Can you say something to the parents of noisy children? Is there a polite way to lay claim to an arm rest? Recently, NBC News and Travel + Leisure joined forces to answer common questions like these to help travelers stay on their best behavior. Read on to see answers to all of the questions, and share with us – what’s your best travel advice for an awkward situation?
Q: What do you do when there is a shared armrest on your flight?
A: Airplane etiquette says that the middle-seat passenger has rights to both inner armrests. If you think about it, it makes sense – aisle and window passengers are guaranteed at least one armrest.
Q: How do you handle noisy hotel room neighbors?
A: Don’t knock on their door and ask them to quiet down. Call the manager on duty. You want the hotel to be involved early on in case the culprit is uncooperative. And, don’t expect your neighbors to be moved – if you want quiet, you can request to be moved to another room.
Q: If your taxi driver is reckless, what’s the best course of action, and do you need to pay him/her?
A: Don’t stay in the cab if you feel unsafe. Ask your driver to pull over. Pay the fare, but tipping is optional. You’ll also want to get the taxi or medallion number to report this unsafe driver.
Q: What if you don’t like your wine at a restaurant? Is it OK to send it back even if it is fine wine, but not to your taste?
A: Speak up, and explain why you don’t like it. But, don’t judge too early – keep in mind that sometimes wine needs time to open up.
Q: What do you do if you’re stuck in a seat by noisy children or kids kicking the back of your chair?
A: Assess the situation. If the parent is clearly working to fix the situation, then hopefully things will improve. If the parents aren’t doing anything, you might politely say to the parent something like, “I know they’re kids and I understand it isn’t easy, but if there’s anything you can do to keep the noise level/kicking down, I would really appreciate it.” If you’re on a plane and you’re not comfortable saying something directly, you can see if a flight attendant can assist.
Q: Should you go first when entering a revolving door?
A: It may seem counterintuitive, but you should go first. Since the door requires some pushing, it is polite to go first and give the door a push to help along the next person.