Getting through a long flight can be quite a challenge. From long security lines to losing track of your luggage, airports and flights can be a huge hassle. But, here are some tips to help you have an easier time, at both the airport and on your flight.
Also Read: Never Do These 6 Things At The Airport
1. Always check in online beforehand
Unless you have an issue that needs to be resolved in person, check in online to avoid long queues at the counter. Some airlines will let you choose your seat only if you check in online. Most airlines start online check-in 24 hours before the flight departs.
2. Which seat should you pick
If you check-in online and you’re able to choose your seat, which seat should you pick? Window seats have pretty views and a wall to rest your head on; aisle seats have more legroom and easy access to the bathroom; seats near the wings are the best in times of turbulence; and the first few rows are where families with small kids often are. But wherever you sit, middle seats are generally terrible.
3. Check if your airline/airport has an app
If they do, the information on the app is often more up-to-date than the screens at the terminal. Also, this means that you’ll be able to get updates and alerts wherever you sit, especially if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
4. Check your plane’s configuration
Worried your plane might not have seat-back entertainment systems? You can avoid all that be checking your plane’s configuration online to see what entertainment options, power outlets, or wi-fi there are.
5. If you fly often, consider buying a pass to the airport lounge
Even if you don’t fly first class, or don’t have a credit card with such perks, airport lounges can be a restful expense, especially on long international layovers. A day pass will also let you access the lounge.
6. Never send personal data over Airport Wi-fi
Almost all airports provide free wi-fi for travellers, but free doesn’t mean secure. No public wi-fi network is really safe, so don’t use personal info – such as passwords and bank details – while connected.
7. Wear comfy clothes that are easy to remove
It seems like obvious advice to wear comfy clothes on a long flight. But you should dress both comfortably and strategically. Taking off heavy laced up boots or a complicated belt can take up unnecessary time. So, wear clothes and shoes that are easy to on and off quickly.
8. Carry some food and snacks with you
Airport food is often quite expensive, and carrying some food (like a sandwich, biscuits, or fruit) in your carry on or handbag can be both super convenient, and save you some cash. Just check which foods are prohibited.
9. Bring along an empty bottle
Just like food, buying water can be expensive. While you can’t take liquids with you, you can take along an empty bottle. Fill it up once you’ve passed through security, and you can even ask flight attendants to refill it mid-flight.
10. Make your seat as cosy as possible
Plane seats can be quite cramped, so creating a comfy environment can make your flight much more bearable. Put away the in-flight catalogues and magazines, and replace it with stuff you need for the flight, like books, water, moisturizer, etc. You can then put your bag away overhead to give yourself more legroom.
11. Bring some backup entertainment
Even if your flight has personal seat-back entertainment systems, you should always have a backup. The screen might be broken, or it might have a terrible selection of movies. So load up your devices (phones, laptops, iPads, Kindles, etc.) with several hours worth of entertainment, just in case.
12. Take a portable charger
You may not have a charging outlet near your seat on the plane. So, a portable charger will let you watch twice as many cute animal videos and movies on your flight.
13. Create a sort-of routine
You’re going to be stuck in a small space for 8+ hours. Brushing your teeth, washing your face, and putting on deodorant won’t just endear you to your seatmates, they’ll also leave you feeling fresher throughout the flight. You can also bring along a change of t-shirt and underwear.
14. Plan your sleep and meals in advance
Most flight attendants will leave you be if they find you sleeping during mealtimes. So, you might want to plan ahead if you’re going to eat. You can set an alarm or ask the attendants to wake you when it arrives.
15. Order meals wisely if you want to eat fast
On the flight, the attendants usually serve vegetarian, vegan, and other special meals first. So, if you order these, you’re more likely to be able to eat quickly.
16. Label and mark your luggage
Whether you’re looking for your bags in the overhead bin or at baggage claim, you can save yourself lots of time by making your bags more visible, with luggage belts or brightly coloured tags. As a bonus, you can add your info on them in case your luggage is misplaced.
17. Be patient
Gate and flight attendants, and even your fellow travellers, are all often tired or harried. So keeping in mind that you might need a favour or some help, it almost never pays to be angry or whiny. On the other hand, patience and a warm smile can go a long way.
Do you have any more tips to help people have an easier time, at both the airport and on flights? If so do share them in the comments below.