A few flight attendants, pilots, shuttle drivers and those who fly frequently offer some experience based advice.
- Don’t take shoes, off, or at least walk around the plane without them. You don’t know what other travellers have been walking through.
- Planes are periodically cleaned, but the other passengers (and yourself) could be bringing anything into the plane. Treat all surfaces as unclean.
- The special meals, kosher, gluten free …etc. Are almost always prepared just before the flight. And they are often the first served, if you find being first an advantage.
- Food tastes different on a plane because of the low pressure, noise and the fact that the meal must be pre-prepared. Some airlines compensate by including more salt. Avoid eating too much of the airline food.
- Know the emergency procedure. We never know how we will react in a crisis, or how others react. It helps if we can follow a procedure in a reflex manner.
- The water on the planes is of dubious quality; this includes the tea and coffee. Bring an empty bottle and fill it up at the airport before leaving. Do drink water, because the flight will dehydrate you, but make sure it is clean.
- Avoid carbonated drinks – the low air pressure and the bubbly drink will make you feel bloated.
- Caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate you, more so in the dry plane conditions.
- You are exposed to UV light through the cabin window, much like a sunny day. Wear sunscreen or draw the shades.
- Do some leg exercises to help you circulation. The socks that prevent deep vein thrombosis are good if you travel frequently.
- There are dress codes, but they are rarely enforces. As long as you are neat and tidy, and not showing flesh, there is very rarely an issue. The exception is if you are on an employee pass, where you are representing the company and are expected to look the part.
- Find a way to adapt to your destination’s time zone ahead of time.
- An old trick, but chewing gum or a throat lozenge makes it easier for your ears to re-pressurize during accent and decent.
- Many airlines are looking at changing all flight entertainment so they it relies on Wi-Fi. If you don’t have a Wi-Fi device you will have little to do.
- An airport shuttle solves almost all baggage and transport issues. Pre-book an airport shuttle and avoid the hassle and logistic planning at the beginning and end of you trip.