Aisle Seat Etiquette at the Conclusion of a Flight

The flight has concluded and the aircraft is safely parked at the gate. The door has opened for passengers to exit the aircraft. What do you suppose is the proper etiquette for a person who was seated in the aisle seat in relation to fellow passengers?

Can the person sitting in the aisle seat choose to remain seated and relax as other passengers scramble to deplane; or should that person immediately get up and collect his or her belongings to allow passengers seated in the middle and window seats egress to the aisle to leave the aircraft?

This question posed to you is derived from a discussion posted on FlyerTalk which I have been reading with interest, starting here.

Right or wrong, here are my thoughts: I typically prefer a window seat — but if exiting the aircraft is more important for me once the flight has concluded, I will choose an aisle seat…

…and I personally will get up as soon as the fasten seat belt sign is no longer illuminated, allowing egress to the aisle — if possible — for those passengers seated in the middle and window seats in my row. I collect my bag from the overhead compartment and ready myself for when the line in the aisle starts to move forward.

If I am seated in a window seat, I still prefer to exit as soon as possible — but that is not always the case. If the person seated in the aisle seat remains seated while the line of passengers moves from the rows behind us, I will usually politely ask that person to please allow me to exit.

Am I wrong?

The debate over who gets to control the window shade has already been discussed here — and I may revisit that discussion in the future here at The Gate — but what are your thoughts about proper etiquette for a fellow passenger who is seated in an aisle seat aboard an airplane?

  1. I think a normal polite person would get up and get stuff out of the overhead. I will usually even offer to get bags down for people in an effort to make it flow smoothly. I think if someone around you says they are trying to catch a tight connection it’s polite to let them go ahead of you as much as possible also.

    The bigger problem is people who bring either too much stuff with them on-board (unless it’s a long haul) and bring bags they can’t get down from the overhead.

  2. Interesting post, Brian! Had me thinking… I am normally an aisle person as well, but I have never had a case where I when I wasn’t, I was stuck waiting for them to move away. I agree with you, if I were in the same scenario, I would definitely ask to squeeze by (the perks for being petite! haha). 🙂

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