Air Travel Today
Patience is required when traveling today.
As a former flight attendant, believe me when I tell you that I have seen it all when it comes to traveling on a plane. It is as if people become someone that you do not recognize. It is understandable when we are required to release ourselves to a total stranger. These planes take us from A to B, and we have no idea who is flying them. I can assure you that these people are highly qualified. It takes long hours of flight and classroom training before you can fly a commercial airplane. Most pilots are former military, and have plenty of experience flying. Your flight attendants have a lot of training as well. You should put down your book, magazine, whatever you might be doing, stop talking, and listen to what they are saying. If not for yourself at least out of respect for the people that are sitting near you. They are not doing that safety demonstration for themselves. They already know everything that there is to know about that. Remember if anything goes wrong these are the people who are going to help you. They know those planes, you don't, so you are going to need them.
Also remember that it might just be you who could have to save another person, and you are going to want to know what to do if that happens. It is always a good idea to arrive early to the airport. If you drove, you need time to park and to walk over to the terminal. It also takes time to check in your luggage, and then you have to go through security. As you get closer to security, be ready to put your items on the belt for scanning, take off your shoes, and empty your pockets. If you, like so many people do, think that it is gross to stand on the floor with bare feet, then bring a pair of socks to put on. I do that whenever I am wearing sandals. It is also good to give yourself time to settle into the area before you have to board the plane. You can just sit and relax, or read, or grab something to eat. You should probably eat something, especially if your flight is over two hours. You should also walk around the terminal, because once you get on the plane you will be in your seat for a while.
If you notice anything that you think does not look right tell an agent, or tell a flight attendant. I had someone tell me that they thought that this guy had too much to drink. It turns out that she was right. He was denied drinks from us on the plane because she did that. It saved us, and the rest of the passengers, from having to deal with someone who could have gotten a lot worse than he already was. Believe me when you get on a plane the last thing that you want to deal with is someone who is out of control. If you see someone arguing on the plane do not try to talk to them just go get a flight attendant and let them handle things. It is also important to remember that if an agent or a flight attendant tells you something it is probably because it is necessary. I see so many people arguing over the smallest things. Your luggage will arrive if they have to take it from you because the overhead bins are full. In fact your luggage will be waiting for you as you walk off the plane. It is always best to check your luggage, because it makes it much easier for your flight to leave on time.
Never put anything of value in your luggage. You should always carry whatever that might be with you. The goal of your ground and flight crew is to get your flight out on time. If you try to bring your entire house with you on the plane then this only delays the flight, because those bags need to be taken away from you and checked. Out of kindness you should help other passengers. You can also think of it this way, if you help someone it will get that airplane door closed much faster and you can be on your way. Whenever I travel alone I always say hello to the person sitting next to me. If they ask I tell them my name, because you never know you may need their help.
Once you are up in the air please try to stay in your seat. It is very difficult for the flight attendants to serve you quickly if they have to keep pushing their carts back and forth to let people go to the lavatory. If you are traveling with children, ask the agent when you are booking your flight if you can sit closer to the lavatory. It is easier for you then, because it is more difficult for children to sit in their seats. Also if you have a baby ask to do the same thing. If you need help with your baby, if you are traveling alone, do not hesitate to ask a flight attendant for help. They understand how difficult it is to travel alone with a baby.
Be respectful of the fact that you are not the only one of the airplane. Do not have your music turned up loudly if you are wearing headphones. Also, it is never a good idea to have your music so loud that you would not be able to hear if the pilot or the flight attendant made an announcement.
Remember when you are sitting in your seat always have your seal belt loosely fastened around you. You will want to do that especially if there is any turbulence. I have seen people fall to the ground because they stood up when the pilot announced that there is turbulence and that you should stay buckled in your seat.
This may seem insignificant, but please do not put trash in the seat pocket in front of you, or on the floor. Just hand whatever you have to the flight attendants when they come back to collect the trash. If it was you who had to clean the planes you would not want to clean that up, and neither do they. It also can delay a flight for the next people. All of the planes must be thoroughly cleaned before they can start boarding passengers. Again remember that could be you who has to wait for this to be done. Patience is required when traveling today, so just plan ahead and things will go a lot more smoothly for you.