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One of the things that I will do to pass the time on some airplane flights is to do the games that are sometimes found in some inflight magazines. Especially on shorter domestic flights, which, recent flights notwithstanding are a majority of the flights I fly, there is usually both a Sudoku and a crossword puzzle in there.

On my last flight (a tiny regional jet from Cincinnati to Chicago)

I was wondering about the etiquette of what you do when you’ve completed some or all of the crossword or Sudoku puzzles in the inflight magazine?

Magazine crossword / Sudoku etiquette

On one short flight on Southwest a few months ago, I sat down at my seat and as we started taking off, reached for my inflight magazine, only to find that the puzzles were already completed


Tragically, the puzzles in the other magazines in my row were ALSO completed. When I was able to get a hold of a flight attendant, she somewhat scoffed at me and said she’d get me one if she had time (she never did). I think because it was a short flight (Washington DC to Columbus if I am remembering correctly), by the time beverage service was completed it was pretty much time to land.

So all this puzzling had me … well… puzzled. What is the proper etiquette if you complete some or all of the puzzles in an inflight magazine? Should you leave it on the seat when you leave, in the hopes that the flight attendant will replace it with a “fresh” one? Maybe open it to the completed puzzle pages? Is this worth a mention to a flight attendant? Or are they so busy turning around that nobody is going to bother with that?

So what are you supposed to do?

I’d really love to hear from other frequent travelers and/or current or former flight attendants. What is the “proper” procedure here?

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