Question: I can’t stand kids kicking my seat on planes. This summer it seems more of them are flying than ever before, and I dread walking to my seat and finding a child sitting behind me. Can I tell the child’s parent before the flight takes off that they need to make sure their kid doesn’t kick my seat?
Answer: While I agree that it’s annoying when a kid kicks your seat, not all kids are seat kickers. There are actually parents out there who teach their kids how to behave properly on planes. If it were my kid sitting behind you, just coloring or something, and you turned around and told me not to let him kick your seat, I’d be pretty insulted. Don’t assume all kids are bad or that all parents don’t care.
That said, if a kid does kick your seat, you can turn around and speak to the kid and/or the parent about it. Just be nice.
But if sitting in front of kids bothers you this much, why not avoid it entirely by choosing your seat wisely? No kids can be seated in an exit row, so the row directly in front of the exit row would be great for you. The very last row on the plane, too, is an option.
Both rows have drawbacks — you might not be able to recline your seat in either row, and far back is not ideal if you have a close connection. But if you really want to avoid seat kickers, it might be worth it.
Q: If I only have $20 bills and the hotel doorman hails a taxi for me, can I tell him I’m sorry but I’ll tip him when I return?
A: I suppose that’s better than not tipping at all, but you can’t be sure the same doorman will be working later. Instead, ask the front-desk clerk to break a $20.
Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at email@example.com.