Flight tips: Every week or so, a social media story turns up about how someone has behaved appallingly on a flight. Whether they’re drunk, rude to a flight attendant, or there’s some kind of mindless bigotry – you get the idea. In the annuals of copy-paste stories and third hand anecdotes, there are countless renditions of a similar theme: we don’t know how to behave ourselves on a plane.

I can’t say for certain why this is; it would be the remit of a behavioural psychologist to identify exactly why – at thirty thousand feet inside a small metal tube – we suddenly forget years of social conditioning and turn into the type of people we would ordinarily tut at under our breath. But there are flight tips and steps one can take. Here, let me enlighten you:

Don’t tip your seat back

Just don’t. Airplane seats are able to do this, yes. But in the same way that you could eat a jar of pickled onions on a flight and technically not be breaking any rules, it’s still rude.

Having spent an eight hour flight with a large American man’s head practically on my lap, my kneecaps ground to dust and any chance of being able to see my inflight screen cruelly dashed, I’d be quite happy to have tipping your seat back added to the Genève Convention as a war crime.

Go easy on the sauce

I’m an orange juice kind of guy when I’m on a plane. But some people like to have a wee tipple on a flight. That’s their prerogative, of course. But that being said, there is a massive difference between a debonair traveller enjoying a beverage, and a loud boor, red in the face with self-righteous indignation because the stewardess cut him off from the bar.

I’m no scientist, but for some reason you get drunker on a plane quicker. As a rough guide, one in the air is worth two on the ground. So if you do like a glass of something with your inflight meal, two drinks max is probably a good rule to stick to for any flight.

No one else likes your music

It’s sad, but true. Young people: no one likes that “noise” you call music. Old people: I don’t care if you’re going deaf; no one likes your dino-rock. Fortunately, this teeth grinding dilemma has a simple solution. Keep the volume turned down on your phone/gramophone.

Working on a laptop? Sit by the window, for the love of God

If you’re one of those people who needs to be constantly plugged into the office, then that’s fair enough. Perhaps you have some important spread sheets that need going over – or maybe an employee evaluation which can’t possibly wait until you land. Either way, sit by the window. People will want to get up, and there is nothing worse than a passive aggressive sigh, a folding up of the laptop and the same thing again when they want to sit back down in five minutes. Do us all a favour and sit next to the window.

Read our tips for things to do on a plane.

Check out this travel bucket list.

Flight tips by: Jack Shannon