Tips & Tricks

Published on March 31st, 2016 | by Brooks Hitchcock

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Flight Attendants 101: 6 Tips for Surviving Air Travel

As a flight attendant, your goal is to ensure a safe, and comfortable flight for every traveler that comes on your aircraft. Modern air travel is not designed to be a relaxing, or glamorous experience, unless of course you’re a billionaire with his or her own private jet: the seats are crammed together, there is little or no leg room, the carry-on compartments are smaller than ever, and the air travel companies charge you additional fees for checking your luggage. Let’s face it, many travelers are usually already frustrated with the flight before they’re even welcomed onboard.

“Flight attendants do nothing but fly, ALL DAY LONG. We can wake up in Seattle, have lunch in Chicago, and dine by the ocean in Miami, all in the course of a day. Needless to say we, we are quite familiar with the hassles and frustrations of modern air travel. That’s why we assembled this list of six basic tips to help you get the most out of your flight, and enjoy yourself along the way,” said a spokesperson for The Travel Academy. Flying can be stressful, but if you follow these flight attendant’s tips, you might just find commercial flight to be a rather enjoyable experience.

Check for new regulations

In our post 9/11 world, airline regulations are constantly being changed, sometimes on nearly a monthly basis. There are both federal regulations to consider, as well as company regulations that can interfere, or even alter your flight plans before you are even aware of it. For this reason, it is important that you check on new airline and airport regulations before you head for the airport. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) frequently changes the list of acceptable in-flight and carry-on items and how to store them, so be sure to look on their website, and the website of the airline you’ll be utilizing, before packing and heading to the airport.

Keep a light handbag or carry-on

Storage space in airplanes is extremely limited. Think about it: a hundred or so plus people are crammed into a plane, each with bags of luggage that have to be stowed somewhere during the flight. Most airlines allow you a carry-on bag, as well as a handbag, or backpack of sorts. While this is convenient, you want to make sure to keep it light, as you must share overhead space with your seatmates. Try to limit these bags to smaller items and essentials, so that you don’t have to go back to the front to check the bag for below-cabin storage.

Check carry-on bags at gate

Carrying over from the last point, checking your carry-on item at the gate is another way to reduce crammed storage space in the overhead compartments. This does not involve checking your bag and paying a baggage fee at the front of the airport terminals, it just means putting a tag on your bag at the gate before you board that will be retrieved for you after you have landed. If you are in one of the later boarding groups, you might consider doing this automatically, as we will begin to have everyone check their carry-on once the overhead space is full.

Drink water

We know you look forward to us coming down the isle mid-flight to serve in-flight beverages. While there are a lot of tasty options for you to choose from, and even alcohol for those of you who don’t really like flying, the best thing for you to drink is water. During flight, the air inside the cabin is not humidified. This can lead to symptoms of dehydration like chapped lips, dry skin and/or nasal cavities, and in longer flights, can contribute to the likeliness of blood clots developing. Drinking plenty of water on the day that you fly can help keep you hydrated during your flight, and therefore, much more comfortable.

Walk around during long flights

Flights that have an extended travel time, like a flight going from New York or Chicago to Los Angeles, or even longer, poses more risks than if you were only flying for an hour or so. Along with dehydration, another condition that continues to plague travelers is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or “economy-class syndrome.” This is a condition in which the traveler develops leg clots from extended periods of inactivity, particularly in the legs. Muscle contraction in the legs keeps blood flowing normally throughout your system, so be sure to get up and take a short walk every hour, or couple of hours, and to drink plenty of water during the flight.

Bring a book

We live in an age of electronics, but during air travel, they can be a hassle to use, and an even bigger one to stow away. According to current regulations, laptops and other such items must either be placed on the floor underneath the seat in front of you, or kept in the overhead compartment. This can make retrieving them a chore for you, and your seatmate(s), not to mention you can’t even use them during certain periods of flight. Make it easier on yourself: bring a book from your ‘Must-Read’ list on the flight with you, and maybe some headphones for music on your phone.

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