for smaller items to keep traffic flowing through the security line.
  • Rule No. 3. Be a mindful passenger.
    If you make frequent bathroom visits, try to book an aisle seat. When standing, use your own seat’s armrests to stand up and don’t grab the seat in front of you so you don’t jerk someone’s head back. And because middle seats are so undesirable, give your middle seatmate the armrests: If you’re seated at the window or aisle, you can use the one that’s dedicated to you. Also, even if you’ve heard them before, don’t talk during announcements and turn off electronics before being asked to do so.
  • Rule No. 4. Keep it down.
    Whether you’re chatting on a cell phone in the airport, watching late-night television or entering and exiting your hotel room, be considerate of your volume to avoid disturbing neighboring travelers.
  • Rule No. 5. Make good use of space.
    Don’t place luggage or newspapers on empty seats and leave other passengers standing in waiting areas. Use the space under the seat in front of you on airplanes, and keep the items you want close to you to avoid opening overhead bins and awkwardly brushing against people. Finally, don’t “save” a seat for an imaginary friend – doing so wastes time and creates confusion on a full flight.
  • Rule No. 6. Always be courteous.
    Polite and patient people tend to accomplish more and create more goodwill while traveling. Be aware that most travelers are in a hurry, and tempers often fray as a result. If you encounter any hiccups during on your trip – such as a flight cancelation or issues with your hotel room – you’ll get help easier and more quickly by being courteous.

“This summer, travelers can help beat the heat with a cool, calm demeanor when traveling and make it fun for everyone,” Moreno said. “Follow your ABCs - Always Be Courteous - and you’ll help map a way for smooth travels.”

AAA is a full-service travel agency. For more information on AAA Travel, visit

Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.