1) RESEARCH. I didn’t realize that there will still people who didn’t realize that you can’t bring liquids on a plane, but they exist, and they hold up the TSA security line like you wouldn’t believe. You can’t bring anything above 3 oz, which includes the coffee and the water bottle you bought outside of security.Here’s a hint: I never put my small toiletries in that damn little quart bag. I hide them strategically throughout my bag and I’ve had my bag searched for them maybe twice (after flying twice a week for the last 18 months). If they do catch them and open my bag (again, very rare occurrence), I simply play the “oh I packed in a hurry” card. They still do have to be 3 oz though – this includes the water bottle you brought.
2) Flying with Children? Don’t. Make people fly to you. Kidding, of course, but hear my facetious rationale on this one. I don’t even say it because crying children annoy me, honest. I say it because I feel bad for the parents who have to collapse a giant stroller, hold a baby and 10 bags filled with things to keep their toddler’s mind off of her throbbing ears, all while managing an apologetic smile to the person next in line to get on the plane. I’ve watched single parents pass their children to complete strangers just so they can wrangle the ridiculous amount of luggage required to travel with a child or children (not blaming the parents here, I’d do the same thing). Clearly this is mostlytongue-in-cheek, as I understand it’s often impossible not to fly with children…but seriously. Think about it.
3) Do you have a disability or have to travel with children? BE OBNOXIOUS. You know those people that inch their way up to the gate around half an hour before boarding? Those are frequent travelers. They can board first, meaning they are privy to all of the overhead space before everyone else boards.HOWEVER, if you have children under the age of 5 or “need extra time down the jetway” (for example, if you are elderly or have a disability) you can board before all of these people. So here is my hint to you as a frequent traveler: be obnoxious and force your way to the front of these gate zombies. Often as soon as the gate agent starts announcing, the zombies crowd the area making it impossible for you to get through, especially if you have children or have a tough time walking. Grab a seat close to the gate entrance and when you get to the half-hour mark do not be afraid to charge your way through us douchey business travelers.
4) If you are in Zone/Seating Area 3-5, the last tip does not apply to you. Stay back and wait until you’re called. We all had to deal with it at one point and you just make things more difficult.
5) Don’t bring your huge suitcase as a carry-on. I understand how much baggage fees suck, believe me, I do. But if you want to keep your sanity, check the thing if it isn’t going to fit in the overhead. Not sure if your 72 inch bag will fit? There are little measuring things all over the airport. If your bag is over 22″, check it. If you don’t, you’ll waste everyone’s time as you desperately try to cram it in, yelling at the flight attendant that it fit in the last plane and holding up the line 78 people back. I promise, checking is awesome, even if you do have to pay the fee.
6) Do NOT put your seat all the way back once on the plane, unless you want to be an intolerable douche and want me to push on your seat the entire time, because that’s what I do. Conversely, don’t force your legs up against the seat so that the person in front cannot push their seat back. Incredibly douchey.
7) If you sit in the back of the plane, do NOT put your luggage in the front of the plane. Again, don’t be an intolerable douche. People in the bulkhead seat have to put all of their things in the overhead compartment.
8) Related to #6, if you are in a bulkhead seat (the seat at the front of the airplane), put all of your luggage in the overhead compartment. You can’t hold your purse, you can’t put it behind your feet. It all has to go in the overhead compartment. It’s obnoxious but if you asked for more legroom, this is what you get.
9) Don’t Hold up Traffic in the Airport. It’s the same as driving – stick to the right. Don’t drive down the middle, or stop in the middle of the lane. Go with the flow and we’ll all get where we’re going.
10) Check in Online the Night Before. Some airlines have perks if you do this (like a higher seating zone), plus it just makes your life easier not having to stand in line at ticket counters.
11) Before Flying, take down the number of the airline and have it in your phone. If your flight gets canceled or delayed, I’ve sometimes gotten quicker service by calling the airline directly while I’m waiting in line to talk to the gate agent.
12) Wear shoes that easily slip off and comfortable clothes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen women walking around in laced boots with a 4-inch heel. You’re in the airport, it would behoove you to dress for the airport.
Hopefully these are at least somewhat helpful to you. I wish you all excellent travels!