We’re fast approaching the summer and with it much busier airports. Less frequent air travelers are far more likely to take to the skies in the summer for their vacation and their flying inexperience can irk more seasoned travelers. They’re not as familiar with things all of the rules regarding airport security and the etiquette of storing carry-on luggage. Forbes recently wrote a piece outlining five simple things you can do to improve your flying experience no matter how frequently you fly and it is incredibly sound advice. Here’s what they recommend:
Avoid Flying During Peak Hours – Peak hours for flight departures are between 7:00 am and 9:00 am and between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Avoiding these hours will result in shorter lines through security and your plane will be more likely to board and take off on time. The most reliable departure time is by far the 6:00 am flights because the plane is just about guaranteed to be at the airport for the first flight of the day.
Board Without Baggage – Being able to not check bags is wonderful. If all you have are carry-ons you can be out of the airport shortly after your flight lands instead of waiting at a baggage claim and you don’t have to pay any baggage fees. However, airlines are starting to get more strict about what types of bags you can and can’t carry on as fights over overhead compartments become more and more common. If you have luggage you might otherwise have to check consider shipping it to your destination in advance as an alternative.
Grab The Bulkhead – Bulkhead seats have a number of advantages. These include more legroom, easier access to the bathroom, being the first to get snacks and drinks, and getting off the plane quicker when it lands. Keep in mind that airlines may charge more for these seats. A full list of the pros and cons of bulkhead seating can be found here.
Study Airport Maps – Not only does it help to know where you’re going when you have to transfer to another flight, but knowing information like the location of restaurants and bathrooms is incredibly very useful. If you already have an idea of where everything is in an unfamiliar airport, it can greatly reduce the amount of stress you feel during a layover.
Be Nice – Air travel can be incredibly stressful and that stress puts many passengers in a bad mood when they fly. However stressed you may feel, don’t take it out on the airline staff. They have to deal with cranky people all day who have problems that they’re in no position to solve. Even if you’re feeling cranky be polite to everyone. Being polite will get you far better service than being rude. Also if you are well prepared to deal with the unexpected that can make the process of air travel far less stressful for everyone. I’ve also found from personal experience that giving a flight attendant a piece of candy will instantly make you their favorite passenger.
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