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3 Rules of Electronics Etiquette During Business Travel

Thanks to in-flight Wi-Fi, business travelers can now stay connected while they're at 35,000 feet, making sure that they don't miss a single email. While the boss might expect you to sign on as soon as there is a signal, it's important to remember that those around you might not be traveling for the same reasons. If you're using electronics during business travel, here's what to keep in mind.

(Photo Credit: ms-ito/Flickr)

1. Don't play videos or music without headphones.

You know what it's like to be stuck working in a coffee shop next to someone on a conference call, watching a webinar or viewing a video without headphones. It's loud, it's annoying, and worst of all, it's completely distracting. On an airplane, this disrespect is significantly amplified due to the tight space and acoustics. If you have anything to listen to while flying, be sure to always use headphones to avoid being "that guy." Some airlines, like Virgin, even offer a pair at the gate. It might be a good idea to grab one just in case you can't reach yours once you're seated.  

2. Avoid using bandwidth-intensive applications.

On that note, streaming videos -- or using other bandwidth-intensive apps such as Pandora or Skype -- can drastically affect the experience of other passengers trying to use the in-flight Wi-Fi. On certain flights, the majority of passengers may also be business travelers trying to get work done, too. If you sense that everyone will also be checking their email and cranking away on their next presentation, consider closing as many of these apps as possible while on the airplane so everyone can get their work done. 

3. Plug in only when absolutely necessary.

Many airlines feature outlets in each bank of seats. Unfortunately, there usually aren't enough to go around for the entire row; for a section of three seats, you'll likely only find two outlets. Be sure your gadgets are fully charged before you board, and then only use the outlet when you're reaching a critically low battery. If your neighbor has been charging their devices for a few hours, don't hesitate to ask if you can use it to charge up your device. This is acceptable etiquette on the ground where others share outlets, and it's becoming the norm in-flight, too. 

Tell Us What You Think

What are other rules of electronics etiquette that business travelers should follow? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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