Airport Etiquette When Travelling to the US

tips-for-airport-etiquetteWhen visiting the United States, you will be in luck to find that for the most part, etiquette and customs are still relatively the same.

Most UK citizens will also be familiar with American culture due to exposure to American shows, films, and websites.

However, I noticed that many people still make a few etiquette mistakes while traveling.

People become especially rude if their flight is delayed and they feel that they are now above common decency because of bad weather. Don’t be that guy! Be courteous, and follow basic airport etiquette while waiting for your flight.

Stay Within Barriers

I have noticed that quite a few people go over airport barriers and get in the way of others or even put themselves in danger. Remember, flight companies have an airport barrier installed to preserve order, or to prevent accidents.

You will see multiple barriers in the airport, each with a specific purpose: some are there to keep people in line, while others are there to keep flyers from getting run over by machinery.


Still some barriers are meant to separate departures from arrivals, and some segregate flyers from airport employees. Each airport barrier has a purpose, and correct etiquette dictates that you stay within them.

Fall in line


Surprisingly, many people seem unable to fall in line and would rather skip ahead because they are impatient or in a hurry.

When at the airport, always fall in line and wait in single file. Do not cut in lines and maintain order at all times.

Use Indoor Voices

While an airport is not a library, it is still best to use indoor voices while conversing – this means no shouting, yelling, or using loud voices when talking to others.

You should also avoid playing music out loud and choose to wear earphones instead. During early mornings and late evenings, try to remain especially quiet as courtesy to other travelers at the airport.

Check airport security and pack light


Before even going to an airport, pack light and remember security. At American airports the policies are usually the same – no sharp objects, no weapons, no liquids, and no perishable foods.

Many airports will also confiscate canned goods as they are a danger in pressurized environments.

You should also weigh your bag beforehand so that you do not go over the luggage weight limit and inconvenience not only yourself, but the other travelers behind you.

Listen to airport personnel

One of the things that irk me is when other passengers argue with airport personnel, especially if they are the ones that have been breaking rules. Airport personnel keep us safe and are there to provide us with guidance.

If he or she tells you to stay within the barrier or to line up at the back, it is best that you comply. They are merely doing their job and trying to keep everything organized.

Traveling in the US is easy if you are a UK citizen, but make sure that you observe proper etiquette at the airport whenever you arrive and depart.