You asked: Is it rude to deplane before the row ahead of me?

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By The Way Concierge helps an anxious passenger with a de-boarding conundrum

Traveling has always come with complications. Our By The Way Concierge column will take your travel dilemmas to the experts to help you navigate the new normal. Want to see your question answered? Submit it here.

When the plane lands and the seat belt sign turns off, I usually rise out of my aisle seat as quickly as possible, get my bag out of the overhead bin, and gather my stuff to put into my backpack, and then put it on — ready to go. Then I gesture to the folks in my row that they are welcome to do the same. If they don’t, I try to get back into my seat area and leave the aisle clear.

Lately I’m reading advice columns that tell me I should not stand up until the rows in front of me have disembarked, and I should certainly not touch the overhead bin until my turn has arrived. What is the courteous practice here? — Anonymous

If you’re taking the time to write to us for an answer to this question, you’re not the problem. I don’t think you’re acting like a jerk during the disembarkation process, and judging by the description, I’d wager your fellow travelers know you mean well, too.

To check my take, I went to three etiquette experts for their deplaning advice.

Nick Leighton, a two-time Emmy award-winning talk show host, and co-host of the podcast “Were You Raised By Wolves?” started with the general principle that etiquette is all about the acknowledgment that other people exist.

To be a polite traveler, “we want to minimize inconvenience to people unnecessarily,” he said. “We want to be mindful of other passengers.” You appear to be doing this, so good on you.

Leighton pointed out that airplanes can be a battleground for etiquette issues because they confine lots of people together from many different backgrounds.

“All etiquette is local etiquette,” he said. “Paris, France, and Paris, Texas, have different etiquette … everybody’s working on slightly different etiquette playbooks.”

That means there will be people on a plane with different opinions on when to de-board.

In the United States, we have a generally agreed upon rule that passengers should wait for the rows in front of them to exit before stepping into the aisle, with the exception of allowing passengers through who have tight connections.

“It should be row by row — there’s no question about that,” said Jules Hirst, an etiquette expert and co-author of the book “Power of Civility.”

The gray area kicks in with when to stand up, she said, although you should never stand before the seat belt light goes off. A passenger standing could stop the taxiing process.

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In a perfect world, we would all stay seated like church mice until we can time perfectly when to pop up, grab our stuff and leave right behind the row in front of us — not wasting an extra second. But the reality is that sitting in economy takes a physical toll, and many of us want to stand after hours of cramped misery.

Hirst says it’s acceptable for you to stand and give yourself some relief, just be mindful of any travelers who may need to pass you.

Lisa Mirza Grotts, a certified etiquette professional, agreed. As long as you’re not trying to jump the line, “there’s no harm in standing in your row while you wait,” she said in an email.

Every expert agreed that what’s much worse than standing is stalling. Your row mates will appreciate any proactive preparedness.

“If [the aisle passengers] want to jump up, they don’t want to jump up — that’s fine,” Leighton said. “Where I don’t want them is their stuff is everywhere, their phone is still plugged into the charger in the seat … I want to know that when it’s our time, they’re ready to go.”

Particularly if you’re in the aisle seat, you should have your belongings together and ready to leave before it’s your turn to exit. If you’re looking for a signal, look for people four or five rows ahead of you to finish before you fish your bag from the overhead bin.

Mirza Grotts adds that being ready for your turn “will only have a positive ripple effect on the plane, and who doesn’t want to ride that wave?”

Have a travel dilemma for By The Way Concierge? Send it to us here.

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