IF you’re the type of person who gets up after landing before the plane doors open, you’re an idiot.
I’ve been a flight attendant for almost 10 years and it’s amazing how many people think they can give others the edge by getting up and lurking in the aisle before they can go anywhere.
In this, my latest blog for Sun Online Travel, I’m going to explain exactly why you should sit down and just be patient instead of getting up and making trouble for everyone else.
I’ll start with some sympathy for the Standers – they often can’t help themselves and I understand that.
The last thing you want to do after landing from a long flight is to spend another second in your seat, especially if you’re tall and don’t have a lot of legroom.
But even then, unless you’re sitting in the aisle seat, you’ll have to squat under the overhead bins, which isn’t really any more convenient.
You’ll just end up with pain in your neck and knees instead of just one of those pains, which isn’t a huge compromise for me.
Also, getting up can be very dangerous, especially if the plane is still on the way and you haven’t reached the terminal yet.
It’s like unbuckling your seat belt and trying to get around in a car just because you went off the freeway. The vehicle is still moving and it can still be very dangerous.
In fact, passengers are more injured on the ground than in the air, and often this is because they are not buckled in their seat as intended.
Well, for those just trying to get off the plane first, I can’t stress this enough: you’re not going to get anywhere fast.
Better sit down until the plane has at least reached the terminal, and then think about packing up your things and preparing to disembark.
Even then, you should proceed line by line. Get up, collect your luggage and step off the plane one by one.
It’s orderly, it’s efficient, and it keeps people from trying to push themselves to the front.
I know some people are a bit slower than others and have trouble getting their luggage down quickly. If the line in front of them is clear, it’s okay to get past them.
But if there are still people in the aisle ahead of them, you’ll just get stopped there again, so what’s the rush?
On the other side of the plane you will meet the same people in the airport terminal at passport control anyway. So really, what’s the point?
We’re all stuck in this situation, we’re all going to be waiting in the same queues, so think about the most efficient way for everyone to get off, then it will work in your favor too.
If you insist on being one of the first to disembark, choose a seat on the left-hand side in the front or the back on smaller aircraft. This is the side of the plane you will disembark from.
You’ll need to do some pre-reading to find out what type of plane you’re on, but from there you can find the best seats to skip the lines.
If it’s a cheaper airline, you’ll likely have to pay for that convenience, but a quick exit is one of the perks.
Either way, it’ll save you a few seconds more than anything significant—and you’ll still look like a complete idiot ready to get out before everyone else.
But the rest of us appreciate it if you go first, so we can continue our orderly and controlled disembarkation while you get nervous about your hasty retreat.
We will still see you again at passport control and at the baggage carousel in the terminal.
Meanwhile, this pilot recommended a smart way to always be the first to get off the plane.
And another pilot revealed why you should never change seats mid-flight.