Will you be traveling by air for business or pleasure soon? Remember to pack your best travel manners! With most airlines offering complimentary wi-fi in the friendly skies, we have more options than ever before to work, play and connect with others online (and offline) during an otherwise long flight.
My travel courtesy tips below can do a great deal to eliminate (or at least reduce) some of the hassles that sometimes go along with air travel.
1. Hang up. I just returned home from a trip and found myself increasingly frustrated with several fellow travelers who held up security, delayed the rental car shuttle and couldn’t produce their boarding passes at the gate – all because they were holding their cell phones in one hand while trying to lift multiple heavy pieces of luggage, dig around for their IDs and remove belts and shoes with the other. Really…just hang up!
2. Consider checking your bag. Less carry-on luggage makes the boarding and de-planning process smoother for everyone concerned. If you are lucky enough to fly on an airline that doesn’t charge you for each suitcase, the thought of checking your heavy rolling suitcase instead of trying to wrestle it into an overhead bin may make your air travel much less stressful.
3. Your personal ID should match the name on your ticket. If you use both your married and your maiden name, be sure that you book your ticket in the name that is on your driver’s license or passport. If someone in your office books your business trips, it’s your responsibility to ensure he or she has the correct name when making travel arrangements.
4. Check-in online and save time. You never know what kind of lines await you at the airport, so do what you can in advance to save yourself some aggravation. Many airlines allow you to check-in and print boarding passes 24 hours in advance of your departure.
5. Make a luggage statement. It’s amazing how many black rolling suitcases are circling the luggage carousel. Make yours easy to identify with a colorful ID tag or distinctive marking that will alert you that your bag is rounding the corner of the conveyer belt.
6. Dress for success. Just because you have a long flight doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your best foot forward when considering your travel wardrobe. Select an outfit that is comfortable but that you wouldn’t feel embarrassed to be wearing if your best client was sitting next to you on the flight. Wear a pair of shoes that will allow you to sprint to your gate if the security line is unbelievably slow.
7. No imaginary travel companions. Maybe you will be lucky and have a spare seat separating you and the other person in your row. But don’t try to fool passengers looking for a place to sit by leaving your items on the seat next to you, pretending to be engrossed in the in-flight magazine, avoiding eye contact with fellow passengers.
8. Be considerate of passengers with extra challenges. Kindness is always a better option than eye-rolling or gasps of frustration when a mom and her crying baby take the seats next to you. Do your best to maintain a cheerful attitude and pray for a quick flight.
9. No tuna sandwiches, please. When contemplating your in-flight snack, avoid any food items that are pungent or potentially offensive. Use your best judgment when selecting a snack or meal for the long flight or consider eating a quick bite before you take your seat on the plane .
10. Remember that headphones are the international signal for “Leave me alone.” If you’re not in the mood to socialize with your neighbors, put in your ear buds — even if they’re not actually plugged into anything. Similarly, if someone else has their headphones in (or is reading, working, or otherwise engaged) respect his or her desire for privacy and avoid striking up a conversation.
11. Wait your turn when exiting the plane. Regardless of whether or not you have luggage in the overhead bin, don’t push past those already waiting to deplane. Patiently wait your turn like the rest of the passengers who are stuck in the same crowded aisles, waiting to exit and sprint to their next gate.
Don’t forget to tuck away a few beauty and fashion must-haves into your carry-on bag to allow yourself a pick-me-up before you land. Make-up remover towelettes, mascara, your favorite shade of lipstick or gloss and a colorful silk scarf will help you feel refreshed and renewed just before you reach your destination.