I think I took my first flight when I was around three years old. And safe to say my parents have been drilling flight etiquette into my head since. Granted my Dad flies a lot and there are differences between business travel and travel for the every day person/college student.
Regardless, there are some hard and fast rules that I believe everyone should at least try to adhere to. Others are for certain situations and some I don’t even follow. But here are a few that Tony Shay would be proud of.
- Always dress appropriately.
- My parents would KILL me if I ever flew in sweat pants or looked like a slob
- Dress like your flight is running late, you have no time to change, and you have to meet someone for dinner. You wouldn’t want to show up looking like a “ragamuffin” as my grandma would say
- I know comfort is a big thing when flying no matter how long the distance. But there are ways to look appropriate and be comfortable. Your favorite jeans, a nice shirt, and a blazer. Boom. Casual but appropriate
- Wear comfortable and uncomplicated shoes
- When I say “uncomplicated shoes,” I’m referring to security. You don’t to be wearing something with a million laces to undo, straps to take on and off, etc. Stick to shoes that are easy to slip on and off. The people in the security line will thank you
- As for comfortable, if you’re late or your gate changes you do not want to be running/fast walking in things you can’t walk in. Yes ladies, that means no heels.
- Be curious and quick when going through security
- No one likes going through security, but it is necessary. And there are ways to make it less painful
- Wear the least amount of excess items possible. I.e. put your jacket or sweater in your bag and forgo a belt if you can
- Otherwise, if the line is long and you have time, start to take off what you can ahead of time. That way when it’s your turn, all you have to do is put your stuff into the bins and move through the scanner
- Finally, when your stuff comes through the scanner at the other side, don’t be the person at the end of the conveyor belt trying to put it all back together. Put on what you can quickly, aka your shoes, grab your things, and move to one of the benches they have for this EXACT purpose
- Most people are in a rush, don’t dwadle
- I have been the person running through the terminal trying to catch her flight before the doors close. I try my best to avoid others and not get caught behind “slow walkers” as my family calls them
- Keep a brisk pace while walking through the terminal. More often than not, people are trying to get where they need to be and getting stuck behind someone walking .5 mph is as irritating as anything
- The smaller you pack the better
- If you can avoid checking a bag, do it. Because that means once you land and you’re deplaned you are free to go. No luggage carousels, no waiting for your bag, no pushing through people to get it
- Little known fact, as long as it squishes, it fits. I’ve traveled with a large duffel bag and a backpack and I still didn’t have to check it. So it is possible to pack for a week in a carry-on even if it’s not a regular carry-on size
- Remain CALM
- Traveling is stressful, but it always finds a way to work itself out
- The worst thing you can do is have a break down in the middle of the airport. Remain calm, cool, and collected. Believe me attendants would rather work with those kinds of people than the ones who are hysterical.
So those are just a few of the many, many tips I have learned through my various travel experiences. I have been delayed, deplaned, and cancelled all in one day. I have boarded my flight 10 minutes before they were going to close the doors. And I’m sure others have gone through much worse. But knowing what to do and how to act ahead of time never hurts either.
I hope that some of these tips alleviate travel woes some of you have had in the past. They have helped me on numerous occasions. Granted I’m only 20 and probably have a lot more flying a head of me, but I think this is a good start.
Oh! (side note) Today is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s Star Wars Day aka May The 4th (Be With You). So while I will be unable to watch any movies because I have a final tomorrow, damn you marketing, I hope some of you will get that chance.