Do’s & Don’ts – Air Travel Tips

It is safe to say that I’ve spent a decent amount of time on airplanes &, being who I am, I’ve spent a long time observing people’s behavior & actions while on board. I’ve decided to compile a list of tips that might help anyone reading this when they take their next flight. Keep in mind that these things are taking into account that airplanes are extremely dirty places & since you’re sharing a tiny space with hundreds of strangers, they are in fact public areas. Some of these things might seem obvious to you, but from my observations, most people (I’d say 80%+) do the opposite of these points.

Be patient. While air travel is extremely convenient & is a crucial part of our fast paced world, the act of getting an aircraft full of hundreds of people from point A to point B is extremely complex & the list of things that can delay this process is endless. Understand that you are only one of the very many people on the flight so the people at the check in desks, boarding agents & cabin crew might not respond to your request immediately or in a time frame that you might like, but believe me, they are doing their very best.

Ditch the neck pillow. This is something I see every time I fly. People bring neck pillows on board & probably 90% of these people don’t use them. They end up on the floor & thus becoming a tripping hazard & collecting all kinds of bacteria. Unless you know for a fact you will undoubtedly use it, leave it at home; better yet, save your money & don’t buy one.

Bring some wipes. The reason behind a few of these points goes back to the fact that commercial airplanes are filthy places. Yes, they get cleaned, but due to time constraints, most things get missed altogether. Bring some disinfectant wipes along with you to wipe down the tray table, arm rests & in-flight entertainment controller/screen. You might look like a germaphobe, but your immune system will be grateful.

Don’t be rude to the crew. Airline crew are there to get you to your destination safely, that is the purpose of their job. They are not your slaves, you do not own them. Most airlines add services as a benefit, not a requirement. People seem to have the wrong idea about this. While flying can be extremely stressful for some people, you might be exhausted, you may have gotten a seat you didn’t want (or didn’t pay for), maybe they ran out of chicken by the time they got to you & sometimes flights are delayed for hours on end, I understand that these things are tough/annoying, but the crew are not the ones responsible for these situations. I see so many passengers shouting at some poor soul who happened to walk passed at the wrong time. The crew have work stress, they have their own personal struggles, they are trying to make a living for themselves & most of the time they can do absolutely nothing to change your situation. If you do have a complaint, you’ll have far more success contacting the company’s customer care department. On the topic of airline employees, you’d be surprised how far a ‘please’ & ‘thank you’ will go. Better yet, try saying something like “Have a good day” and say the name on their name badge.IMG_20180528_144629_993

Wear shoes when you go to the lavatory/restroom. Have you ever seen that ‘water’ on the floor of an airplane bathroom? Yeah, that’s not water. Now this point is something that blows my mind because every time I mention this to someone, they will say how disgusting it is to use the bathroom barefoot or with socks on; however, on your next flight, watch the people going in & out of the lavatory. 8 out of 10 of them (if not, more) will be barefoot or just wearing socks.

Avoid the bubbles. While sipping champagne at 40,000 feet is considered luxurious living, it will probably make you feel uncomfortable. Any carbonated beverage will make you feel bloated, more than you already do. Drinking plenty of fluids is a good idea, but stick to juices & water.

Bring a pen. This comes in so handy especially if you’re on an international flight because many countries require you to complete arrival cards & having your own pen saves you from having to borrow one or using the communal ones at the airport.

Don’t stand up. This goes out to the people who stand up as soon as the plane lands, where are you going? Aside from this being dangerous, give this a thought. The pilot needs to take the aircraft to the gate & park, the cabin crew need to be released from their seats & disarm all the doors on the airplane, then the stairs or bridge needs to safely be connected to the aircraft & then the doors get opened & then all the passengers in front of you need to disembark. All of this takes time. You could use the excuse that you are in a rush, but you’ll get through immigration or baggage claim at roughly the same time as the last person off the aircraft. Standing with your neck tilted & your back bent cannot be comfortable, just sit a few minutes & then leave.

Your trash doesn’t disappear. Be mindful that someone has to come & pick up all the trash you leave behind. If we can help make someone else’s job easier, why don’t we? If you have some packaging or plastic with you, take it & dispose of it in the airport wastebin.IMG_20180525_175844_897

Keep spare underwear. A good idea is to keep an extra outfit & underwear in your carry on/hand luggage because your suitcase might get lost & show up a day or two later. Having the spare clothes makes the world of a difference in these situations, believe me. This has happened to me a few times.

I’m sure you can tell, I have a lot to say on this topic, but I’m going to stop here as this post is already double the length of my normal posts. I hope this helps you on your future flights & if you have any other questions or tips, feel free to leave them in the comments or contact me directly.

Keep traveling, keep safe.

DanVenture Travels

62 thoughts on “Do’s & Don’ts – Air Travel Tips

Add yours

  1. I would love to add one more thing to your list Dan. Bearing in mind a lot of people are worried about contracting the coronovirus at this point in time.
    If you are not well, have a terrible cough or cold please don’t travel. Or if you really have to, wear a mask for the other passengers sake . Everytime I fly it seems I am in the immediate vicinity of someone who should not be flying that day.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Good advice, made me chuckle thinking about all the times I’ve seen all the above happen… one extra one – don’t put your feet on the arm rest in front of you, nobody wants stinky feet!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful article. I welcome you to come by and read mine and comment as well. As some have mentioned. If you are unwell, cough, etc. Didn’t get a flu or immunization you are a carrier of issues. Please remember to get travel insurance it is not worth you getting sick or making others sick. No fair. I understand this trip was not cheap, no excuse. Sorry to vent. Great article.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I totally agree esp. regarding travel insurance. Buy a single trip one if you have to but if you can’t afford good comprehensive travel insurance, you can’t really afford your vacation either, sorry. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh dear, ergh, who goes to the bathroom onboard not wearing shoes? ><

    I would like to add: Limit your alcohol intake. No, you are not fun when drunk. Not fun for your fellow passengers, particularly when doing long haul. Airlines now take a very dim view of passengers who are seen to be endangering themselves and others.

    Also: Be prepared and follow the procedure. This makes it much easier for staff and other travellers. Check in your more than 100ml containers and zip your smaller containers up before trying to pass security (I'm looking at YOU, Miss-squeezed-her-large-tube-of-expensive-lotion-DIRECTLY-INTO-a-clear-ziploc-bag while stood at security, expecting them to let you take it through!). Have your passport and boarding card ready for inspection when you're called forward at the gate. Ensure your baggage fits the size and weigth set by the airline. Sit in your assigned seat.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Add #1: Don’t stash your bag over row 12 if you’re in row 35. (Exceptions for it you are the last person on the plane and the flight crew helps you find a spot because the one over your seat is full.) There’s limited space, everyone is tired, cranky, and uncomfortable, and you don’t need to make some other person’s life more difficult unnecessarily, just as you wouldn’t want this done to you. (Have you ever been the person in row 12 (maybe who paid for an up-front seat because you have a tight connection to make) but whose bag has to get stashed behind you because someone else didn’t feel like hauling the bag *they chose to pack* to their own seat? Some person may not make their connection, because they can’t get off until every single person on the plane gets off, so they can go backwards to retrieve their bag. Everyone else on the plane is also a person. So just… DON’T.)
    Add #2: Put nothing, and touch nothing, in the seat back in front of you! Where did the last passenger store their used tissues until the flight attendants came to collect any trash (or might even still be in there)? That’s right, in the seat back pocket. So then you’re getting settled, stashing your book (or snack crackers, or even the package of wipes you intend to use) in there while you buckle up and wipe down all the *surfaces* in front of you, and then you pull that book (or whatever) out from there, and you’ve accidentally picked up prior passenger germs with it.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Good points, though I adore my neck pillow. I use it on the plane and then I stuff it into its stuff sack and it acts as my knee pillow while I sleep once I get to my destination. I would be so uncomfortable without that thing. There are so many funky new shapes and designs for neck pillows out there now. I kinda want to try them all, but of course that would be ridiculous and impractical. However, the improvements on the old style neck pillow might be enough to make people actually use them and stop leaving them on the airplane floor, which is obnoxious.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Great post! I also feel like adding the point “don’t talk to the person sitting next to you for the whole flight, especially if they have headphones in”. This is something that bothers me A LOT, I don’t mean to be rude but I really don’t feel like listening to your mumbling on the reason you’re taking that flight when all I wanna do is get some sleep!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Great article and I agree with all the points. I also carry an empty water bottle and fill it when I get through security so that I always have fresh water, nothing worse than feeling dehydrated or as annoying as being overcharged. I also take my own headphones for the inhouse entertainment as well as taking a small tube of moisturiser to keep my skin hydrated and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Small and simple things which make a world of difference to my journey 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Awesome post! I haven’t ever paid attention to the amount of people that use the restroom without shoes on their feet, but I sure will in the future. One thing that has always helped me is to bring a book. It makes a long flight seem to last about thirty minutes, plus if you have headphones in, (hopefully) people will get the memo to leave you alone. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Great tips – I cringe when I see people walking in the plane with no shoes, let alone go to the loo like that – 😬cringe. I always take a neck pillow, but I don’t use if for my neck – I sit on it (it’s a very thick one) or use it against my back sometimes – for extra comfort. The cushions they sometimes give you on the plane make very little difference

    Liked by 4 people

  10. but I sure will in the future. One thing that has always helped me is to bring a book. It makes a long flight seem to last about thirty minutes, plus if you have headphones in, (hopefully) people will get the memo to leave you alone. 🙂Cheap flights

    Liked by 4 people

  11. All excellent tips! Can’t say I’ve ever noticed the barefeet toilet-visitors but probably haven’t paid too much notice. Might have a look next time I fly!

    Liked by 4 people

  12. People should leave their shoes on at all times! That’s just rude.
    Also, Southwest shipped my husband’s luggage to a different state & they gave him a new bag with a toiletry bag & $200 to buy new clothes.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Great job, Dan. As a travel advisor, I fully agree with your flying tips, well thought out and articulated. Once we resume normalcy, whatever that may be, patience will be primary among items we’ll all need to pack. Travel on!

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Good comments. Another would be to wait your turn when unloading from the plane. Nothing is worse than someone pushing there way up the plane. In today’s world, most time between flights is short for us all.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I used to bring my regular neck pillow on all flights and used it on most flights, although not usually during the entire flight. You’re right, it ends up getting knocked around. I recently bought an inflatable neck pillow, which has been wonderful! It’s out of the way when I don’t need it and then I can blow it up once I need it.
    Also, gross about the no shoes to the bathroom, now I’ll be looking for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I can’t even with the shoes off on the plane. Please keep shoes on at all times if not wearing socks. At least that’s what I’d like to shout at the people putting bare feet up on armrests on flights.

    Liked by 2 people

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