Earlier this month, Mikayla, who goes by the username @mickeyyyt, posted a now-viral video about the topic, reigniting the ongoing debate about plane etiquette. In the footage, the traveller filmed herself and her friend in their seats, while there was a line of people standing in the aisle next to them. The line of passengers, who were waiting to get off the flight, also appeared to extend towards the back of the plane.
The two women shook their heads at the camera and had a disappointed look on their faces in response to the travellers standing up. She also questioned the passengers who opted to leave their seats before the people seated in front of them had exited.
“Since when did airplane etiquette of getting off the plane row by row end!?!?!” Mikayla wrote in the text over the video.
She proceeded to question the line of people waiting to get off the flight in the caption, writing: “Aren’t we all going to the same place?!?!”
As of 21 July, the video has more than 2.4m views, with people in the comments agreeing with Mikayla’s point about plane etiquette. They went on to claim that passengers should wait until the people sitting in front of them have left, before leaving their own row.
“My biggest pet peeve,” one responded to the clip, while another added: “I will get off when it’s my row! I will get in front of them.”
A third wrote: “Seriously. They stand there for 10 mins. At this point, I just stay seated until they’re all out so I don’t have to fight through people.”
Other people opened up about their own experiences on flights, and how they’ve opted to exit the plane by row.
“If I am in the aisle, I am the guy that stands as soon as we land,” one person wrote. “And I stay there until the seats in my row empty out and then I go.”
“I have flown eight times since Covid and this is every single flight!” another added. “If I’m on the aisle, I am always putting my arm out and giving the ‘try me’ glare.”
However, other viewers said that, in their experiences, travellers haven’t exited the plane based on rows closest to the exit.
“I have never seen it go row by row. It doesn’t board row by row either. So idk why people expect this. Either push your way in or wait patiently,” one viewer wrote, while another agreed: “I’ve never once seen the plane deboard row by row.”
In June, a woman named Sarah, who goes by the username @sarahjohnstonturner, also posted a video of her fellow passengers in the aisle of the plane. She showed that the line of travellers waiting to get off the flight was not only behind her row, but it also extended towards the back of the plane.
Sarah criticised the travellers for rushing to exit the plane, before the people sitting in front of them. “Bad airplane etiquette continues,” she wrote. “Even the pilot beside me hadn’t seen this one before…”
She asked viewers if they’d ever depart their planes in this manner in the caption, writing: “Wait for it....have you ever? Would you?”
While there isn’t a set rule for who should leave a plane first, experts have continued to share their takes on the best way to exit an aircraft once it has landed. Speaking to The Washington Post, former flight attendant Abbie Unger explained that, while it isn’t an issue for people to stand up in the seating row after the flight lands, they shouldn’t attempt to leave the plane before those sitting ahead of them.
“When the seat belt sign turns off everybody tries to stand up - which I get because you’ve been sitting for a long time. Sometimes you’re almost too tall for the seat. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to stand up in your own space,” she said. “But then the next thing that you want to do is start paying attention to what’s going on around you so that you are seeing when your row is coming up.”
She urged people to let others in front of them leave the plane first, adding: “Don’t try to get into the aisle before it’s your turn in case the person in the row in front has their bag a few rows behind them.”
However, the publication also noted that this routine may not be the case for travellers who need to catch a connecting flight. For example, they could be seated closer to the exit, to make sure that they are one of the first people to get off the plane.
This isn’t the first time that people on social media have sparked a debate on how to disembark from a plane. In January, reality star Batsheva Haart applauded herself for staying seated after landing, until it was time for her row to exit. In her TikTok video, Haart could be seen sitting in a seat on a plane as she lip-sang the lyrics: “I’m so mature, I’m so mature,” from SZA’s “Kill Bill”.
“Sitting in my seat instead of standing up until it’s my row’s turn to deplane,” Haart wrote in a text caption on the video.
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