“On The Plane” or “In The Plane” – Correct Preposition

Marcus Froland

Are you unsure of the correct preposition to use when discussing travel on an airplane? Don’t worry! In this article, we will discuss the difference between ‘on’ and ‘in’ with regard to planes.

We’ll also provide examples of proper usage, explain related prepositions, and offer advice to help you avoid common grammar mistakes.

Join us as we explore the world of aviation prepositions!

Key Takeaways

  • ‘On’ is used when sitting on a seat inside an airplane, while ‘in’ is used when referring to being located inside the cabin of an airplane.
  • Use ‘on’ when referring to a specific point on the plane, such as a seat or window. Use ‘in’ when talking about something in the plane as a whole unit.
  • Use ‘on’ for general references like ‘a flight on a plane’ or ‘being on board’. Use ‘in’ for specifics like ‘sitting in my seat,’ ‘waiting in line,’ and ‘sleeping in my bunk’.
  • Other related prepositions like ‘above,’ ‘below,’ ‘over,’ and ‘through’ have specific meanings when referring to the position or movement of a plane.

Definitions of ‘On’ and ‘In’

On means to be physically touching or supported by a surface. In generally means to be enclosed by something.

To determine if you should say ‘on the plane’ or ‘in the plane,’ consider which definition applies. For example, when talking about sitting on a seat inside an airplane, it is more accurate to say that you are ‘on the plane.’

Alternatively, when talking about boarding and disembarking the aircraft, then it would be more appropriate to say that you are entering or leaving ‘in the plane.’

Additionally, when referring to being located inside of the cabin of an airplane, then using ‘in’ is best.

Ultimately, choosing between these two prepositions requires careful consideration of your context and desired meaning.

Examples of Correct Usage

I’m sure you’re aware of the fact that ‘on’ and ‘in’ can both be appropriate prepositions here. To better understand their usage, let’s look at some examples.

If you are referring to a specific point on the plane, such as a seat or window, then you should use ‘on.’ For instance, ‘I sat on the plane next to my friend.’

Similarly, if one is talking about something in the plane as a whole unit, then it would be more accurate to use ‘in.’ An example of this would be: ‘We were in the plane for four hours before we finally arrived.’

When to Use Each Preposition

You need to decide which preposition to use depending on what you’re referring to – either something specific within the aircraft, or the aircraft as a whole. For example, if you are talking about a seat on an airplane, you would use ‘in.’ If you are referring to the aircraft itself, then ‘on’ is appropriate.

Here are some points to keep in mind when it comes to using each preposition:

  • Use ‘on’ for general references such as “a flight on a plane” or “being on board.”
  • Use ‘in’ for specifics like “sitting in my seat,’ ‘waiting in line,’ and ‘sleeping in my bunk.”
  • When talking about parts of the plane like wings or engines, use “on” if referring to their location (e.g., “the engine is on the left wing”).
  • Use ‘in’ when describing actions that take place inside (e.g., “I’m eating lunch in the plane”).

The key is knowing what exactly you’re trying to say and keeping these simple rules of thumb in mind.

Related Prepositions

Other related prepositions that are used when referring to aircraft include ‘above’, ‘below’, ‘over’, and ‘through’.

These words suggest motion or spatial relationships. For example, the phrase ‘the plane flew above the clouds’ implies movement of the plane in a higher elevation than the clouds. Likewise, saying that something is ‘underneath’ a plane implies that it’s located below it.

You might say, for instance, that there is an airport underneath the plane as it flies through the sky. The preposition ‘over’ suggests movement over something else; for example, you could say ‘the plane flew over the city’. Finally, you can use ‘through’ to describe things moving through space; for instance, if a person jumps out of a plane they are falling through air until they open their parachute.

Common Grammar Mistakes

Confusing prepositions when referring to aircraft can lead to common grammar mistakes. One such mistake is using ‘on’ instead of ‘in’ when talking about a plane. You should never say you are ‘on the plane’, but rather that you are ‘in the plane’.

Here are some items to keep in mind:

  • Never use ‘on’ before ‘plane’.
  • Always remember to use ‘in’ when talking about planes.
  • It’s important to be precise with your language.
  • Using the wrong preposition can lead to confusion or misunderstanding.

Using proper grammar and prepositions makes for clear communication and helps ensure understanding between people who speak different languages or have different levels of knowledge about a subject matter.

Keeping these points in mind will help you avoid making common grammar mistakes when talking about airplanes and other forms of transportation.


No matter which preposition you use, ‘on’ or ‘in’, it’s important to be accurate and precise. With a little knowledge of the English language, you can make sure that your sentences are properly constructed.

Although there are other related prepositions, understanding when to use ‘on’ and ‘in’ is key for correct grammar. So remember: if you’re talking about a plane in general terms, use ‘in’; if you’re referring to a specific location on the plane, then go with ‘on’!