Airline employees are stressed, especially considering the not-so-flattering news coverage a few months ago. Though you might not be able to control in-flight incidents or inside the airport, one thing you can manage is having a positive attitude.
1. Take the earliest flight possible. Just like a doctor’s appointment, mornings tend to be less chaotic, with less flights to compete with to leave on time, and (generally) less-stressed out people willing to accommodate you.
2. Traveling with kids? Do the opposite. Book the second-to-last flight to align bedtimes with departures.
3. Look at the seating chart of the airplane if available. You can avoid the rows next to the bathrooms or the exit rows.
4. Reserve an aisle seat. There’s more leg room and you won’t have to worry about waking up another passenger if you have to use the bathroom. The most polite person in the world could still wake up like a bear out of hibernation.
5. If you are lucky enough to have a (free) in-flight meal, sit in the first rows if you’re flying coach. You’ll get served faster, have a choice of entrees, and the food will be warmer. Plus, have you ever experienced someone feeling “hangry?” It’s not pretty. Better yet? Bring snacks ahead of time.
6. If you aren’t flying direct, take advantage of the layover time with airport lounges. For a small fee, you can have access to a computer area, food, reading materials, even a shower! It’s worth it just for that small window of time to yourself (and more leg room). Download “Lounge Buddy” (available on iPhone and Android) to book available lounges.
7. Download the free app “Calm” for a 5-10 minute customized meditation that’s as simple as following the voice commands and breathing.
8. Bring a set of earplugs – for sleep and for sanity. You never know who you will sit next to. A snoring passenger may prove to be just as loud as a crying baby.
9. Follow the Golden Rule. Flight attendants are not on vacation, even if you are. Being nice to them and smiling might not land you a free flight, but it can’t hurt when anything above peanuts is valid to be charged.
Safe travels and enjoy every moment of it! Thanks to Melissa Shaffer for contributing this article exclusively for gloholiday!