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Posted by on Dec 6, 2011 | 5 comments

Essential Flying Tips for Travelers: At the Airport and On the Plane

On two previous posts, I have discussed essential flying tips to take into consideration during the travel planning and packing stages. This week I am offering information on what to take into consideration when arriving at the airport. Additionally, I have tips on how to deal with some situations once you are on the plane. Pay special attention to the plane tips since I have gathered a lot of information from a friend who is a flight attendant.

As always, I encourage you to share your own tips with all of us.

At the airport

• Arrive early
You never know what complications may arise. There is no need to get cranky into a plane.

 • Know your flight or confirmation number
Have these numbers handy if you want to use the self-service quiosks some airlines provide. You want to avoid the long lines   if possible.

 • Keep an eye on your valuables
This is especially important when you are passing thru security. People in a hurry tend to forget items at the security belts. Some have taken the incorrect laptop. Therefore, don’t get distracted and double check you have all your possessions (or your correct possessions).

 • Verify your luggage destination tag
Believe it or not, an airline representative can place an incorrect destination tag on one or more of your suitcases. This has happened to me on two different occasions. Always, always take a look when the representative is placing the tags on your bags. Make sure they are marked for your final destination. If you notice something wrong, speak up. One time, I had to ask to speak to a manager because I knew the tag was wrong and the representative didn’t want to acknowledge her error. But at the end, she was ordered to change the tag.

 • If you want to save money, avoid buying food and other items at the airport
We all know food at the airport is ridiculously expensive. Bring your own food if you want to save. This applies for the plane ride too. Sorry, this doesn’t apply to liquids.

 On the plane

 • Place your in-flight necessities in a small bag
This should be done for two reasons. First, you don’t want to hold a lot of people boarding the plane while you take out of your carry on everything you need for the flight. Second, you probably don’t want you belongings floating around a pouch full of germs and other gross stuff (you have no idea what my friend has found there).

 • Beware of the trays
The food trays are full of germs and bacteria (plus who knows what food remains). Wipe them with humid, anti-bacterial wipes if you want an extra layer of protection.

• Use only brand new blankets
Do not use blankets if they have been previously used (they come packaged if they are clean). People use blankets to clean their noses, hold their vomit and sneeze. Some even use them to cover and clean themselves during and after having sexual encounters (true story). So please, please don’t wrap yourself in those blankets.

• You may want to bring your own water
The water provided in flight comes from bottles. However, if attendants run out of bottled water, they don’t hesitate to serve water from the plane tank. This is the same water used to flush the toilet. If you drink a lot of water, make sure you have enough supply.

 • Put your seat belt on
It is important to use the seat belt when you are seating. I know it sucks (so uncomfortable). The thing is that you don’t know when unexpected turbulence is going to hit. If the plane suddenly drops altitude, you may end hitting the ceiling and falling back to the floor with full force. Avoid getting hurt by taking this precaution.

 • Watch you lower back
I don’t know about you but my lower back hurts or gets tired when flying long hours. Now, I put a pillow between my back and the seat to alleviate pressure. You can also roll a jacket or sweater and put it in the correct place.

 • Close the toilet lid before flushing
The restroom is the grossest spot in the plane. Consider how many people use it on a relative short period of time. For obvious reasons, use a piece of paper towel to close the lid before flushing. Avoid making contact with the surfaces and use hand sanitizer if you think that tank water is too dirty for you. Oh and please, wear shoes on the restroom.

 • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes
I don’t quite understand the 4 inches heals on planes.

• Bring allergy pills
Nowadays, there a tons of allergens floating inside a plane. Small pet are allowed in the main cabin. People use all sort of perfumes and lotions. I can mention a thousands more things that can cause an allergy. So be prepared. I hate having an allergy attack while aboard (plus some people can’t tolerate the sniffing, you don’t want to create enemies).

 

What are you tips for these traveling phases? Let me know in the comments section below.

5 Comments

  1. I agree with all of these tips, especially verifying the tag on your luggage. Last month, when we were at the Miami Int’l Airport, the lady who worked at the counter wished us a safe flight to Detroit while placing the tag on our luggage. Well, there’s one slight problem: We’re heading to Atlanta, not Detroit!

    A tip that I would like to add is when your luggage is damaged before/during/after the flight, report it immediately before you leave the airport. Last August, right after our plane landed in Atlanta, my husband happened to be watching the airport crew members unload the luggage from under the airplane. Right at that moment, he saw it with his own eyes how a crew member threw our luggage and broke the wheel. We reported the incidence after we got out of the airplane, and they gave us a brand new luggage right on the spot.
    Nanette recently posted..Color me MaineMy Profile

  2. the switched tags thing happened to me!!! what was worse was that I had the tags from the bag that erroneously made it back to LA with me so the tags on the wrong luggage matched with the claim ticket that I had.

    Luckily, i’m super nosey and overheard the destination of the people in front me. Even more lucky – Portland is a small enough airport that they were able to track down my luggage for me. 🙂 thanks, mom, for making those ugly pom poms for my bag to stand out!!!
    jenjenk recently posted..My Travel ABC’sMy Profile

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