There are certain topics that are guaranteed to get a rise out of frequent travelers. Things like whether you can save seats on Southwest Airlines while you’re boarding (no), whether you prefer the window or aisle (aisle), if you should check bags or not (#TeamCarryon) or if parents of young children should give goodie bags to fellow passengers (no). But perhaps nothing raises the hackles like people complaining about other passengers standing up as soon as the plane lands.
The Conventional Wisdom – Don’t Stand Up
This was a topic recently covered by both View From the Wing and One Mile at a Time, and I thought I’d add my 2 cents. The conventional wisdom that I’ve seen says that you should not stand up as soon as the plane lands (or rather, when the plane arrives at the gate). The idea is that we’re all going to the same place, so just wait your turn until everyone ahead of you has deplaned. I’ve even seen people get super aggressive about it (at least in their words) – talking about how they will physically try to stop someone who tries to advance down the aisle “out of turn”
And I do understand the conventional wisdom here, and if this is how you like to approach things, I have no problem, as long as you are expeditious at getting your own bag out and deplaning as quickly as reasonably possible.
4 Reasons To Stand Up When The Plane Lands
Here are 4 reasons to stand up when the plane lands:
1. I’ve Been Sitting Down For Hours
The first reason is that I’ve already been sitting down for hours, depending on how long the flight was. I want some extra time to stand up, stretch my legs and just get more comfortable. I can’t understand why anybody would have a problem with my doing this.
2. It Gives More Room To My Seatmates
Of course this really only applies if you are in the aisle seat, but as soon as we get to the gate, I will usually unbuckle my seatbelt, stand up and step out into the aisle.
Doing so gives more room for my seatmates in the middle and window. Depending on what else is happening, they may not be able to also get into the aisle or even stand up completely, but they can also scoot over, stretch out some and maybe more easily get their personal item ready for deplaning.
3. It Speeds Up The Deplaning Process
If there’s room, I will also usually get my carryon out of the overhead bin and put it down in the aisle in front of me. I think that generally will help speed up the overall deplaning process. I try to place it (and myself) in such a position where I am not blocking anyone else’s ability to get out into the aisle. Slow de-boarders are probably one of my biggest traveling pet peeves. So many people seem to treat the deplaning process as a total mystery. “WHAAAAT? IT’S MY TURN TO GET OFF? OH OKAY LET ME STAND UP AND FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO….”
4. It (Maybe) Gets Me Off The Plane Faster
Okay maybe this is the most controversial of the reasons, but in some situations I think it also helps me get off the plane faster. I generally am not one who tries to rush to the front of the plane, pushing past people in an attempt to be “first”. But I have also been on planes where I stand up and literally NOBODY for 5 to 10 rows in front of me gets into the aisle, even after I wait for awhile. So in that situation, I don’t think it’s a problem to slowly walk towards the front of the plane while there is empty space in front of me, until someone else in a row ahead of me gets out into the aisle. When that happens, I stop and let them out and then continue waiting.
The Bottom Line
I mean, this is the Internet, so I don’t expect to change anybody’s mind here. But I just thought I’d share my thoughts on why I prefer to stand up as soon as the plane gets to the gate. I also would not have a problem with everybody following this philosophy, even though it might slow me personally down. As long as you are aware of your surroundings and get off the plane as quickly as you can when it’s your turn, it works for me.
What about you? Do you stand up as soon as the plane gets to the gate? Or do you wait in your seat until everyone in front of you has deplaned? Leave your strategy in the comments
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